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Guadalajara jvc hotel cover 960
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Guadalajara JVC Hotel

Neutral, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)

Cell growth pattern becomes the influence for the representation of a 500-rooms hotel in Mexico.


It is deeply interesting to watch how the collaboration between Neutral and Zaha Hadid Architects unfolded in time, how it refined both its aesthetic and an entire genre. Neutral and ZHA had influenced each other through this process and in this third installment chosen for the strip, commented by Tapio Snellman, founder of Neutral with Christian Grou, we can see how their style - both ZHA's and Neutral's - settled down.

The video was produced in 2001 for a Convention Center Hotel-Housing Project in Guadalajara, Mexico. As we saw in other cases, the conceptual animation here explains and crystallizes architect Zaha Hadid's idea behind the design for the 500-room hotel by the shore of an artificial lake in Guadalajara.

In the animation's vision, we see the guest rooms as single cells of a large conglomerate, showing the evolution of the texture and the creation of the building. As Snellman and Grou say, "this animation follows a seemingly uncontrolled cell growth pattern which is being reigned in by a meshed backbone element. The cell growth eventually settles and rooms are being created following the initially tumultuous movement."

Twenty years later we can better understand the overall aesthetic of the project, produced at the turn of the millennium, when computer and tech-imaginary were very influential, both as a sign of progress, of the way to go, and as obscure and fascinating subjects. Here we can see both souls merging as the serene lakeside location (artificial lake in Guadalajara) is reflected in the glass façade (a typical ZHA's touch), in stark contrast to the elaborate structure. A specially composed soundtrack by with the London-based abstract electronic Andrew Lagowski (this is his first collaboration with Neutral) underlines the drama of the process.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Mentioned projects: Convention Center Hotel-Housing Project in Guadalajara, Mexico (2001)
Project location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Concept, Direction, Production, Edit, Sound: Neutral

United Kingdom 2001
Duration: 1'39"