Posts tagged with "Zaha Hadid Architects":

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Winners announced for this year’s Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, and four others have been named as winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Danish architect claimed the prize for his Superkilen project in Copenhagen, Denmark, meanwhile Hadid for her design for the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. The announcement was made in the capital of the UAE in Abu Dhabi earlier today. Awarded every three years, the prize has become a heavily cherished trophy since its inauguration in 1977 when Aga Khan established the award to recognize building concepts found in predominantly Muslim communities. For this year's award, a jury drew up a shortlist of 19 projects, born from 348 nominations. The prizes awarded are as follows:

Superkilen Copenhagen, Denmark Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1, and Superflex Words from the jury: "A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture."

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh Marina Tabassum Words from the jury: "A refuge for spirituality in urban Dhaka, selected for its beautiful use of natural light."

Friendship Centre Gaibandha, Bangladesh Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/URBANA Words from the jury: "A community center which makes a virtue of an area susceptible to flooding in rural Bangladesh."

Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre Beijing, China ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke Words from the jury: "A children’s library selected for its embodiment of contemporary life in the traditional courtyard residences of Beijing’s Hutongs."

Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge Tehran, Iran Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi Words from the jury: "A multi-level bridge spanning a busy motorway has created a dynamic new urban space."

Issam Fares Institute Beirut, Lebanon Zaha Hadid Architects Words from the jury: "A new building for the American University of Beirut’s campus, radical in composition but respectful of its traditional context."

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Passive-Aggressive design: When sustainability radically shapes architecture

This article is part of  The Architect’s Newspaper’s “Passive Aggressive” feature on passive design strategies. Not to be confused with “Passivhaus” or “Passive House” certification, passive design strategies such as solar chimneys, trombe walls, solar orientation, and overhangs, rely on scheme rather than technology to respond to their environmental contexts. Today, architects are more concerned with sustainability than ever, and new takes on old passive techniques are not only responsible, but can produce architecture that expresses sustainable features through formal exuberance. We call it “passive-aggressive.” In this feature, we examine three components—diagram, envelope, and material—where designers are marrying form and performance. We also look back at the unexpected history of passive-aggressive architecture, talk with passive-aggressive architects, and check out a passive-aggressive house. More “Passive Aggressive” articles are listed at the bottom of the page!

Diagram

The promise of architecturally considered, environmentally conscious buildings that are more than exercises in technological prosthetics is taking shape around the world. Sustainable design can be achieved without subjugating space, form, experience, and aesthetics, concepts that often end up subservient to green concerns. Even offices are moving beyond the often-gauche addition of solar panels and sun shades to typical building typologies. To do so, form is playing an important role in achieving sustainability goals, and a new crop of spatially and formally exuberant projects is being realized. The result is a series of buildings that neither perform—or look—like anything we have seen before.

Perhaps the best test of a project’s sustainability aspirations is an extreme climate. Drastic temperature changes, remote locales, and inhospitable landscapes call for more than technological gadgetry to produce even a habitable project. Deserts in particular present challenges that push conventional designs to their limits. When New York firm WORKac began designing a guesthouse in southern Arizona with the goal of being completely off the grid, it looked to the southwest Earthship typology to start. Earthships are passive solar homes that use a combination of natural and upcycled materials embedded in the earth to create a thermal mass that keeps their interiors cool during the day and warm at night. WORKac took some of these concepts and elevated them into a unique architectural form. A simple diagram, the heart of the project is an adobe brick mass, upon which airy living spaces are cantilevered above the ground.

New York–based MOS Architects engaged the desert climate in its Museum of Outdoor Arts Element House. A guesthouse and visitor center for the Star Axis land art project by the artist Charles Ross, the project hovers just above the New Mexico desert on stout concrete piers. The house, designed to be off the grid, is built out of prefabricated structural insulated panels. By distilling the project down to its basic architectural components, a theme among many MOS projects, a clear yet expressive geometric system governs its overall shape. Rather than a central hearth, a series of modules each has its own solar chimney. The result is a naturally lit interior without excessive glazing to increase solar gain. A reflective aluminum shingle cladding counters even more of the sun’s intense rays while also playing visual games with the overall form. Views out of the project are captured through deeply inset operable glass walls at the ends of each module. The only typical sustainable technology visible is a solar array folly, situated just a few yards from the building.

