Search results for "zaha hadid"

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Mine, All Mine

Patrik Schumacher sues to become sole executor of Zaha Hadid’s estate
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) principal Patrik Schumacher issued a claim in London’s High Court earlier today in an attempt to remove the other three executors of Dame Zaha Hadid's will from her $90 million estate. Those executors include Zaha’s niece, Rana Hadid, artist and friend Brian Clarke, and developer and current Pritzker Prize jury chairman Lord Peter Palumbo. The three executors, all trustees of the Zaha Hadid Foundation, immediately released a joint statement slamming Schumacher’s decision. It was stressed that before her death, Hadid chose the three executors to oversee her estate based on the closeness of her relationship to each. A lawyer representing the three issued the following statement:
The attempt to remove these three executors is totally unjustified and misconceived. Unlike Mr Schumacher (who is seeking to gain financially from the estate), the three executors have no personal financial interest. They have at all times acted properly and in good faith with the desire to do their best for the estate given their friendship with Zaha Hadid.
Rana Hadid was more pointed in her rebuttal, adding: “My aunt, Zaha, would have been devastated to learn what Schumacher is doing and we feel obliged to resist his claims in order to defend her great name and legacy.” A spokesperson for Zaha Hadid Architects told the Architect’s Journal that “this is a matter relating solely to the executors of Zaha Hadid’s estate.” This isn’t the first time Schumacher and the executors have butted heads, as the three took the ZHA partner to task after a speech at the World Architecture Forum in Berlin in 2016. In that speech, Schumacher called for the abolition of all social and affordable housing and getting rid of government land use policies. The executors and the rest of ZHA weren’t amused with Schumacher professing his libertarian views on a world stage while representing the firm, and they spoke out afterwards, saying his views were completely at odds with Hadid’s legacy. AN will update this story as more information becomes available.
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Spinning a Yarn

Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich team up to build a knitted formwork concrete pavilion
Located in Mexico City’s Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, KnitCandela is a 13-foot-tall curved concrete shell formed with a 3-D-knitted framework. The sculptural project is a collaboration between Zaha Hadid Architects' Computation and Design Group (ZHCODE), ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group (BRG) led by Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele with PhD student Mariana Popescu, and Mexico’s Architecture Extrapolated who managed the on-site execution of the project. Named in homage to the concrete-bending designs of architect and structural engineer Félix Candela, the pavilion rests on three parabolic arches, with interior threadwork fashioned to resemble traditional garb found in the federal state of Jalisco, 340 miles northwest of the country’s capital. The pavilion is an outdoor feature of the museum's new exhibition, Design as Second Nature, featuring four decades of Zaha Hadid Architects' (ZHA) research into construction technology and design innovation. The project builds upon ETH Zurich's numerous recent forays into lightweight concrete structures based on curved geometries and digitally designed formwork. Currently, the university is leading KnitCrete, a partnership with the Swiss National Centre for Competence in Research in Digital Fabrication, to boost the technological expertise and production of hybrid and ultra-lightweight concrete structures. Past projects include an experimental concrete roof cast on 3-D printed sand formwork and an ultralight roof cap composed of a polymer textile and a network of steel cables. According to ETH Zurich, Block and Van Mele’s research group plugged a digitally generated pattern into an industrial knitting machine to produce the formwork. Over the course of 36 hours, the flat-bedded mechanism knitted over 200 miles of polyester yarn into four 3-D double-layered strips. To suspend the canopy, the upper layer of the textile bears a series of sleeves for the insertion of supporting cables. Additionally, the woven formwork integrated 1,000 inflatable modeling balloons that were transformed into waffle shell-like voids following the initial coating of concrete. The entire woven assembly, weighing a meager 55 pounds, was transported to the location via two suitcases stowed as normal checked baggage. Once onsite, the double-layered textile was tensioned between a steel-and-wood boundary frame and subjected to an initial millimeters-thick concrete coating. After hardening and the creation of a lightweight mold, the team poured five tons of fiber-reinforced concrete over the original 120-pound polyester-and-cable framework. The pavilion will remain in place until March 3, 2019.
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Uncommon Threads

