Despite months of refusing to admit the case, Zaha Hadid has finally conceded that her bid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium is dead in the water. After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country was scrapping Hadid's plans in June earlier this year, the British-Iraqi architect has only now come out and said that the plans are indeed finished and that the project will go no further. Since day one the project was steeped in controversy amid the backlash from critics denouncing the stadium for displacing residents of public housing while also burning a deep hole in Japanese pocketbooks. Hadid's proposal would have cost a hefty $2 billion. Another reason the project failed was due to the fact that Hadid's company was also unsuccessful in finding a construction company. The Tokyo 2020 authority has made sure this issue will not rise again as conditions now stipulate that a construction firm must be in place for projects submitted in the new competition for the design. In a statement, a spokesman on behalf of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) said: “It is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new national stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition.” In 2012, Hadid's design topped 45 other submissions to claim the prize. She most recently released a 20 minute video pitch arguing its financial viability. https://youtu.be/KWQGwz3vdb4 [h/t The Guardian.]
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Developers Steve Roth and Jared Kushner have reportedly tapped Zaha Hadid to expand an existing 41-story office block at 666 Fifth Avenue into a supertall stack of apartments, a hotel, and a "vertical mall." Falling just short of the Empire State's stature, no renderings or design details of Hadid's skyscraper have yet been released. But the New York Post claims the tower involves a "stacking" scheme whereby the developments might sit on top of the current building's square base, eventually topping out 1,400 feet above the sidewalk. The 58-year-old building currently standing on the site was designed by New York practice Carson & Lundin and was purchased by Roth and Kushner for a record-breaking $1.8 billion in 2006. “It is an extraordinary product and it’s a super location,” Roth was quoted in the Post. His company, Vornado Realty, also acquired the buildings retail complex in 2012 for $710 million. Hadid has only made one foray in the New York architecture scene with a residential block at 520 West 28th Street (below) on the High Line in Chelsea. The Iraqi-born, British architect previously designed a tower scheme for New York City's Park Avenue, but lost out to fellow Brit Norman Foster in 2012 in a competition.
In an attempt to salvage the now-scrubbed project, Zaha Hadid has released a new video in defense of her firm's design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Stadium. The film presents a robust—albeit familiar—argument for the reinstatement of the building. Once the bona fides of the project team (which includes Arup Sports) are revisited and a sensitivity to Japanese culture is declared, the oblique blame game begins. https://vimeo.com/137299144 Citing the substantial investment that's already been made in developing the project, Team Hadid suggests that the construction bidding process be restarted, in an attempt to reduce the estimated $2-billion-plus cost to erect the stadium. From the video: "To start the design from scratch is an unnecessary risk, which we think the government should reconsider if its aim is to achieve a lower price...we believe the answer is to introduce more competition between the contractors, but not to lose the benefits of the design." So far, there has not been a response to the video from Olympics officials.
Should you be strolling along the High Line during the next couple weeks, you may encounter a temporary construction shed at the site of Zaha Hadid's condominium project going up at 520 West 28th Street. No typical plywood-and-pipe-scaffolding this, however. A quasi-tunnel of translucent fabric stretches more than 100 feet along the elevated park. And it even has a name. As reported by Curbed NY, the shelter is has been
dubbed christened Allongé. (We'll save you the trouble of finding your Larousse; that word translates as "lengthened.") Reassuringly, this Zaha-designed enclosure is sheltered by a code-compliant structure that will protect passers-by from any real falling debris.