On the other side of the world in another desert climate, Zaha Hadid Architects supersized its sustainable efforts. The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) was founded in 2010 by its namesake as an independent, nonprofit research institution to investigate the future of energy economics and technology. KAPSARC will bring together researchers and scientists from 20 nations into one planned community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Currently under construction, KAPSARC will become the main building of the campus, while formally being a campus within itself. An aggregation of six-sided plant-cell-shaped spaces, the project is a series of conditioned and unconditioned laboratories, conference rooms, lecture halls, and courtyards. Thanks to the office’s mastery of parametricism, angles, openings, and surfaces are cleverly utilized to manipulate sunlight, blocking it or allowing it into the advantage of the occupants. The modules also permit future expansion while maintaining the overall form and performance. The complex interlocking forms, and green-water-filled courtyards passively cooling surrounding spaces, echo traditional Arab courtyards buildings.

While designers strive to capture and control sunlight in the desert, in more northern climates it can be a scarce resource that is protected by code. In a city like Toronto, which averages six months of regular snowfall, new buildings can be required to allow sunlight to hit the sidewalk for portions of the day. For large projects like Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) King Street development, sunlight, views, and greenspace were calculated using the latest in super-computer simulation modeling. Though the pixelated project will resemble the early diagram-driven ones from Ingels’s days with PLOT, such as the Mountain Dwelling project, King Street will be undeniably more complex. Within BIG, a smaller studio called BIG Ideas works in collaboration with Microsoft to develop predictive modeling tools for direct use by the designers. “All of the hill heights are determined by the sun and site,” Jakob Lange, BIG partner, explained. “Big Ideas created a tool for the design team to use to generate the formation of the hills. On the sidewalk, you need at least a certain amount of sunlight. The only way you can do that is to have a machine that can test every point.” The result is a seemingly haphazard stack of blocks that allow copious light and air into each unit and terrace, as well to streets and public courtyards. 

Whether through high-tech computer modeling or low-tech desert vernacular, passive sustainable design is turning a corner. No longer an afterthought, environmental considerations have stopped holding projects visually captive. With improved agency, architects are striking a delicate balance between formal, spatial experience and sustainable considerations.

—Matthew Messner

Envelope

Be aggressive and show off your passive sustainability strategy facade first.

Bates Masi Architects’ Amagansett Dunes home, a modest cottage a few hundred feet from the ocean on the South Shore of Long Island, is covered on its east and west sides with operable glass. Different-sized adjustable openings create a pressure differential that promotes natural ventilation. To modulate light through these surfaces, the firm installed canvas louvers that admit cool breezes in the summer and block cold winds in the winter.

Each tapered louver is cut from one piece of canvas and wrapped around a powdered aluminum frame, its riveted strips slightly twisted to increase their transparency. The canvas pattern, which was developed through several digital and physical models, casts dappled light and dramatic shadows throughout the house and creates a lantern effect at night.

Another dramatic facade is located at Carrier Johnson + Culture’s Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The concrete project has achieved LEED Gold certification through a number of sustainable solutions—from drought-resistant landscaping to smart solar orientation—and is lined with a curved, south-facing stainless-steel screen that reflects solar heat while allowing in natural light. A concrete roof overhang provides additional shading for the building and an adjacent outdoor walkway serves both as a pedestrian connector and a sort of double-layered facade. A new public plaza fronts the other side of the wall.