Zaha Hadid’s studio designs carpet collection inspired by her buildings
The RE/Form carpet collection was unveiled by Zaha Hadid Design and Royal Thai last week at London Design Festival 2018. The collection, whose name is short for reconfiguration and transformation, consists of 22 hand-tufted carpets that reimagine Zaha Hadid’s most iconic buildings as textiles. Each carpet draws upon a theme common to the late architect’s work—striated lines, ribbon-like projections, pixelated landscapes, and organic cellular shapes—to produce an abstract geometric print. The prints are complemented by a bold palette of turquoises, reds, yellows, and greens, which were developed specifically for the collection. “RE/Form is a celebration of Hadid’s legacy,” her studio said in a statement. “Patterns within each grouping capture [her] signature use of interweaving, layering and play with light and shadow.” Taken together, the carpets read like a monograph of Hadid’s Pritzker Prize–winning career. The striated patterns recall her earlier commissions, bringing to mind the sweeping cantilevers of the MAXXI in Rome and the library at the Vienna University of Economics. The ribbon series represents her shift toward more graceful curves, which culminated in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan. The cellular and pixelated carpets evoke her later experiments with angles, such as the tessellated facade of Antwerp Port House and the posthumously completed KAPSARC building in Saudi Arabia. The collection is the most recent in a series of high-profile collaborations between the architect’s industrial design studio and boutique product manufacturers. RE/Form was presented in an exhibit alongside Nagami’s new collection of sculptural, Hadid-designed, 3-D-printed furniture.
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Sound Construction

Zaha Hadid Architects selected to design a sound wave–inspired concert hall in Russia
Zaha Hadid Architects has been chosen to build the new Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The city of Yekaterinburg, home to the world-renowned Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, has established itself as a cultural and artistic center of Russia. The Philharmonic is known for its sold-out performances in the existing Sverdlovsk Philharmonic building, which dates back to 1936. The orchestra’s new home will serve as an inspiring auditorium and public plaza for the people of the city. The new Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall is characterized by its flexibility, unpredictability, and audacious architectural aesthetic. The design of the building was inspired by the physical characteristics of sound waves: floors, walls, ceilings, and canopies seem to flow, vibrate, and intertwine with one another in effortless and continuously smooth motions. Zaha Hadid Architects’ design incorporates a 1,600-seat concert hall and a 400-seat chamber music hall, all burrowed within the undulating surface of the suspended canopy, which will extend above the lobby and enclosed urban square. Within the lobby, massive glazed facades blur the boundary between interior and exterior, calling visitors to experience the artistic spaces within. Above the canopy, a public rooftop terrace overlooks the city’s Church of All Saints. “Russia has been a formative influence on Zaha Hadid Architects’ creative work,” said Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects, in a statement. “From very early in her career, Zaha was attracted to the Russian avant-garde who conceived civic spaces as urban condensers that catalyze a public realm of activity to enrich creativity and community; allowing space itself to enhance our understanding and well-being.” These principles of urban creativity and ingenuity are embedded within the design of the new concert hall, which utilizes a series of public spaces to strengthen the bond of inner-city residents. Sverdlovsk’s Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure Development organized the design competition with the help of the charity for the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra.
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On Display

