The days of China as a staging ground for progressive, even experimental, architecture may be numbered. High-profile projects by Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, et al, while the delight of design aficionados around the world, haven't impressed Chinese President Xi Jinping—at least in a positive way. At a symposium on the arts held in Beijing at the end of last year, he made statements to the effect that "weird" buildings—an adjective that has not yet been codified—would not be welcome in the future. Government intrusion into architectural aesthetics is not, of course, without ugly precedent. Joseph Stalin—who was called "the father and friend of all Soviet architects" at the All-Union Congress in 1946—essentially conscripted architects to work for the state, forcing them to close their practices to deliver structures like the Seven Sisters, fortress-like buildings topped with Gothic-ish towers. (Un-fun fact: The project manager for these buildings was a KGB honcho, and the construction crews were composed of POWs and political prisoners.) Mies van der Rohe, in an act of cunning integrity, convinced the Third Reich of the importance of keeping the Bauhaus open, only to close the school himself in a statement of artistic principle. We wonder who among the contemporary architectural community might take such a stand—should the need arise—with regard to China.
Posts tagged with "Zaha Hadid":
Zaha Hadid will lend her futuristic style to the strip along the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, with an 11-story luxury condo building, dubbed Casa Atlântica—the first project in Brazil for the London-based architect. Newly released renderings show a soaring, spine-shaped facade reaching up to roughly 136 feet, abutting two other high-rises. The building will consist of 30 apartment units, each including 6-star hotel services, in addition to a spa, cinema, and rooftop pool with views of the beach and of the iconic Burle Max–designed promenade. The project, commissioned by Brazilian businessman Omar Peres, is only steps away from other high profile projects, such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Museum of Image and Sound. Construction is slated for the spring of 2015.
The Queen of Swoop, Zaha Hadid, has unveiled her latest project: the upcoming headquarters for Bee'ah, a waste management company based in the Middle East. The roughly 75,000-square-foot structure, in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, keeps a low-profile in its desert environment by taking the form of the surrounding sand dunes. "The formal composition of the new Bee’ah Headquarters building has been informed by its desert context as a series of intersecting dunes orientated to optimize the prevailing Shamal winds, and designed to provide its interiors with high quality daylight and views whilst limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun," Zaha Hadid Architects said in a statement. The two main "dunes" of the structure rise out of the sand and intersect, creating a courtyard, or what Hadid calls "an oasis." This is intended to create a meeting space that also maximizes indirect sunlight and enhances ventilation. The "oasis" is part of the firm's overall strategy to create a LEED Platinum building that produces zero waste. "Zaha Hadid Architects will collaborate with engineer Buro Happold and environmental consultant Atelier Ten to ensure the project minimises material wastage and energy consumption," reported Deezen. "A ventilation energy recovery system will reduce the need for mechanical cooling systems, while photovoltaic cells will be integrated in the surrounding landscape to provide the building with solar power." Bee'ah will use its headquarters as an educational center that teaches the community about caring for the environment. Hadid won an international competition for the commission last year.
On View> Drawings by Hadid, Tschumi, Gehry, Libeskind, and Koolhaas are being exhibited right now in St. Louis
Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Washington University in St. Louis 1 Brookings Dr, St Louis, MO Through January 4th The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis is currently exhibiting early drawings from some of the world’s leading architects including Zaha Hadid, Bernard Tschumi, Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, and Rem Koolhaas. The works come from the private collection of the late Alvin Boyarsky who chaired the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London from 1971 to 1990. The collection includes about 40 prints and drawings from the architects, and nine limited-edition folios published by the AA. Those folios include works from Peter Cook, Coop Himmelblau, and Peter Eisenman. “Drawing Ambience offers a rare glimpse into a pivotal moment in architectural history and the imaginative spirit of drawing that was and continues to be instrumental to the development of the field,” said the Kemper Museum in a statement. The exhibit was co-organized with the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design and will travel to Providence in April. This is the first public museum exhibition of Boyarsky’s collection.