The wall’s staggered, water-jet-cut steel panels are unique: Each one contains a gap to allow air and views and is connected to a series of steel posts. The screen’s design makes subtle references to the religious campus, employing alpha and omega symbols, images from the cosmos, and other abstract references. “It’s both an art piece and an environmental wall,” Carrier Johnson + Culture’s design principal Ray Varela said.

Halfway around the world in Tehran, Iran, Admun Design and Construction created a memorable brick facade that shields the hot sun, encourages natural ventilation, and provides privacy while allowing limited, interesting patterns of light. Inspired by the surrounding neighborhood buildings and the city’s chaotic skyline, the facade is composed of variously rotated bricks with varied apertures. The openings change size based on the views, sun angles, and external distractions. Mortar was removed by punching the bricks, and the scheme was designed using parametric software. The process was carried out by the builders through a simple coding system. A ledge was placed in the gap between the brick membrane and the outer edge to provide space for flower boxes and to give cleaning access to the windows from outside. Balconies were placed behind the brick facade.

Indeed, low-tech solutions are becoming new again, but with a clever technological twist.

—Sam Lubell

Material

Is it possible for sustainable systems to be both high- and low-tech at the same time? That’s the question architects are answering with a resounding “Yes,” thanks to advanced, but somehow simple, passive strategies that rely on new materials. One of the most publicized solutions is New York–based raad studio’s Lowline Lab, a heavily planted public space—still early in development—that will be located in a historic trolley terminal under the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

In order to bring natural light into the space, the team is using what they call a “remote skylight,” in which sunlight passes through a glass shield to a parabolic collector, where it’s reflected and gathered at one focal point, then transmitted onto a “solar canopy,” a reflective surface underground. The technology transmits the necessary light wavelengths to enable plants and trees to grow in the underground space. A motorized optical system (likely to be powered by photovoltaics) tracks maximum sunlight throughout the day, and the solar canopy carefully distributes light evenly throughout the space.

Raad principal James Ramsey likened the system, which uses a series of relay lenses and mirrors, to both a telescope and a plumbing system. “You’ve almost treated the light as if you’ve turned it into a liquid,” he said. “It’s only geometry. That kind of simplicity is very efficient, and there’s something elegant about that.” All these technologies, added Ramsey, are still in development, so a specific system has not been finalized. He hopes to have it nailed down in the next couple of years.

French firm studioMilou’s reimagining of the National Gallery in Singapore consists of a roof and “veil” that unite two renovated historic buildings while creating a new courtyard. It’s another passive wonder that draws even, dappled light and keeps the buildings and their new public space cool. It mimics one of the oldest systems in the universe: a tree, with its thousands of branches stemming outward. The veil starts above the existing buildings and swoops down around them, filtering and softening natural light through thousands of laminated fritted glass and perforated aluminum panels, creating a filigree structure that also marks the new main entrance. All is supported by large aluminum columns, which effectively serve as tree trunks.

The goal, the French architects said, is for the roof and veil to resemble a handcrafted rattan tapestry. To execute the simple but complex form, the firm scanned the entire space and created a detailed 3-D model, working the roof and veil into the complex geometries of the space and even adjusting panels to fit and avoid the existing facade cornices. Each aluminum panel (chosen for its light weight and rust resistance) can be removed if maintenance is needed.

Meanwhile, Phoenix-based Wendell Burnette Architects’ (WBA) Desert Courtyard House uses a simple, reductive system to create a memorable space in a Sonoran Desert community near Phoenix while also being naturally sustainable. The house, which wraps around a courtyard containing volcanic rock, Saguaro cacti, and desert trees, is located in a low-lying area. It consists of about eight percent locally sourced cement (constituting the raised base) and 92 percent rammed earth excavated from the site. All of the extracted soil was used for the thick walls—none was taken away from the site and none was imported from elsewhere. The peripheral walls range from 3.5 to 18 inches thick, their high thermal mass keeping the home cool—although air conditioning can be used on particularly hot days. Another natural cooling system is the folded, wood-framed Cor-ten steel roof, which conducts heat up and out, creating a chimney effect.

