Dorobanti Tower by Zaha Hadid Architects



Zaha Hadid Architects have designed a high-rise building for the center of Bucharest, Romania, which has a structural, lattice façade.


It will contain a five star hotel, a business centre, a casino, retail areas, apartments and underground parking.


Construction is expected to be completed in 2013.


See all our stories about Zaha Hadid Architects in our special category.


Here's some text from Zaha Hadid Architects:


Architectural Concept:

The brief called for a 100,000 square metre mixed-use, high-rise development in the centre of Bucharest. The project comprises of a 5-star hotel, luxury apartments, retail areas, a business centre, a casino and underground parking.

The Dorobanti Tower was designed to establish an iconic presence in the heart of Bucharest. The new tower is a unique mix of a distinctive form, ingenious structure, and spatial qualities of sky-high living. The purity of its form - a chamfered diamond like structure - will be a new landmark in the centre of Bucharest. Zaha Hadid Architect’s design concept is a synthesis of architecture and engineering, which integrates a distinct meandering structural lattice.

Urban parameters, site constraints and the programme generate the building’s elegant tapering profile. The new tower establishes a distinctive identity while avoiding sterile repetition through its dynamically changing profile. In order to maximise lighting and views for the neighbourhoods, the elongated curvilinear shape reduces its perimeter towards the top, while the offset to the inside at ground floor level shall create a generous public realm and an appropriate entrance plaza in front of the tower.

Facade / Structure:

Bucharest is within a vulnerable seismic zone and therefore the structural concept was crucial to us from the beginning of the design process. Placing the primary structure at the exterior not only maximises the structural footprint but also allows for column free interior spaces.

Concrete filled stainless steel profiles follow in sinus waves from the ground level to the top of the tower, creating a distinctive identity, complementing the tower design. The concrete filling will give additional strength to the structure and it will provide fire protection to the steel profiles. The facade structure expresses the various programmes and it adjusts from bottom to top according to the changing structural forces. The secondary structure, which is integrated between the main steel tubes, gives additional strength to the primary steel mesh and it also works as a damper in case of earthquakes.

At the bottom, the façade grid has denser amplitudes according to the structural requirements for a tower of this height, providing the required load bearing capacity and stiffness to the structure. At the technical and recreational levels, the structure condenses creating almost solid knots. On the top floors, the primary structure has been reduced to the minimum according to the structural requirements in order to maximise the views and lighting for the luxury apartments.


The public realm adjacent to the tower will be unlike anything else in Bucharest, representing a major attraction within the dense urban character of the City, offering an important new meeting space and urban plaza. Metaphorically speaking, the landscaping can be understood as a warped concrete “carpet” with one continuous surface connecting the three surrounding streets. The landscape is sculpted to create seating areas, water basins, fountains, green areas including trees and a raised terrace.

Program: 5 Star Hotel and Apartments
Client: Smartown Group
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect: Markus Planteu
Project Team: Dennis Brezina, Naomi Fritz, Susanne Lettau, Thomas Mathoy, Goswin Rothenthal, Rooshad Shroff, Seda Zirek

Posted on Friday July 17th 2009 at 12:37 pm by Zaynab D. Ziari. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • pula mea

    isn’t it a little bit to….. default ?

  • ganditorul de la dambovita (g.d.l.d.)

    hi there,
    it seems to me like half of the height of a space elevator at least in the rendering, maybe it will be the first space hub by 2013!? very airy, very hightech! and in the same time very oriental… good job! bravo bucuresti!
    what an intersection of cultures!
    I still have a question? why not in Wien? Maybe right besides Stefans Dom?

  • g.d.l.d.

    I have survived a couple of eartquakes in this little Paris.
    I am telling you: skydiving is peanuts!
    but anyway, this laticework is somehow misterious…

  • ian

    another penis climbing up the sky…

  • nholt

    Reading the text, it’s as if the engineering collaboration never happened…when did Zaha become a PE? Perhaps some props for the engineering team is in order, architecture is a collaborative work after all…

    Yes – I am an architect, but also an advocate for acknowledging the significant input of our collaborators! We don’t operate in a vacuum, let’s be honest about that!

  • andreea

    NO NO NO! i don’t know if any architect gives a damn, but this veery nice tower that seems to be mrs hadid work of art is situated right in the center of the city, in an very old and traditional place in fact in a historical protected area! does it matter to any of this glass architects the city’s identity and culture, as poor as it may look to any infatuated foreigner that comes to bucharest?! as beautiful may be the building, i strongly believe that its beauty will also come through the placement, and in this case is will be like a pile of mud in a shiny place….i am so sorry that this is the best that such an architect can do for a big and beautiful city as bucharst is……

  • letter for the gods

    please gods of arhitecture, please let this project happen here. now i’m 80% sure that the dinosours from the architectural area will not agree with this insertion i.a. – too tall, not in the right place, too modern for the neighbourhood, etc – ‘we cannot give you the authorisation to build here’.

  • Vasilis

    it s an ilusion…some architects make an offert to the investors and they agree that the romanian offert it s more acceptable and i m positiv 100% that tower will never be built!
    so good lock romania!!! you ll never see anather one of this … it ll take 50 years to get in line …or more..

  • Godfather

    I admire the developers for suppporting such a contemporary design. It seems that they are not just interested in maximising square meters. Bucharest, go for it!

  • gabs

    We all love you Zaha, but please don’t do skyscrapers.

  • Victoria

    wow this is beautiful, there is no architects like Zaha Hadid….

  • willem

    don’t worry vasilis. when the whole world is decorated like america, it might be time for cities like bucharest. never give up … invest in your own culture!

  • I would have expected her to design something more in keeping with the general architecture of Bucharest, but this is so discordant. It looks like it belongs in Dubai. It may be good as an individual design, thin shell, clean lines, nice curves – but placement matters a lot.

  • Cristian Dumitru

    I HATE what that Zaha-and-so-on calls “architecture”! It is implementing a hideous thing (even in good shape) into a small buildings area. It is NOT an iconic presence, it is a Gulliver over Lilliputians.