Gianluca Racana Director Dott Arch, ARB, M.Arch AA, MBA
Profile With over 25 years’ experience in the construction and design industry, Gianluca is a Board Director responsible for one of the three ZHA design business units. Recognised as an outstanding designer and architect, Gianluca brings his experience of leading international multi-disciplinary teams in the planning and implementation of acclaimed architectural projects, large-scale infrastructure, and complex mixed-use developments throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.
Education and Teaching Gianluca studied architecture at the ETSAB in Barcelona, the Columbia University in New York, and the University ‘La Sapienza’ of Rome from which he received his professional degree cum laude. He then continued his postgraduate at the Architectural Association in London where he obtained his master’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism. Gianluca also holds an MBA from the Imperial College Business School in London, with a thesis in infrastructure finance.
Gianluca has lectured widely on urban design, architecture, advanced construction techniques, and the work of Zaha Hadid Architects, for academic and professional audiences throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.
Project experience overview In all of his roles as project director, Gianluca is responsible for the design’s overall commercial and architectural performance, including signing off the design at every work stage. In his work, Gianluca ensures that the design meets the client’s business objectives, and that the project embodies Zaha Hadid Architects’ stringent quality standards. He actively establishes mutually beneficial contractual relationships across the project team, providing a key point of contact between the project team and client.
Gianluca joined ZHA in 2000 to lead the MAXXI Contemporary Arts Centre project in Rome, winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2010, and over the years has been project director for several major projects. He led all phases of the Citylife mixed-use development and Generali headquarter tower in Milan, as well as the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which represents a key node of the extensive new Riyadh Public Transport program.
He has recently led ZHA’s team on the winning international design competition entry for one of the most awaited infrastructural projects in Australia, the Western Sydney International Airport. Together with JV Partner COX Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects has provided an overarching design for the entire airport precinct, including design guidelines for future expansion.
Gianluca is currently overseeing a range of key projects including the Rail Baltica High-speed Train and multi-modal Station in Tallinn, Estonia, two new metro stations for the Fornebubaben Metro Line in Oslo, and the Zuglo City Centre masterplan and mixed use development in Budapest, Hungary.