In observance of the 60th anniversary of the Series 7 chair, furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen enlisted seven architects to re-envision the classic Arne Jacobsen design. Explaining the impetus behind the program, Jacob Holm, CEO of Fritz Hansen, said, "If we fall asleep on top of our heritage, design becomes museum items. And if that happens, it (design) no longer adds new value to the present time." The participating firms—BIG, Snøhetta, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Neri & Hu, Jun Igarashi, and Carlos Ott in association with Carlos Ponce de Léon—certainly created some eye-opening interpretations of the chair. The architects' comments on their designs reveal their inspirations and intentions. Bjarke Ingels Group "The inspiration for the design is the materiality of the chair, the essence of the layered veneer and the functionality of the stacking. The final result is a subtle repetition of the iconic form language." Neri & Hu Design & Research Office "The idea of a replica, a re-edition, hinges on the duality between the original and the re-design. Our take on this project is to embrace this exact idea of duality and create an actual 'double'. The doubling of two original seats facing each other becomes the new version: The singular chair multiplied as the individual becomes a community. Reminding us that we are never alone, but always together." Jean Nouvel Design "Our chair is an example of Jean Nouvel's design signatures: contrasting colors and juxtapositions. Black and white mark each chair—although they still play together in a feminine and masculine flow. Creating a reinforcement of the curves of the front and of the back of the shell." Zaha Hadid "The provision for this chair was to create a harmonic transition from the existing shell and how it can effortlessly touch down on the ground. This special edition formalizes the Series 7 chair as a dynamic and seamless expression of structure and support. Formed from two continuous steel rods, the sculptural base sweeps down to the ground and reaches up to embrace the undulating shape of the iconic plywood seat." Jun Igarashi Architects "When buildings collapse during earthquakes, the building materials are wasted. Our idea is to collect the waste wood, introduce a color and process it into boards that can be used for furniture." Carlos Ott Architects in association with Carlos Ponce de Léon Architects "The chairs have been intervened the same way a vertical garden grows organically up a wall. The upholstery climbs and settles peacefully on the shell of the chair. The curved lines which compose the foundation of the different areas in the garden are mimicked and adapted to the anatomy of the chair". Snøhetta "We nurture differences. When opposites meets, they conjure an interesting dialogue. When nature meets the cultivated, when humans interact with architecture, when soft and hard co-exist—interesting things happen. "Maybe the Series 7 chair with its metal legs and wooden seat acknowledges this juxtaposition. We wanted to explore the soft side of the chair. "The wood is a representation of softness in contrast to metal. A legless construction is free and indeterminate. It is versatile and simple. And maybe it can be a symbol for social interaction and playfulness. If we add even more softness to it we might be able to create a new user experience, additional functionality. We want it to be a multifunctional social tool in both singular and plural contexts. You can sit in any formation dictated by any social scene you are in. It can be a singular, free, soft chair or a plural one in a fixed social situation." The chairs will travel to design festivals in London, Copenhagen, and Gent, Belgium before being auctioned to benefit UNICEF.
From the strange bedfellows files: Musician Pharrell Williams has enlisted Zaha Hadid as a partner to rejuvenate a rather staid athletic shoe. The rubber toecap of Adidas' Superstar design has been remodeled by Hadid. The white version of the shoe features a fan-like 3D motif, while a raised pattern of dots and dashes decorates the black kicks. While AN doesn't pretend to dictate high fashion, we can definitely see pairing up Zaha's sneakers with Renzo Piano's Whitney handbag for an au courant look. The shoes are slated to be in stores August 7. Hadid and other notable architects are no strangers to the world of footwear design. Take a look at our past of architect-designed shoes here.
Zaha Hadid's Messner Mountain Museum Corones is perched 7,464 feet above sea level. The museum itself is embedded within Mount Kronplatz as if it was violently speared through the peak to overlook the breathtaking Dolomites region in the Italy. And you you can see the stunning views yourself now that the museum has officially opened to the public. The predominantly subterranean construction encouraged by Hadid was intended to allow the smooth, computer-drafted building to blend and contrast with the mountain's jagged rock. With only the cement-based entrance exposed, the museum resembles a singular, enormous climbing wall hand hold that, because of its natural color, is paired well alongside the mountain landscape inviting climbers to ascend to the peak. Said to represent the “supreme discipline of mountaineering,” the museum is one of six dedicated to the legendary mountaineer and explorer Reinhold Messner, who is known to be the first climber to ascend all fourteen "eight-thousanders" and the first to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen. Each Messner Museum commemorates not only his accomplishments as a mountaineer but more importantly honors mountain culture overall. Exhibits differ at each location, ranging from film to Dolomite paintings to relics representing those that shaped alpine history. Generally located in South Tyrol and Belluno, Italy, the first five museums are open to the general public. The MMM Corones opened its doors on Friday, July 24th.
Tokyo government approves Zaha Hadid’s designs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Stadium while controversy continues
Despite courting backlash for being imposingly large and costly, Zaha Hadid’s designs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Stadium have been green-lighted by the Tokyo government. Officials maintain that further modifications at this stage of proceedings would only incur further expenses from construction delays. In July last year, Hadid acquiesced to criticism against her original stadium, announcing new designs with economizing modifications promising to be more “efficient, user-focused, adaptable and sustainable.” A spokesman for Zaha Hadid Architects told Dezeen that the structure would sport “a lightweight, tensile fabric” to “reduce the weight and materials of the roof to give it greater flexibility as an indoor and outdoor venue.” However, Hadid’s firm declined to disclose whether the size of the venue would also be scaled back. The two massive arches forming the backbone of the roof, which critics have billed an unneeded frill, will prevail. To slash construction costs from the initial $3 billion, officials have proposed delaying building a retracting roof until after the Olympics and making 15,000 of the stadium’s 80,000 seats temporary. “We want to see more existing venues, we want to see the use of more contemporary grandstands,” said John Coates, Vice President of the International OIympics Committee. “It may be that there are new venues and existing venues at the moment that are dedicated for just one sport, where with good programming you could do two.” Nevertheless, the price tag continues to hover at $2 billion due in part to the fact that use of Hadid’s designs requires the demolition of the existing 1964 stadium designed by architect Mitsuo Katayama. Pritzker laureates such as Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki have been among Hadid’s most vocal critics, themselves one of eleven finalists in the 2008 competition. In an interview with Dezeen at the groundbreaking for her 1000 Museum Tower in Miami last year, the Iraqi-British architect posited: “They don’t want a foreigner to build in Tokyo for a national stadium.” However, soaring construction costs have been reported across the board, with the committee reviewing designs for ten Olympic products after bids for one facility came in at 15 times the estimated cost. Although Hadid’s stadium has received the go-ahead, city and central government continue to hotly debate how to split the $2 billion bill.
