IN: Inspiration

Concrete Exoskeleton First Of Its Kind

Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum nears its completion and features a prominent one-of-a-kind concrete exoskeleton.


One of the world’s most complex and ambitious buildings, One Thousand Museum, is on track for completion in December 2018. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the one-of-a-kind residential tower in Miami, Florida, features a prominent glass-fibre-reinforced concrete (GFRC) exoskeleton and is a marvel of modern concrete architecture.

With its 62 storeys, One Thousand Museum is a sight to behold on the skyline of Miami. Each side is encased by a large structure that curves elegantly and serves as an exoskeleton like that of a grasshopper or scorpion. Made from 5 000 panels of GFRC, this exoskeleton is the largest of its kind currently and even featured on the PBS documentary series Impossible Builds.

PPC Imaginarium

While structures have previously had exoskeletons, Hadid’s exoskeleton is complex due to the curving nature of the design, which varies in shape and thickness.

The accuracy needed for the design meant that the developers and architects used GFRC that had been carefully modelled using three-dimensional computerised models. These panels were produced by Dubai-based company Radiant Profile and shipped from the United Arab Emirates to the United States.

PPC Imaginarium

“We could otherwise never get to this accuracy that they can get to,” said co-developer Kevin Venger. “This way, we know that everything will line up perfectly.”

When added to concrete, fibres help to increase the material’s strength and the final product is both strong and lightweight. GFRC is used typically as decorative facing; however, in One Thousand Museum, GFRC is an integral part of the structure that serves as a complex exoskeleton. At the site, panels are clamped around rebar in twos and concrete is then poured into the structure.

PPC Imaginarium

The acclaimed and highly decorated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is renowned for her distinctive, breath-taking buildings like the London Aquatics Centre; she passed away in 2016. One of her final projects, One Thousand Museum, is a fitting tribute to a leader and influencer in the global architecture industry.

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Images credits: Zaha Hadid Architects 


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