Two new art galleries join Zaha Hadid’s condo building in New York City
Two new Chelsea galleries are popping up underneath the High Line in New York City as part of a multi-artspace build-out by Related Companies, developer of Zaha Hadid Architect (ZHA)’s 520 West 28th Street. Designed by New-York based studioMDA, the new flagship for Paul Kasmin and the High Line Nine galleries broaden the art and architectural appeal of the adjacent elevated park. For Kasmin’s fourth show space in the neighborhood, Markus Dochantschi, founder of studioMDA and former architect at ZHA, envisioned a column-free, 3,000-square-foot gallery with a boxy, angled exterior featuring white concrete and a subtle wood texture. Inside, large-scale sculptures can fit smoothly in between the 22-foot-high walls and below a coffered ceiling with 28 individual skylights that diffuse natural light into the space below. This super-waffle grid also creates a pattern for the building’s rooftop sculpture garden, with a landscape designed by Future Green Studio. Visible from the High Line, it has an undulating form that allows plants to be set deep within the soil. Dochantschi and studioMDA also created the multi-tenant High Line Nine gallery next door, the face of which provides a stark contrast to the bright, inviting Kasmin gallery. Sporting a brutalist-inspired, curved facade cast in white bronze, the building is situated directly underneath the rail park and stretches in arcade form from 27th to 28th Streets via a central corridor. Each tenant within the High Line Nine will receive a space ranging from 650 square feet to 1,800 square feet accessible via the core passageway. The elongated facility will take on an industrial feel thanks to the exposed High Line columns and steel beams connected to the structure above. At the end of the High Line Nine, there will be a café and wine bar called il Piccolo Ristoro. So far, Leila Heller Gallery, Valli Art Gallery, Polich Tallix, Hollis Taggart Gallery, ZieherSmith, and Burning In Water as well as the adjacent Kasmin have signed on as part of the group.
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A Land for Luxury

Zaha Hadid’s Nile Tower, the tallest building in Africa, will rise in Cairo
Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for Africa's tallest tower is reportedly breaking ground after nearly a decade of delays by the Egyptian government, according to Forbes. The 70-story Nile Tower will rise along the Nile River in central Cairo as part of an upscale new downtown district. The project is expected to spur growth and investment in a previously neglected area that currently houses middle-class and low-income residents. The 1.3 million-square-foot Nile Tower was first envisioned by the late Hadid in 2007 and so far, design details haven’t changed. The rectangular structure will house residential and hotel components inside a thin, twisting volume. Apartments will be built out on the top 36 floors with views of the nearby pyramids, while the middle 18 floors will include a hotel with 230 rooms. Other floors will feature a casino, nightclub, spa, health club, and shops.  The luxury property is set to be marketed toward higher-income tenants, who in recent years have moved to the outskirts of Cairo into newer developments. Nile Tower will be a focal point of the aforementioned upcoming neighborhood that its developers hope will spark an influx of wealthy residents back into downtown Cairo. Zaha Hadid Architects isn’t the only starchitect firm set to build in the planned district. Foster + Partners designed a mixed-use project for the site as well, which will go atop a recently-demolished lower-income housing complex in the neighboring Maspero Triangle. Critics of both projects say the displacement of Cairo’s poorest and most vulnerable people is already a huge issue. Apart from its controversial setting, one major reason for the Nile Tower’s postponement was the national shake-up Egypt experienced in 2011 when its long-time president Hosni Mubarak was removed from office and tried for corruption and abuse. Mubarak was an avid supporter of the Nile Tower and the plans for creating an upscale new residential and business district. The country couldn’t get it back on track amidst all the political and economic unrest. Under Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the project is once again a top priority for the country as well as for Cairo’s development. Ashraf El Tanani, president of the site's developer Living In Interiors, told Forbes that President Sisi’s government is actively involved in getting the height clearance for the project as well as making it a financially viable project. As of now, the tower will cost $600 million, though it’s likely to rise by $150 million due to the weak Egyptian pound which is making building materials much more expensive than planned. Despite the hefty price tag, the project is expected to make a significant return for the domestic economy with increased construction jobs, as well as its potential for enhancing the housing and tourism sectors once complete. The groundbreaking has been set for the near future, but no date has been officially named.
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Data, Algorithms, and Robots

