Previous Work

Rafael and Monica have worked for two of the most recognized Architects in the world; Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster. Rafael is a former Lead Architect/Designer of Zaha Hadid Architects in London, he worked directly under Patrik Schumaker and Zaha Hadid for 7.5 years. Monica worked in the London office of Foster + Partners as well as for the London Architects Carmody Groarke and Farshid Moussavi. 


Zaha Hadid Architects  - Mayfair 2016, Melbourne - Australia
Client  :  UEM Sunrise
Status :   (on-going)

Rafael Contreras was the Project Architect and Lead Designer of the wining competition entry for this residential project. ''Located in Melbourne’s most eminent boulevard at 412 St Kilda Road, the project with a Gross Development Value of approximately 324 million AUD, pushes the boundaries in terms of ultra-luxurious living, offering bespoke experiences for sophisticated apartment dwellers with private lift lobbies, car valet system and custom designed signature Zaha Hadid pieces. Mayfair offers a limited 158 bespoke residences of one to five bedrooms, , ranging in size from 70 sqm  to 560 sqm and it is expected to be completed by 2021''.

Grace on Coronation - Brisbane Australia

Zaha Hadid Architects  - Grace on Coronation 2014, Brisbane - Australia
Client  :  Sunland Group Australia
Status :   Construction Documentation (on-going)

Rafael Contreras was the Project Architect and Lead Designer of this project located in Brisbane - Australia. The proposal responds to the client ambition to create an Urban Park within a unique site for the city of Brisbane. The site's direct access to the river and the presence of an historic building demands an approach that liberates the ground plane as much as possible without compromising the site's design potential. These considerations lead to the distribution of the built programme in three towers, with a unique tapering feature at the ground interface which minimize the tower footprints and encourages pedestrian circulation. The three building project has enabled almost 60 per cent of the site (8,868 sqm) to be publicly accessible with landscaped pathways, and a connection to the Brisbane River frontage.

Mariner's Cove - Australia

Zaha Hadid Architects  - Mariner's Cove 2014, Gold Coast - Australia
Client  :  Sunland Group Australia
Status :  Development Application 

Rafael Contreras led the winning competition for the Design of this new mixed-use complex. He then become the Project Architect and Main Designer of this project located in the Gold Coast - Australia. The project will include a cultural centre, aquarium and museum and is set to become a main tourist attraction once completed. The  proposal for this ambitious project aims to redefine the concept of iconic residential development by integrating a unique series of programmatic elements and features within the architectural scheme. A series of abstract objects are collectively integrated into the site, creating a built work of art at an architectural scale. A cultural program of museum and art gallery sits within a sculptured landscape, becoming the focal point of the development and public attraction of the site.

Zaha Hadid Japan National stadium.jpg

Zaha Hadid Architects  - Tokyo National Stadium 2012, Tokyo - Japan
Client  :  Japan Sports Council
Status :  Cancelled

Rafael Contreras was one of the Main Designers of the winning competition entry for the Japan National Stadium (290,000 sqm) then he has involved on the development of the project until the end of Schematic Design stage. ''The new Stadium was more than a large sports facility, it was designed to the highest design specifications and functional requirements. It was set to be an amazing piece for the city's fabric, an urban connector that would have been enhanced the people moving through the site from different directions and points of access''. Zaha Hadid Architects

ZAHA HADID_New Beijing Airport

Zaha Hadid Architects  - New Beijing Airport 2011, Beijing - China
Client  :  Beijing New Airport Headquarters (BNAH)
Status :  Under Construction

Rafael Contreras was one of the main Designers of the winning competition entry of the Beijing Daxing Airport (set to be the world's largest airport). From September 2011 to December of 2013 he worked on the design and development for this large infrastructure project. The airport will have 700,000 sqm floor area + 80,000 sqm of ground transportation centre. Its capacity will serve 45 million passenger per year and its configuration is capable to expand into 72 million passengers.

''The design celebrates the connectivity and dynamism of air travel; expressed as a sequence of insporational inter-connected public spaces. The flowing rooflines cover the large, column-free spaces and provide a scale of sense and orientation - welcoming the world to Beijing....the radial layout greatly improves adaptability and sustainability by enabling the terminal to operate in the many different configurations most appropriate to the varying aircraft and passengers throughout each day. The compact design also reduces the requirements for shuttle trains between the many terminals that are common at other large airports and enables passengers to simply walk the short distances to everywhere they need to go.'' Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid_NAMOC Museum

Zaha Hadid Architects  - National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) 2011, Beijing - China
Client  :   Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China
Status :   Lost in Third and final phase of Competition

Rafael Contreras was one of the main Designers of this large scale cultural infrastructure project. The Museum was set to be one of the largest museums in the world (130,000 sqm). The architectural design of the building was inspired by landscape and space as material culture. Combining the sensibilities of the Chinese art's landscape traditions and the Global paradigms of novel space the form was made possible by new technologies and production capabilities within China. 

