The Future of Mr. Hadid

 “We build fantasy,” says Hadid, “a lifestyle.”

With new projects in the horizon, the future looks bright for Mohamed Hadid

His list of feats includes the kind of accomplishments with superlative-required descriptions. Last year alone, Mohamed Hadid broke two major records, being credited with selling the most expensive home in the U.S. per square foot as well as what was the biggest residential real-estate sale in the U.S., to date. At a cool $50 million, the latter manse, (originally listed for $85 million) sat on an over two acre expanse and featured such amenities as a ballroom with seating for more than 200, a Turkish hamam, a 5,000 bottle wine cellar, and a pond, for swans no less. In a nutshell, there was nothing lacking in the house that Hadid built.

And one might think that after over 30 years of successful developments ranging from residential and resort to commercial and land developments the world over, Hadid would be content, resting on his laurels, and reaping the benefits of his famed efforts. Think again. The newly engaged gentleman is trudging forward, full speed ahead, with a slew of new projects in tow. We caught up with Hadid to chat the future, which for him still includes real estate development, but as well art, fashion, and even water.

“We build fantasy,” says Hadid, “a lifestyle.” The palatial homes that afford their residences said fantasy lifestyle are made a reality through Hadid’s vision. There’s nothing he doesn’t have a hand in. In fact, the architect, furniture designer, and artist takes care of every last detail so “all you have to do is move in with a tooth brush and a bikini.” The most recent in-the-works projects follow in that same thread of luxury and decadence while constantly changing through Hadid’s effort to reinvent himself—a necessary objective for this master creator, and one that he holds at the center of his process. Take this one home for instance. Adjacent to the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hadid is in the beginning stages of creating a home that teeters on the brink between classic and modern, just for the fun of juxtaposition. Seemingly old from the outside, French limestone and old stairways set the tone; but within, the smart home dons all of the most modern extras, even upping the ante and beating out its predecessor with a larger hamam, twice the wine cellar, a 50-seat movie theater, and indoor swimming pool. Hadid is considering moving in himself, but that’s not to say there aren’t other projects up for grabs.

An ultra-modern home in Bel Air is also getting under way, as well as a development of homes on some 97 acres in the Beverly Hills area ranging from 25,000-50,000 square feet. Set on the mountain ridge at the highest point in the area, rustic views and hiking trails are only sprinkles on the icing of this cake.

But Hadid stays true to his original roots as well, building resorts in beautiful locales like the one set to open in Punta Mita, Mexico, which will be punctuated by some 20 surrounding villas, and the all-inclusive resort project in Marrakesh. Having a hand in it all means he gets to set the pace. “You can’t follow trends,” he stresses, “you have to make your own.” His if-you-build-it-they-will-come theory has proven on point. Not only are his developments coveted pieces of art; he is in fact, an artist.

Early works Hadid created from the ripe age of 15 were in the style of the old masters, but when you’re changing the world one building at a time, you sometimes have to turn to a different method. For Hadid, that method was one where “the paint took less time to dry.” (His seamless humor only adds to his genius) The expansive walls in the modern homes he was building required large-scale and equally modern art, and thus, his abstract works came to life. The commercial value of his work became quickly apparent, and today, they can be seen, along with his sculptures, at Hadid Gallery. The eponymous gallery in Beverly Hills has been open for just months, and while it mainly serves to showcase Hadid’s creations, it also acts as a private showing space for other major artists.

In the spirit of creating, Hadid continues to get involved in projects that breath new life into the otherwise commonplace. Take jeans for instance. A smart partnership with a denim giant who shall remain nameless, and the vision to integrate new marketing and design strategies birthed the über successful Rockstar Jeans label which Hadid stands proudly behind. “It’s fashion, it’s edgy, it’s different from all other jeans,” he says, reminding us, once again, that we must learn to make our own trends. Another foray into the world of fashion comes by way of Hadid, his leather line comprised of mainly jackets created from exotic skins. Set to-be-released in the coming months, the collection will cater to the upper-echelons of the high fashion-consuming set.

And when Hadid is not decorating our lives with art or artfully created denim, he’s involved and greatly invested in what he likes to call his “pet project,” aptly named, Air2Water. It seems almost fitting that Hadid would be the kind of man capable of making something out of thin air, but this project is about more than that. Disturbed with the staggering amount of death and disease associated with lack of or poor quality water, Hadid set out to create a concept some 15 years in the works, that would literally create water from air. The high-tech machinery pulls air from the hot and humid locales where the water is most desperately needed like throughout Africa and the Middle East, and turns it into finely filtered, mineral-enriched drinking water. With the capabilities to create some 15,000 gallons a day, it’s no surprise he likens this endeavor as his “proudest,” aside from his kids.