Zaha Hadid Architects exhibit presents promise and peril of parametric design
  To the late Zaha Hadid, “math was like sketching.” Since her death, this attitude to architecture and design has been continued by her firm, ZHA, chiefly through ZHCODE, a computation and design research offshoot set up in 2007, the work of which is currently on display at The Building Centre in London. Borrowing theorist Mario Carpo’s terminology, the exhibition at The Building Centre is titled Digital Turn and showcases ZHCODE’s methods and ideas while exploring how digital tools have changed our ways of making and thinking. This is the second of two in a series of exhibitions. Earlier in the year, Digital Turn had showcased the academic work of The Bartlett’s Design Computation LabDigital Turn is divided into two parts: tectonism and semiotics. The former looks at the structure and geometry of digital fabrication, while the latter examines the physical results of this and its relationship to various contexts. This setup essentially translates into parametric design versus algorithm and data-driven urbanism. Visitors to the gallery are welcomed by full-scale white EPS foam offcuts, called "foam grottos." The undulating formwork, made from robotic hot wire cutting, is indicative of ZHA’s sinuous style and serves as a threshold to the exhibition space while being a cue for what is to come. "ZHCODE have been a perfect fit for the show; they are a research team within a professional practice so the narrative worked well, offering a mix of live projects and theoretical ideas," a spokesperson for The Building Center told The Architect's Newspaper. "Inspiring exhibits such as Thallus and the Mathematics Gallery at the Science Museum initially caught our attention, and in conversation with ZHCODE we realized we could display a range of ideas not yet exhibited." Part of the exhibition is dedicated to the recently completed Winton Gallery at London’s Science Museum. Building on the work of Frei Otto, ZHA’s studies into the “minimal surfaces” of 3-D objects informed the design, with a triangle-based pyramid being “reduced” (read: imploded) to a curvaceous hanging module which served as a circulation device, as shown in image at the top of the page. Wile nonetheless interesting and insightful, some physical design aspects of Digital Turn feel as if they belong in the past, in a similar vein to the most recent ZHA projects which still feel like a vision of the future from the 1990s. Robotic hot wire cutting has been around for more than two decades and though it has advanced, it’s hardly a groundbreaking fabrication method. One wonders if the visionary British-Iraqi architect were still alive, how the studio would have moved on. In response to this, The Building Center said that "parametricism isn’t the focus of the show…We also wanted to understand what was next from the practice that coined this term." Showcasing the Winton Gallery, however, also reveals how parametric design does more than just produce fancy curves. It also serves as an organizational tool. The aforementioned floating module was used in tandem with a circulation strategy derived from the airflow around a biplane. Naturally, this airflow diagram produced countless curves, but it also allowed ZHCODE to produce massing studies for objects in the gallery that align with it. This kind of design process has also been scaled by ZHA in urban studies that derive from an algorithmic input. In one example, a computer program located potential infill sites in London, identifying “end of block” plots of land, or sites that can be found at the edges of tower blocks. As a result, it proposed that housing be built on these underutilized areas. Another notable example is an exploration into modular housing. By using a uniform lattice structure, residents can customize their dual-aspect unit’s facades, adding balconies or changing the window type in the process. It’s basically Alejandro Aravena’s half houses scheme but for the wealthy. And it’s that latter notion which, when coupled with derisory remarks from the current head of ZHA, Patrik Schumacher, on social housing and desire to privatize cities, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Furthermore, the often overtly abstract nature of parametric architecture, an architecture reserved for museums, corporate headquarters, luxury hotels, and extravagant condominiums, doesn't counter this sense of elitism either. A welcome palate cleanser can be found in another exhibition at The Building Center from Royal College graduate Hannah Rozenberg, who won this year's Student Prize for Innovation. Her book, Building Without Bias: An Architectural Language for the Post-Binary illustrates how artificial intelligence isn’t always right and is even sometimes racist, as demonstrated by Microsoft’s "Tay" bot which ended up making racist, misogynistic, and genocidal remarks on Twitter. If a Twitter bot can do that, who’s to say an urban planning bot wouldn’t start redlining?  Does Digital Turn subsequently highlight that, while parametric design may be an incredibly useful design tool for both making and thinking, its urbanistic potential is something to be wary of?  The Building Center responded to this. "ZHCODE’s algorithmic design work on display in Digital Turn showcases the most advanced algorithmic design taking place today," it said. "For example, the computational study series exploring housing liveability measures shows how advanced algorithmic methods of design generate a formal outcome that guarantees multiple desired conditions are synthesized in a single solution to a particular site. The digital design method therefore provides the designer/architect with sophisticated options to site-specific problems.

