New photos and a video reveal Zaha Hadid's only completed private residence -- a house in the Barvikha Forest near Moscow, for a man she called the "Russian James Bond." The late Iraqi-British architect designed Capital Hill Home for businessman and philanthropist Vladislav Doronin, that runs property companies Capital Group and OKO Group, and is also the owner of the luxury hotel and resort brand Aman. The house's defining characteristic is a master suite set atop a slender concrete stalk that raises it high above the tree canopy.
Set 22 meters above the ground, this section of this, the layout offers Doronin complete seclusion. "I told her: 'I want to wake up in the morning and I wish to see blue skies. I really don't need to see some other neighbors, and I would like to feel free," remembers Doronin at a new video discussing the project. "She told me: 'Do you know you have to be over the trees?' And she only took a napkin and drew the sketch. I looked, and I mentioned I enjoyed it and this is how we started the Capital Hill project." Three generous floors partially embedded in the rocky terrain below feature angled glass facades facing into the woods.
The lowest level includes leisure facilities, while a lounge, living area and kitchen are set alongside interesting spaces and a swimming pool on the ground floor. The entry, guest and children's bedrooms, and a library have been set around the first floor. The idea for the project was first conceived over a decade ago when the group met in London and Hadid sketched a layout out on a napkin. Visuals of the project were initially unveiled in 2008, and first pictures of the project emerged in 2011, well before Hadid's death. But these images mark the entire conclusion of the residence. "For me, she is an architect of an offbeat league," says Doronin.
"It was very interesting to speak to her, she didn't speak a great deal, but she was really sharp. She was always to the point, she had been very intellectual, smart and sharp girl," he continues. "It was awful what happened; we lost one of the greatest architects of this century." "It's a dream house. No architect would deny such a commission," he says in the movie. "Zaha understood Vladislav -- a very stylish man -- she always compared him to the Russian James Bond who'd taste, wealth to create something exceptional."
"This project is an official testament to Zaha's genius -- Vladislav's genius if you'd like -- of someone who develops new heights of enjoying life on this world," he continues. "This is really a masterpiece. It has Zaha's signature attributes of organic intricacy, the sophistication of spatial arrangement, a lot of surprises, and a lot of craftiness and attractiveness." Foster recalls Doronin proudly showing photographs of his finished home in a dinner party, and atmosphere "enormous disappointment" that he'd never be able to split the compliment with Hadid.