Regium Waterfront by Zaha Hadid Architects



London practice Zaha Hadid Architects have designed two buildings for the city of Reggio Calabria in Italy.


One building will house a museum of Mediterranean history, including exhibition spaces, restoration facilities, an archive, an aquarium and a library.


The second will house the museum’s administrative offices, a gym, craft workshops, shops and a cinema, as well as three separate auditoriums that can be joined together.


Here's some more information from Zaha Hadid Architects:


REGIUM WATERFRONT [Reggio Calabria, Italy]

The project aims to define the city of Reggio Calabria as a Mediterranean cultural capital through the realization of two characteristic buildings: a museum and a multifunctional building for performing arts.


The location of the site on the narrow sea strait separating continental Italy from Sicily offers an opportunity to create two unique buildings, visible from the sea and the Sicilian coast: a Museum of the Mediterranean History and a Multifunctional Building.


The form of the museum draws inspiration from the organic shapes of a starfish. The radial symmetry of this shape helps to coordinate the communication and circulation between different sections of the museum and its other facilities. The Museum of Mediterranean History will house exhibition spaces, restoration facilities, an archive, an aquarium and library.


The Multifunctional Building is a composition of three separate elements that surround a partially covered piazza. The building will house the museum’s administrative offices, a gym, local craft laboratories, shops and a cinema. Three different auditoriums, which can be converted into one large space, are also housed in the Multifunctional Building.

PROGRAM: Mixed-Use: Museum of the Mediterranean and Multifunctional block.

CLIENT: Comune di Reggio Calabria

ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect Filippo Innocenti
Design team [competition] Michele Salvi, Roberto Vangeli, Andrea Balducci Castè Luciano Letteriello, Fabio Forconi, Giuseppe Morando Johannes Weikert, Deepti Zachariah, Gonzalo Carbajo

CONSULTANTS:  Structures Adams-Kara-Taylor: Hanif Kara
M&E Max Fordham: Neil Smith
Fire safety Macchiaroli & Partners


Posted on Monday February 9th 2009 at 11:28 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Max

    “dear zaha hadid”…put yourself in your place. This is beautiful.

  • Syen

    she is my idol…rock our world.

  • scarpasez

    …for those wondering if or how Zaha would fit the program in here, I’ll bet you’d be surprised at how effectively the interior space is organized. This project looks to me like it was designed by the same team in Zaha’s studio that designed the Museo Regionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea Del Mediterraneo Di Cagliari (that’s a mouthful: here’s a link, also a mouthful:

    That project is similar monumental blobitecture – to some, beautiful, to others, an abomination. I like some of Zaha’s stuff, and am fairly in awe of her obvious talent, but for the most part I think her atectonic/amaterial shtick has gotten a little tiresome, perhaps offensive considering the exorbitant costs and extravagance of her designs. That said, her interior spaces tend to be VERY well organized. I’ve seen the plans for the Museo I mention above, and they’re spot on amazing, like the form or no. Her factory for BMW is another tremendous example of her firm’s clear ability to master program and interior organization.

  • @Nanu… Perfect!
    “This project is HOT! Zaha is HOT!”
    Plastic, organic, beautiful, but… She’s the queen of the 3D Studio!!!

  • ormai hai rotto!!!

  • rik

    I HEART Zaha.
    But I have to say it’s getting a wee little bit tedious after some point.

  • my comment in coming right from reggio calabria – reggio mayor francesco scopelliti has just returned from london after signing “approval” for building take off! wow eh? I invite you all to come down and visit rc ( zaha included ) to understand why this building does not make any sense –
    it’s not a matter of like it or hate it –
    i think quality architecture must go beyond and really few details of the space and not a clue of who and how they are gonna build it-
    last but not least I also invite you all to look up all the major damage that has occured on the coasts ( waterfronts) in reggio calabria –
    i feel that this was a dynamic task ( not referring to forms) – bla bla bla
    sorry getting away with the writing

  • beckham

    to all zaha bashers: NOT EVERYONE CAN MAKE SHAPES EVEN IF YOU GIVE THEM PLASTICINES OR COMPLEX 3D SOFTWARES.. different people have different philosophies to architecture SO LIVE WITH IT.. If Zaha is making forms for the sake of making forms, aint you guys bashing for the sake of bashing too? get a plush toy if you need something to beat up..

  • Nexus

    beckham is totally correct…

    I’d like to see you all “attempt” to build this model in generative components/rhino/maya say….


  • come on beckham and nexus – we are talking about architecture not software

  • yrag

    Graceful and elegant.

    I generally really like Zaha Hadid. This work seems to be rather subdued for her. I don’t mean that as a criticism though.

  • they can build this, concrete and auto paint haha! zaha hadid is growing on me, getting better and better, in some circumstances, the best.

  • amin serulle

    RELAX PEOPLE !! Is just Zaha !!!

  • tom

    all bow to your goddess ZAHA,

    this is what you people on blogs like this call architecture.

    when will you people ever learn?

  • martin v

    Why don’t you critics try to make a point out of what you´re saying instead of simply criticizing for the sake of it, you talk about having purpose in the formal aspects of architecture well then be consequent with your thoughts and make something out of your words? Why don’t you comment with a better intention of making architecture move and evolve, by proposing different ideas, instead of just simply writing hasty words on other people´s work.

    None of these comments are going to change the way architecture is done now a days, nor the way it will be done, the only way of making architecture evolve and change is by making more architecture, so if anyone has something to teach us about how buildings should be done why don’t they come up to the plate and show us how it’s done based on real life experience. Beginning by which there is not only one proper way of making architecture but many and this is one example of it, and if Zaha Hadid is that successful is because she is doing her thing right, don’t forget she is a pritzker price winner. And at least she is proposing her own thoughts on architecture, and not just because her works are not right angled doesn’t mean they´re not functional. Or would you find that a well distributed building built on pure solid crap would be better considered functional.

    That is only a thought based on physical functionality but if you go beyond, as Klaus commented, there is magic in the building, it’s attractive, entertaining, and seductive, there is a further functionality. Off course it won’t satisfy everybody but that’s why every architect has its own signature, and somehow architecture can delight a wider variety of tastes. But to this specific case, Zaha Hadid’s forms have much more coherence to me rather than let’s say Le Corbusier forms since they resemble our own human forms, our physiognomy, because I can’t find a right angle in my body. As a general concept architecture, is meant for human beings and I believe this kind of shapes embrace us and make us fill part of the environment, which to me satisfies any purpose.

    Let there be variety in architecture, Calatrava, Gehry, Hadid, Nouvel, Koohlaas etc instead of making everything so tight and right angled. I think that squared architecture is just a reflection of the human boring and squared life based on the same parameters as always, instead Zaha Hadid’s architecture reflects freedom in formal aspect with fluid lines and volumes that change and move along her designs, this reflects joyfulness, diversity and an open mind.

  • Thank you Klaus and Martin V. because through your constructive comments you provide your vision, your view point and not simply a naive comment empty of sence… Yes I am a fan of Zaha Hadid and all architects and designers who dare to think differently and do their best!

    PS: when I started to read comments, I noticed that some repeat “badpan, badpan…”. I got the impression there is bunch of people traumatized from the hospital and see this “badpan” through Zaha’s project!

    Francois Beydoun

  • Bedpan (sorry) emotion… ;)

  • Jive

    Beautiful! Let us have some more of that :-)

  • Frank

    Hmmmm – this will never see the light of day in Italy. There is a half finished shell if Calatrava sports stadium washed up in the southern periphery of Rome that hasn't been touched for over 2 years. The Mafia concrete base is all in place though….

  • I love all what you do Zaha!