"Still far from an autonomous design bot, relinquished of the architect's control, the project showcases the potential of algorithmic design. Hannah’s work recognizes the importance of these methods, but highlights that we are at a juncture where we need a robust analytical response to ensure we design and build our future for everyone."

Digital Turn  On view through September 14 The Built Environment Trust's RCA Student Prize for Innovation On view through August 29 The Building Centre Store Street London, U.K.
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Bee in the Honeycomb

Zaha Hadid Architects releases flythrough of crystalline desert complex
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) recently revealed a new video of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), offering new perspectives for those who can’t make it to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to see it in person. The sprawling complex spans 750,000-square-feet and is a nonprofit research institution focused on studying the relationship between energy policy and social well-being around the world. King Abdullah Petroleum Studies And Research Centre (KAPSARC) from Zaha Hadid Architects on Vimeo. Its design riffs off of structural and formal themes the architect developed over her career. Hadid was inspired by honeycombs found in nature and also designed it in response to the environment of the Riyadh landscape. The building features irregular hexagonal shells structured around open courtyards, with a skylight oculus over each courtyard to offer strategic lighting and shading. Other passive and active environmental solutions have led to a LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council. The video showcases the building’s unique structure and gives an impression of how it feels to walk under the honeycomb-like cells. A walk-through in the video reveals the crystalline forms and modularity of the structure, which holds an energy knowledge center, energy computer center, conference center with an exhibition hall and 300-seat auditorium, a research library, and the Musalla, a place for prayer. The building was completed in 2017 and was one of the final projects that Hadid oversaw before she passed away. It was also featured in AN’s recent Saudi Arabia’s feature.
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Enter the Void

Zaha Hadid’s exoskeleton-wrapped Morpheus hotel opens in Macau
  The Morpheus Hotel, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, opens today in Macau. The 40-story, 770-room hotel is part of the City of Dreams resort complex and rises out of a foundation laid for an abandoned condo project. ZHA used this existing foundation and “extruded” the building up from it, creating a sculpted structure in part inspired by jade carving traditions. The building is fundamentally two separate towers connected by floating passages. The central voids carved out of the structure offer a visual connection to the surrounding urban area while maximizing views for guest rooms. Mirroring the outside structural elements, the “world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton,” the interior public spaces are filled with lattices sculpted into ZHA’s signature biomorphic forms. Apart from the guest rooms, there are ample public spaces, meeting rooms, event spaces, gaming rooms, a restaurant, a spa, and a rooftop pool. The bridges traversing the voids form spaces for the hotel’s various restaurants, bars, and lounges. More than a singular, striking structure, however, ZHA project director Viviana Muscettola says that the hotel’s unique parametric design “will radically change how our built environment is planned and constructed.”
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All Made Up

Zaha Hadid Architects designs pop-up pavilion for Il Makiage
Makeup brand Il Makiage has opened up a new Soho pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to coincide with the launch of their new 800-product collection. The pavilion’s angular tunnel of ribbons with alternating gloss and matte finishes mimics the makeup’s packaging in exploded form. Each of the ribbons is slightly different and lighting is installed in them and around the mirrors, helping shoppers accurately choose the right color and tone. Kar-Hwa Ho, head of interiors at Zaha Hadid Architects, said that they “wanted to create an environment defined by the woman celebrated by Il Makiage,” adding that the pavilion is intended to be a “personal space that’s all about her.” The mobile pavilion will be open in Soho for six months and a second New York City pavilion will be opening in Flatiron this summer. Zaha Hadid Architects is also developing the permanent Il Makiage New York boutique, as well as locations in D.C. and Miami.
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Lonely at the Top