The clock is ticking yet again for East London’s Robin Hood Gardens, the 1972 Brutalist public housing complex designed by Alison and Peter Smithson. In a call to arms, Lord Richard Rogers and Simon Smithson, the son of the architects, have written a letter to over 300 members of the architecture and construction industries in support of the 20th Century Society’s campaign to protect the iconic “streets in the sky” buildings from being demolished. The future of the seminal social housing estate has been in limbo since former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham granted it a listing certificate of immunity six years ago, essentially foiling any landmark designations that would ensure the buildings’ survival and preservation. Now that the certificate has expired, 20th Century Society, a conservation organization for modern architecture, is urging the new Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage to add the buildings to the statutory list of buildings of special architectural and historical interest. “The Smithsons were clearly great architects: the Economist Building, completed in 1964 and Grade I-listed in 1988, is without a doubt the best modern building in the historic centre of London. Robin Hood Gardens, which pioneered ‘streets in the air’ to preserve the public life of the East End terraces that it replaced, was the next large-scale job that the Smithsons embarked upon. It was architecturally and intellectually innovative. In my opinion, it is the most important social housing development from the post-war era in Britain,” wrote Lord Richard Rogers in the letter. Composed of two long concrete blocks, the 7-story buildings in Poplar, London feature balconies that face a rolling, man-made green. Curbed reported that the goal was to “create a modern, bustling city in the sky,” but it has fallen into disrepair, beset with problems including crime and graffiti. Architects, including Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, and Rogers, stand behind the controversial postwar complex, lauding its architectural significance as an exemplar of the Smithsons’ New Brutalism—characterized by exposed materials, contextual design, and the marriage of regional styles and modernism. Below is the full letter from Lord Richard Rogers and Simon Smithson: Dear Friends, I am writing to ask you to support listing Robin Hood Gardens as a building of special architectural interest, in order to protect one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects, designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, from demolition. Previous efforts in 2009 to have the building listed failed, but the case has now been re-opened and we understand that the new Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage will be reviewing the arguments at the end of this week. The buildings, which offer generously-sized flats that could be refurbished, are of outstanding architectural quality and significant historic interest, and public appreciation and understanding of the value of modernist architecture has grown over the past five years, making the case for listing stronger than ever. The UK's 20th Century Society has submitted a paper setting out why they believe Robin Hood Gardens should be listed (i.e. added it to the statutory list of buildings of special architectural and historical interest). Two further assessments are set out below: “Alison and Peter Smithson were the inventors of the New Brutalism in the 1950s and as such they were the ‘bellwethers of the young' as Reyner Banham called them. In many ways [Robin Hood Gardens] epitomizes the Smithsons’ ideas of housing and city building. Two sculptural slabs of affordable housing create the calm and stress free place amidst the ongoing modernization of the London cityscape. The façades of precast concrete elements act as screens that negotiate between the private sphere of the individual flats and the collective space of the inner garden and beyond. The rhythmic composition of vertical fins and horizontal ’streets-in-the-air' articulates the Smithsons’ unique proposition of an architectural language that combines social values with modern technology and material expression. Despite the current state of neglect and abuse Robin Hood Gardens comprises a rare, majestic gesture, both radical and generous in its aspiration for an architecture of human association. As such it still sets an example for architects around the world.” Dr Dirk van den Heuvel, Delft University, Holland. “The Smithsons were clearly great architects: the Economist Building, completed in 1964 and Grade I-listed in 1988, is without a doubt the best modern building in the historic centre of London. Robin Hood Gardens, which pioneered ‘streets in the air’ to preserve the public life of the East End terraces that it replaced, was the next large-scale job that the Smithsons embarked upon. It was architecturally and intellectually innovative. In my opinion, it is the most important social housing development from the post-war era in Britain.” Lord Richard Rogers Last time listing was considered the views of the architectural community were ignored but we believe there is now a real chance of saving the building for posterity but only if the Minister hears, first hand, the views of the profession on the architectural