Zaha Hadid_Grand Theatre Rabat

Zaha Hadid Architects  - Grand Theatre Rabat 2010, Rabat - Morocco
Client  :  Agence pour l'Aménagement de la Vallée du Bouregreg
Status :  Under Construction

Rafael Contreras was one of the main Designers of this cultural building in Rabat (27,000 sqm). ''This project is part of a national programme of cultural development initiated by King Mohammed VI, located on the Bouregreg River between the ancient twin cities of Rabat and Salé. The design takes its energy from the River, generating the landscape of the park that engulfs the amphitheatre and theatre...The €120m project includes an 1800-seat theatre, an open-air amphitheatre with a capacity of 7,000 people, a second experimental performance / rehearsal spaces and an extraordinary restaurant for 350 people''. Zaha Hadid Architects

Foster + Partners - ICD Brookfield Place - 2016, Dubai - UAE
Client  :  ICD Brookfield
Status :  Under Construction

Monica Earl was part of the design and documentation core team at Foster + Partners working from Scheme Design through to Detail Design for the state-of-the-art retail and office tower development. Located in the Dubai International Financial District in the UAE, the prestigious 1.5 million square foot office tower and mixed use podium development sets a new benchmark in Dubai through the creation of a vibrant new public realm. The 53-storey tower with over 900,000 square feet of Grade A lettable office space is complemented with the major civic plaza which connects to and significantly enhances the existing DIFC retail promenade. The 150,000-square-foot podium framed with dining and food emporium combines retail shopping with fitness and private club facilities featuring multiple terraces and an open garden on the top level with views of Burj Khalifa. An 18,000 square-foot landscaped public area will become a new social focus for Dubai showcasing arts and cultural events. The development is currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2018 with a valuation in excess of US$1 billion.

Carmody Groarke - White Cube Art Pavilion - 2015 - Glyndebourne Opera Festival, UK
Client  :  Glyndebourne Productions
Status :  Completed

Monica Earl was a designer at Carmody Groarke working on the concept design for the White Cube Gallery in the historic grounds of Glyndebourne, the site of the internationally-reknowned annual Glyndebourne Opera Festival. Formed of cross-laminated timber and plywood, externally sheathed in polycarbonate, the structure was built to provide a dedicated art space for a different artist each year over three years of the annual Opera Festival. So far the pavilion has exhibited works by George Baselitz and Raqib Shaw. Set amidst the idyllic surroundings of the Glyndeborne estate, the gallery provides an inspiring setting to view visual arts between the world-class opera productions.

BritishMuseum_Carmody Groarke

Carmody Groarke - Room 3, British Museum - 2014 - London, UK
Client  :  The British Museum
Status :  Completed 2014

Whilst at Carmody Groarke in London, Monica Earl was the designer and oversaw the construction and installation of the exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum. The exhibition entitled “Dressed to Impress” offered insight into Japanese male fashion and its relationship to an individual’s identity during the Edo period (1615-1868). In consultation with a large team of museum experts the design intentions were realized within tight time constraints meeting the high standards of museum regulations. The visitor experience draws parallels to the text ‘in praise of shadows’ whereby the shadows of the space can be understood as layered tones. In the execution of the design, the design team considered everything from the dark paint colour on the walls to the fabric inside the display cabinets. The dark atmosphere provides contrast to the spot-lighting which draws the miniature stature of the intricately detailed objects into focus. The objects displayed, Netsuke are carved toggles that were worn by Japanese men during the Edo period. The function of these toggles was to prevent personal belongings such as medicine, writing implements, tobacco or money pouches from falling from the kimono sash.

Prime Minister's Lodge on the Lake - Canberra Australia

Prime Minister's Lodge on the Lake - 2013 - Canberra, Australia
Status :  Competition Third Place

Link to ABC Radio National Interview

Monica Earl in collaboration with Nic Moore designed a new residence for the Prime Minister, The Lodge on the Lake’ on Lake Burley Griffin in Australia’s Capital city. The residence is sited at the tip of Attunga Point and involves the sculpting of the shoreline in order to bury a low landscape building in the ridge of the promontory. Public programme is held between eight rows of heavy earthen walls rammed from 400 million year old sedimentary rock from site - the Yarralumla Formation. These walls variously enclose space, create courtyards, protect from prevailing winter winds, hold water and define circulation paths. A series of stepped ‘ghats’ bring the water of the lake creating alluvial gardens between the walls, reshaping the shoreline creating places to sit and fish from. This lake water is held in ponds for storing thermal energy, bouncing light and creating calm.

Farshid Moussavi_The Function of Style

Farshid Moussavi - The Function of Style, 2015
Client  :  Research Collaboration with Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Status :  Published

Monica Earl worked as a Research Assistant on Farshid Moussavi’sFunction of Style’  book, developed in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The representation of the 21st Century architectural projects is considered with equal importance with the theoretical groundwork. The axonometric and investigative diagrams produced for the book display the essential stylistic principles of each building, which are complemented with rendered images of a fundamental spatial moment from each building.

''If the 1970s were defined by Postmodernism and the 1980s by Deconstruction, how do we characterize the architecture of the 1990s to the present? Some built forms transmit affects of curvilinearity, others of crystallinity; some transmit multiplicity, others unity; some transmit cellularity, others openness; some transmit dematerialization, others weight. Does this immense diversity reflect a lack of common purpose? In this book, acclaimed architect and theorist Farshid Moussavi argues that this diversity should not be mistaken for an eclecticism that is driven by external forces.'' --functionlab