Some of the biggest names in architecture have been whittled out of a competition to design a new Beethoven Concert Hall—or Beethoven Festspielhaus—in the composer’s hometown of Bonn, Germany. When the competition's short list of ten proposals became an even-shorter list of three, the likes of Zaha Hadid, Snøhetta, JAHN and UNStudio were sent packing. David Chipperfield, however, made it through and is joined in the final three by Valentiny hvp architects from Luxembourg and Kadawittfeldarchitektur from Germany. The new hall, which is slated to break ground in 2016, is expected to host celebrations for Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020, and the 200th anniversary of his death in 2027. Out of the three finalists, Chipperfield definitely presents the most conservative scheme with four stacked cubes made of glass and spun concrete columns. “Assembled at various depths, the four segments combine to create a whole of architectural virtuosity,” explained the competition on its website. The actual concert hall is wrapped in a grained walnut veneer that can be seen through the structure’s façade. Kadawittfeldarchitektur takes a more dramatic approach with an amorphous structure clad in rippling bands of stone. The main structure is separated from a landscaped seating area through a glass enclosure. Oddly enough, the plan from Valentiny hvp architects looks more like “Zaha” than what the Queen of Swoop submitted herself. The firm creates a series of "overlapping bands of waves" that are said to crest behind a massive, Rhine River–facing glass wall. You can see Zaha's proposal and the nine others that were short-listed on the competition's website. One of these three final proposals is expected to be selected next year, following a cost estimation. The project is being privately financed, but is getting an injection of 39 million euros from the German government. The concert hall is expected to open in 2019. [h/t DesignBoom]
Given that you're reading The Architect's Newspaper right now, there's a very good chance you're an architect. If that's true, then dressing up as an architect on Halloween would be a pretty lame costume idea. That is, unless you went as one of The Greats—we're not saying you're not one of them...but, you know what we mean. If dressing up like a starchitect sounds appealing to you, then Curbed has a great guide on how to make it happen. If you want to go as Le Corbusier, all you need is "a double breasted, yet perfectly, tailored suit, long tobacco pipe, mean upper lip, a crisp white pocket square, and a pair of stark oval glasses." Or how about dressing as a living starchitect like Zaha Hadid? To pull that off, make sure your costume has a "swoop" and includes a "Darth Maul cape and purple lipstick." (Note: In the off-chance you're reading this, Zaha Hadid, then you probably shouldn't dress up as yourself. You should go as someone else like, maybe, Daniel Libeskind who's also included in the guide). If you're wondering what the starchitects, themselves, are dressing up as, well, Building Satire has some ideas...
Does the world need another bit of wearable tech? Will.i.am thinks so, and the musician/entrepreneur has enlisted Zaha Hadid to lend her talents to his fashion-forward cause. Here's the rundown: Called the Puls, the Android-based cuff bracelet uses a SIM card, allowing it to function independent of any smartphone. It responds to voice commands, which makes sending texts, placing phone calls, playing music, posting to social media, and the like largely a hands-free operation (although there is a teeny, tiny keyboard that can pop up onscreen). The Puls uses conductive wireless charging technology, so instead of a USB connection, the device powers up through contact with a charging surface. Puls is promised to be in AT&T stores for the holidays. As far as the Zaha designs go, no word on the date of their release. Curved, fairly rigid, and rather bulky, the Puls isn't likely to get any smaller in Ms. Hadid's renditions. But it is certainly going to become more eye-catching. Forbes.com caught these glimpses of the starchitect's watch at a recent conference.
During last week's London Design Festival, Zaha Hadid introduced a collection of housewares and tabletop items created exclusively for the posh Harrods department store. No stranger to merchandising opportunities—the architect has produced a bevy of brand extensions, including furniture, swimsuits, wine bottles, jewelry, and shoes—this latest venture is described as a "luxury homeware line." The sharp-sighted may discern a resemblance between some of these new products and certain Hadid projects. The decorative motif of a ceramic candleholder seems similar to the base of her proposed Miami development, One Thousand Museum. A swooping acrylic serving platter recalls the Aquatic Centre, created for the London Olympics. A resin chess board is populated with all sorts of sinuous towers—it's a veritable Zaha City. If you're interested in feathering your nest with these items, prices range from the reasonable ($60 for a china tea cup) to the prohibitive (more than $16,300 for the Aqua platter). Harrods has an exclusive on the collection for a month; then it will be available through Zaha Hadid Design.