merits of these exceptional buildings. Can we ask you to support the efforts of the 20th Century Society by writing right now to the Minster to support listing and saying why you believe Robin Hood Gardens should be saved? Click here to open an e-mail to the relevant Minister at the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Tracey Crouch MP: Ministerfirstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the building click here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Hood_Gardens, and for details of the 20th Century Society case, please click here, http://www.c20society.org.uk/casework/robin-hood-gardens/ For Tweets: #SaveRobinHoodGardens Also, can we ask you to forward this e-mail to anyone else you know who might be willing to help save these important buildings? Yours sincerely, Richard Rogers and Simon Smithson
Count ’em: Zaha Hadid is planning to build a whopping five sinuous skyscrapers in Brisbane, Australia
Pritzker Prize laureate Zaha Hadid recently unveiled plans for twin towers fronting Mariner’s Cove along the Gold Coast of Brisbane, Australia. The two 44-story mixed-use towers will combine 370 highrise living units and a 69-suite boutique hotel with what developer Sunland Group bills as the region’s “first privately-owned cultural precinct.” An art gallery, museum, and outdoor sculptural gardens overlooking the broadwater are just a few of the arts-supporting facilities on the docket. For her second skyscraper in Australia, the Iraqi-British architect envisioned two tapered towers with sculptural curved glass recalling muscle sinew, which will be raised up pedestal-like by a curved podium to reduce the building’s footprint. “Each residential tower is designed as if it were an organic, living form, with sinuous lines interlacing upwards from a tapered base, creating a sense of flow and movement,” said Dr. Sahba Abedian, Managing Director of Sunland Group, which commissioned Hadid for the designs. “This vibrancy is further brought to life by the reflection and interaction of the glass facade with its stunning setting.” The podiums will house ground floor retail and dining as well as a waterfront promenade and underground aquarium. “At the ground plane, the towers merge seamlessly with the public spaces dedicated to culture and the arts via an art gallery and museum, outdoor sculptural art precinct, and conference center. The underground aquarium, organically integrated in the landscape and plaza layout, completes the master plan,” Abedian continued. Sunland Group has lodged a planning application with the Gold Coast City Council, which is also looking over proposals for another Hadid-designed and Sunland-backed mixed-use complex: a proposed three-tower $420 million Grace on Coronation in Toowong, Brisbane, occupying the former site of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Mariner’s Cove towers, meanwhile, are adjacent to Marina Mirage on Sea World Drive, and form part of redevelopment plans for Mariner’s Cove, home of the Sea World Resort. “This proposal has the capacity to enable the Gold Cost to further define cultural identity not only through defining architecture but also through the cultural aspects it will provide to the city,” said Sunland Executive Chairman, Dr. Soheil Abedian.
In mid-May, AN wrote about Zaha Hadid's first project in Mexico—a sprawling, 981-unit housing complex in Monterrey. The Esfera City Center development appears as a series of interconnected, almost pixelated, mid-rise residential buildings that are centered around a communal green space. And now it has a slick video rendering that sheds new light on the project's design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxReDJpqMMQ As with pretty much every Zaha Hadid project, the unveiling of Esfera City Center came with plenty of eye candy in the form of glossy renderings. But if those pictures left you wanting more, you're in luck! Hadid's team has also released a fly-through of the project that gives a closer look at the complex's apartments, gym, pool, and open space. Take a look at the video above for an in-depth look at Hadid's latest, inside and out. [h/t Dezeen]
Zaha Hadid, the starchitect behind this sand-dune inspired headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, a high-design billboard in London, a parametric casino in China, and these uncomfortable-looking high heels, has introduced a new line of lighting fixtures for the Italian lighting company SLAMP. It's being called "Aria Transparent" and the fixtures take the form of icicles, or as Hadid's people put it—a dematerialized volume "where illumination and lightness blend, defining natural design, becoming almost aquatic." Yes, it is very Hadidian. The chandeliers, which come in small, medium, and large, have 50 transparent, droopy surfaces positioned on an axis to each uniquely catch the LED glow. In the video below, which be forewarned has some funky sound issues, Patrik Schumacher, a partner and director at Zaha Hadid Architects, explains that the line is intended to have a "beautifully filigreed, lacy sensibility." So the pieces definitely take Hadid's signature swoopy shape, but they have a much, ahem, lighter materiality than most of her built work around the world. Take a look at the video to learn a bit more. https://vimeo.com/129005669