We’re really thrilled to be featuring another great project from Zaha Hadid Architects after quite a long time where the high-end bathroom brand, Roca, has teamed up with Zaha Hadid Architects to create the fourth Roca Gallery in London, a 1,100 square meter palace devoted to design and the arts. The new Roca London Gallery is inspired by the different states of water – a vital element in the life of any society where its undulating form and its flow acts as a transforming element on the façade, carving out in the shape of water drops that flow through the interior of the gallery. The Roca London Gallery provides for a unique brand experience where visitors can interact with the brand, its values and its products as well as share the passion for innovation and water through its design. The Roca London Gallery aims at becoming a cultural reference for the city, with a steady program of social and cultural events and exhibitions.
Located in London’s Station Court, in the heart of London’s Chelsea Harbor, the architectural design of the Roca Gallery symbolizes and reflects the brand’s identity - Leadership, Design, Innovation, Sustainability and Wellbeing – while elucidating the milestones and the history of the Roca brand. The organic and, as always, innovative architectural design by Zaha Hadid Architects is based on water – the most vital element in the life of any society, as well as its flow. The 1,100 square meter space has a spectacular design with many organic elements resembling the different states of water as it flows. In this way, the water transforms the façade to a streaming sculpture as it carves out water droplets that flow throughout the gallery’s interior. The fluidity of the architectural design leads to a fluid and flexible space and program with several different areas and elements with the most advanced technology, making it an active center for design and investigation.
The dominating white in Roca London Gallery’s interior is illuminated by extended ‘drops’ of light thus forming the central focus which aims at connecting the different zones of the program. The flexible and functional organic design is influenced by and shaped by the water erosion created upon a rock. However, the interior is the extension of the exterior design despite the contrast which is created with the application of white throughout. The opening shapes in the façade create a ‘peek-a-boo’ effect both for the user inside the gallery as well as for the user passing by outside the gallery. This ‘peek-a-boo’ effect in architecture usually invites the passerby into the gallery – in the need to quench his/her curiosity. The set of openings with shapes eroded by water thus form the façade, a striking façade which gives it identity. “The geometry of the three window displays runs continuously, showing a single uninterrupted space that intersects the exterior with the interior.”
Zaha Hadid Architects’ signature on London’s Roca Gallery is apparent as its visual design and the use of precision and detail allows visitors to understand the relationship between the architectural space and Roca, its products, history and values. It is not only the architecture which is based upon the organic forms which we are well acquainted with in Hadid’s architecture; the space is also equipped with the latest technology, allowing visitors to engage with the different elements that form it and therefore enjoy a unique brand experience. However, the experience does not stop there; the illuminated water droplet interior connects with the exhibition display for Roca’s most innovative products, the building’s meeting rooms, and the multimedia space which provides “the most advanced technology in AV equipment, sound and lighting, as it makes visitors travel to a latest-generation space.” A common element in all of the Roca Galleries is the tactile screens throughout the gallery space which allow for real-time interaction between the visitor and the brand. Additionally, you are called upon to see the ‘Rituals’ projections, a loop video which constantly projects people’s different daily bathroom activities on a big screen and ‘Fluxus’ a water inspired loop video.
The Roca London Gallery is an original and emblematic space for all society, both culturally and architecturally. ''The initiative of the Roca Galleries represents an investment in the brand on a global scale as they create unique spaces facilitating social and cultural encounters in the cities that play host to them. The Roca London Gallery joins the elite Roca Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon Galleries.'' According to Zaha Hadid Architects, their ‘work imbues architecture with the intricacy and beauty of natural forms. Using a formal language derived from the movement of water, the Roca London Gallery has been eroded and polished by fluidity; generating a sequence of dynamic spaces carved from this fascinating interplay between architecture and nature.” We cannot help but agree with this great architect who has once again designed an organic space full of dynamic forms in a ‘fluid’ environment as we enjoy the captivating interplay between architecture and nature.