In an effort to make math appear exciting, London's Science Museum has tapped Zaha Hadid to design its new mathematics gallery. According to the museum, the new multi-million dollar, Hadid-ian space will "tell stories that place mathematics at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the world from the turn of the 17th century to the present." If that doesn't sound absolutely riveting to you, well maybe some math-themed architecture can help. Good news, that is exactly what Hadid has planned for the space. In a statement, she said, “the design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives; transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages." The centerpiece of Hadid's design is a 1920s-era Handley Page airplane that is surrounded by undulating forms that appear like visualized turbulence. "The gallery's design will bring this remarkable story of the Handley Page bi-plane to life by considering the entire gallery as a wind tunnel for the aircraft," explained the architect. The gallery is expected to open in 2016. [h/t bdonline]
London's Victoria & Albert Museum is preparing to construct an art installation by Zaha Hadid. Called Crest, the oval form takes its name from ocean waves and will appear in the museum’s John Madejski garden as part of the London Design Festival, which takes place later this month. The Crest, as Hadid’s team has named it, will hover over the pond within the V&A's Madejski garden, forming a swooping arc over the body of water. The futuristic pavilion will sport a metallic surface which will reflect the sky above and the water underneath it. The contrast between these two reflected images will play on the clear contrast of the ultramodern installation against the backdrop of the 19th century museum. Despite this contrast, Hadid designed the installation to create a sense that it had always been there. “We envisioned creating a piece that would emerge from the pool which is the centrepiece of the space, both visually and in terms of social interaction,” Hadid explained in a statement. “Crest is intended to offer an exciting new perspective with which visitors experience the courtyard. It will multiply the movements of the water and the historic backdrop within which it is sited. It will capture the attention of visitors as they enter the space and draw them towards exploring the new quality of space created within.” Hadid previously stated the installation would be comprised of a very thin aluminum material, making it light and easily transported. After the London Design Festival concludes, the Crest installation will be transported from the V&A Museum to Hadid's ultra-parametric ME Dubai hotel, where it will stand as a permanent sculpture. The hotel is expected to open in 2016.
Zaha Hadid has sued the New York Review of Books. The complaint, filed last month in Manhattan Supreme Court, takes issue with a piece by architecture critic Martin Filler that allegedly mischaracterized her comments on the deaths of hundreds of migrant construction workers in Qatar, where she has designed a soccer stadium for the 2022 World Cup. According to Hadid’s lawyers, the article is a “personal attack disguised as a book review” of New York Observer architecture critic Rowan Moore’s Why We Build. It apparently quotes the Pritzker Prize winner as saying that architects “have nothing to do with the workers” and goes on to characterize her as being a generally uncaring and difficult person. The lawyers went on to point out that no workers have died on Hadid’s project, which, as a matter of fact, has yet to begin construction. The suit has stirred up quite a bit of activity on social media, including a tweet from Paul Goldberger, who said that the suit was unwise as it will earn Hadid a reputation as “the architect who sues critics.” The NYRB has since issued a retraction.
When Frank Gehry’s renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is complete, the iconic institution won’t necessarily look like one of his signature works—at least from the outside. The architect isn't touching the icon's Beaux-Arts exterior, but is, instead, transforming the museum’s interior to improve circulation and boost gallery space. But even then, Gehry’s work won’t be all that “Gehry.” AN recently toured the museum’s exhibit on Gehry’s masterplan and got a chance to hear from the man himself about the museum renovations. On the tour, Gehry explained how he reimagined the building’s interior with a distinctive signature, but one that is inspired by the building’s DNA. “I think if it’s built, you’ll know somebody like me was here,” he said. This renovation has been a long time coming. And it will be a long time still before it's finally realized. The idea to update the museum was born in the 1990s and completing Gehry’s entire overhaul could take 10–15 years more. “If they wait five years, I’ll be 90,” Gehry said. “So for me, get going.” Given his age, and his storied career, AN asked Gehry about what else he wants to accomplish. “I’m so superstitious,” he said before explaining that he wants to increase his involvement in arts education. He mentioned his participation in the Turnaround Arts initiative—a presidential program, which aims to close the achievement gap through arts and music education. He told a story about going into a school in California and teaching kids how to plan and imagine cities. Gehry added that children are often marginalized in “ghetto schools.” “That’s what I’m interested in, that kind of stuff," said Gehry. "I am also designing a sailboat." Which, of course seems entirely appropriate given his predilection for sailing. He does, after all, already own a boat called FOGGY, which stands for his initials: Frank Owen Gehry. These days, it seems, every starchitect needs a boat in his or her oeuvre. Hear that Zaha and Norman? Frank will see you at the regatta.