Zaha Hadid Architects paid women employees about 20 percent less in 2017
Following a 2017 change to U.K. law that required firms with 250 or more employees to report their gender pay gaps, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has released data showing their female employees were paid 20.86 percent less on average in 2017. The firm’s pay gap reflect a general trend across the industry, although some firms have an average pay gap as low as ten percent, according to the Architect’s Journal. Through an in-house report produced by ZHA (available here), the firm compared the median incomes earned by both men and women–the middle-most figure–to calculate the pay disparity. Men were paid 20.86 percent more on average and received bonuses 64.94 larger on average, while only 75.6 percent of women received a bonus in 2017 versus 84.05 percent of men at the studio. Across the firm’s 310 U.K. employees, 37 percent are women. ZHA has chalked this imbalance up to the higher percentage of men in leadership positions, who have been with the firm the longest and command bonuses that are tied to the company’s revenue. According to the report:
“This pay gap exists because [a] higher proportion of our longest-serving team members who grew the practice with Zaha Hadid over the past 30 years are male and have continued to lead the company since her passing in 2016. We therefore currently have a smaller proportion of women than men in higher paid senior positions.”
In an effort to address these imbalances, ZHA has increased the company’s maternity pay and partnered with the Architect’s Journal’s Women in Architecture forum. A mentorship program has also been established throughout the firm. Still, even as firms are motivated by public exposure to address the imbalances in pay between men and women, studies have shown that the pay gap is widening. Foster + Partners, AECOM, and other big names have disclosed similar figures, though they claim that the imbalance also results from having more men at the top and not as an equal pay issue. Foster + Partners has, for their part, also committed to broadening gender diversity at the senior level, while AECOM pledged to create a more inclusive workforce. Transparency in the field has become a pressing topic as of late, as more and more women have been coming forward with their experiences regarding harassment, discrimination, and general misconduct. A full list of U.K. companies who have disclosed their pay and bonus gap data is available here. Companies have until April 4 to disclose their pay gap report, and more industry figures will be forthcoming.
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Double Density

Zaha Hadid Architects faces criticism over newly revealed London skyscrapers
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is facing community backlash over recently unveiled plans to bring a double-pronged, mixed-use tower to Vauxhall, South London. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the building was submitted for local council approval in December, but has caught the public’s ire over the 53-story and 42-story towers that would rise right on the bank of the River Thames. Linked by an 11-story base, the Vauxhall scheme would hold 257 apartments and 618 hotel rooms across the two towers, as well as seven floors of office space in the base and retail at the ground level. Both the towers and the base will feature a glass curtain wall overlain with a unifying exoskeleton-like façade that stretches and decompresses as the building rises, exposing uninterrupted glass near the top. It would also become the tallest building in the emerging Vauxhall area, with the taller tower potentially topping out at about 607 feet. It would be ZHA’s first major mixed-use residential building in the United Kingdom, and the studio sees it as a “breakthrough project,” according to the Architect’s Journal. Local critics see the development as a “two-fingered salute.” The site had previously won permission for a pair of 41- and 31-story towers designed by London’s Squire & Partners, and residents, as well as non-profit groups, are gearing up to contest the development. “Although these buildings are better ­designed than the Squires ones, this application is attempting to add more height by stealth,” architect Barbara Weiss told the Architect’s Journal. ‘The River Thames is becoming a canyon and the price to the skyline of Boris Johnson’s liberal approach to tall buildings is becoming increasingly clear.” Other than the project’s height, advocates are also outraged over the lack of specific affordable housing promises, the decrease in residential units from the prior Squires plan, and the projected traffic congestion the project would cause. Compounding the controversy is that the ZHA towers would rise next to the iconic Vauxhall bus station, which was designed by ARUP in 2005 and now faces demolition only 13 years later. ZHA has for their part, pushed back against the controversy and claimed that fears of congestion or shadows were without merit. Jim Heverin, ZHA’s director, told the AJ that the studio was still in talks with the project’s developer over finalizing the number of affordable housing units. ‘When we came onto this scheme, it was right that we looked at the heights,’ said Heverin. “We evolved the scheme to create a new public square. Our scheme takes less land on the ground but is higher. There is a lot more density coming into this area. Our project fits within a master plan that has been looked at by Transport for London.” The soaring Vauxhall towers plan would seem to fit well with ZHA head Patrick Schumacher’s fondness for density and what the Guardian has called a propensity for “neoliberal privatization schemes.”