Looking over the green Maurice A Ferre Park, the calm Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic ocean is the queen-like One Thousand Museum residential towers designed by Architect Zaha Hadid, the queen of curves. The luxurious condominium was designed to provide six-star class homes in the rapidly developing downtown of Miami. 

One of the reasons it was named One Thousand Museum is because it overlooks the Phillips and Patricia Frost Museum and the Perez Art Museum. In contrast to the city’s grid, the curves of this building add beauty to the skyline of Miami.

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One Thousand Museum exterior view ©1000museum.com

Zaha Hadid’s Philosophy | One Thousand Museum

The prestigious Pritzker award-winning architect Zaha Hadid always placed iconic buildings on the map and gave a new identity to that locality. Though this was not her intent, she aimed at solving the challenges that the 21st century faced. Her futuristic designs and her inclination towards deconstructivist architecture has produced world-class designs and has filled us with astonishment. 

Though fluidity is seen in most of her designs, it suits aptly for all. Be it the Bergisel Ski Jump, The London Aquatics Centre, or the One Thousand Museum tower, the curves enhance the structure and give it a sense of motion. 

Design and Planning

This residential skyscraper has been going round in circles because of its seamless integration of art, architecture, and engineering as it is not typical of skyscrapers to have an exoskeleton structural system. The concept of this building was to develop a nearly column-free interior, thus creating spacious units. The exoskeleton takes up most of the load, acting as the main structural element and at the same time creating a curved shell. 

The tower consists of 62 floors accommodating 83 residential units and ultra-luxurious amenities on a 30-acre site. The podium consumes the first seven floors, indoor-outdoor wellness, fitness and spa occupy the next two levels, and finally, the aquatic center and sky lounge crown the building. From the 10th floor up to the 49th floor, duplex townhouses and 70 half-floor residences are stacked. The levels 50 to 59 consist of 8 full-floor penthouses. The 60th floor consists of a double story duplex penthouse. Lastly, the helipad tops the skyscraper.

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8th level floor plan ©https://aasarchitecture.com

Foundation | One Thousand Museum

The foundation required to support such a tall curvilinear exoskeleton that exhibits minimum interior columns is definitely demanding. The type of foundation used here is the Mat foundation, as it needs to transfer very heavy loads from the columns. 

Almost 6880 cubic meters of concrete poured over 24 hours form the Mat foundation of 171ft (52m) depth to support the 707ft (215m) superstructure. The columns emerging out from the foundation do not have a glass fiber reinforced concrete panel. It is used only from the 15th floor to minimize the usage of reinforced concrete as it is costlier.

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Mat foundation with service core wall under construction ©https://www.enr.com


The Podium consists of the lobby and the multi-level car park. It extends beyond the exoskeleton to create a dramatic six-star level entrance carved out from the solid base. The perforated panels allow ventilation within the car park. Fluidity is expressed through the matt and shiny curves of the floor finish, the wall design that integrates as the ceiling, and the pattern of the ambient lighting. 

This space shouts out an ultra-modern experience, definitely way ahead of its time, giving you a grand welcome as you enter the building. To make the ambiance a great experience, Zaha Hadid Architects have added a light perfume to all the common spaces after consulting olfactory specialists. This custom scenting complements the contemporary design and gives residents another taste of luxury.

Lobby ©1000museum.com
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Podium showing service entrance, main entrance and car park entrance ©https://aasarchitecture.com

Above the Podium is the open sculptural sun and swim terrace. It is named aptly as the huge columns fan out and penetrates down into the Podium, which looks like carved sculptures rather than columns. This is due to its curvaceous form that complements the organically shaped swimming pools creating an artistic view and a perfect place for relaxing. The pools are placed deliberately at the foot of the columns as though they are emerging from the water. 

As the day progresses, the shadows create an interesting play. Elegant landscaping has been done by the famous landscape architect Enzo Enea to add beauty to the terrace. The indoor-outdoor fitness centre and spa are adjacent to the pool, creating a calming view. 

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The Sun and Swim terrace ©1000museum.com

Exoskeleton | One Thousand Museum

Usually, in most of Zaha Hadid’s designs, the line between art and architecture is blurred. In One Thousand Museum, the line between structural and architectural elements is blurred. The fluidity of the exoskeleton gives strength to the structure and protects it from the harsh hurricane winds of Miami

The exoskeleton consists of the post-tension floor slab system, columns, and the glass fiber reinforced concrete formwork integrated together that get thicker and thinner as per the structural requirement. This system allows the service core wall to be reduced to half the traditional thickness. The base covering the podium has a thick exoskeleton, whereas the upper floors have thin ones with few interior columns supporting the structure. This form of the exoskeleton gives rise to slightly different floor plans at different levels and extra-large terraces. 

The material used for its construction is glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels imported from Dubai and filled with reinforced concrete on site. These panels eliminate the need for an outer finishing and give a smooth exterior. Glass fibers of 5% weight of the mix added to the concrete boosts the structure’s tensile strength, which is crucial while designing skyscrapers.

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Exoskeleton ©https://rew-online.com
Parts of the structure  ©www.feliseeber.com

Residential units 

The residential units are designed to satisfy all the needs of Miami’s well-heeled people offering the epitome of luxury. All the exterior walls are constructed of steel frames with glass panels that can resist the lateral wind loads, and the internal walls are of concrete. The family room, kitchen, and great room of all units have extraordinary views of the Atlantic ocean and the busy downtown. The kitchen is designed in Italian style to suit the modern interior. 

All the units have 5.5 to 6.5 bathrooms, the master bathroom having separate commodes and bidet for the male and female. Though the entire house is bright throughout the day, the customizable lights in the residential units allow the user to change the intensity to give intimacy or brighten a place. Target lights and diffused soft lights have been dispersed throughout the house according to the requirement.

Family room ©1000museum.com
Master bathroom ©https://hauteliving.com
Terrace ©1000museum.com

The Crown | One Thousand Museum

The entire structure is crowned by the double storied Aquatic center and the triple storied sky lounge on the 60th floor. The roof is made of folded glass pieces to give the effect of a water drop. From the exterior, the arched wall gives the illusion of watching a waterfall from the roof, enhancing the experience. The water from the infinity pool reflects on to the ceiling giving it a shine like the gems. 

Panoramic views over the Atlantic ocean and the bustling city can be admired from the sky lounge and the Aquatic center elevating luxury to the next level. Finally, a private helicopter pad tops the building like a cherry on a delicious cake.

Aquatic center and Sky Lounge ©https://www.architecturaldigest.com

Zaha Hadid is the only architect who has broken the glass ceiling repeatedly and has done things that have never been attempted in the history of architecture. One Thousand Museum is the first-ever skyscraper to have a structural exoskeleton, and adding to it, it is the first-ever skyscraper with columns constructed of glass fiber reinforced concrete panels. She might not be here to guide us, but her designs will forever inspire us.


Karpagam is a 3rd year undergraduate student who is very passionate about architecture and takes advantage of any opportunity that comes her way to build herself as an architect .She believes that through healthy discussions, critical changes can be brought in the society.