The heavy, almost cave-like palette continues throughout the house, creating a unique aesthetic that Burnette said “feels ancient, primal, and modern at the same time.” He added, “You experience this as a shelter in a very elemental way.”

—Sam Lubell

For more “Passive Aggressive” articles, explore: Bjarke Ingels Group’s own tech-driven think tank, how WORKac’s Arizona House revives the super sustainable Earthship typologyMOS Architects' Michael Meredith on sustainability, and our brief, unofficial history of recent passive-aggressive design.

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Weston Williamson + Partners to design massive “Science City” in Egypt

London-based studio Weston Williams+Partners (WW+P) beat out Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and others to win the commission for Cairo's "Science City." To be officially known as the “6th of October City,” the project will cover 1,345,490 square feet is located 20 miles west of Cairo's city center. The city will be a national institute for scientific innovation. Run by the Library of Alexandria institution, the competition's jury panel included American architect Michael Sorkin. Its brief called for "a set of buildings and spaces that will be inspiring inside and out, and express a particular vision of the quest for knowledge and the pursuit of science."

In a press release, Chris Williamson, one of the Founders of WW+P said: “We are proud to have won. Needless to say that Egypt has a unique cultural heritage, but we were also attracted by the ambition of the project, clearly expressed through the brief. We look forward to developing the design and creating something worthy for Egypt’s future generations.”

Zaha Hadid Architects, meanwhile, came third in the competition. Here are the results, courtesy of Building Design"

1: Weston Williamson & Partners, U.K. 2: Ngiom Partnership, Malaysia 3: Zaha Hadid Architects, U.K. 4: Gansam Architects, Korea Honourable mention: Petras Architecture & XCON Housos, Greece Honourable mention: Joaquim Caetano de Lima Filho, Daniel Henrique Ribeiro, Giliarde Silva, Guilherme Oliveira, Raissa Shizue and Lucas Moretti (Brazil) Honourable mention: Francisco Jorquera, Spain Honourable mention: Whitespace Architects, Dubai
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Zaha Hadid’s 2007 Serpentine Pavilion is now on show at Chatsworth House in the U.K.

In July 2007, Zaha Hadid came to rescue when plans for that year's Serpentine pavilion faltered. Steel prices were on the rise and the pavilion's realization, designed by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen, stalled. The Lilas Installation, designed by the late British-Iraqi architect and Patrik Schumacher, stood in its place for nine days at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Nine years on, the Lilas Installation is now on show in gardens of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England. The installation is the showpiece of the yearly Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition put on show at Chatsworth by the auction house Sotheby's. The Lilas Installation is currently up for sale (with no price specified). It covers 3,336 square feet and rises 18 feet high—not quite small enough for a suburban back garden. For comparison, Sou Fujimoto's 2013 pavilion was sold for a reported $653,900. Julia Peyton-Jones was the Serpentine director in 2007. “It was one of those little miracles,” she said, remembering the moment. “It was uncomfortable to be in the position of not having a pavilion on time that year—[but] stuff happens and it is how you deal with it that is the major issue. As a result, we had this gorgeous project that was unexpected and it was an absolute little gem… so typical in its simplicity and so relevant to her work.” Once again, Hadid and Schumacher's creation is open to the public. A stately home in the U.K.'s midlands, Chatsworth House is set among the countryside and has an extensive array of public and private gardens. Its history spans back to the 16th century when the original house was built in 1553. In 1568, the house even was used to hold custody of Mary Queen of Scots. Today, visitors can pay just over $20 to tour the gardens and view the Lilas Installation before it is eventually sold. Originally, the work had been planned to be unveiled at Chatsworth before Hadid's passing. “It is very poignant,” said Peyton-Jones. “But all the more marvelous that this masterwork should be presented to remind us what an extraordinary contribution she made.” Simon Stock, senior director at Sotheby's and curator of the show at Chatsworth, spoke of how the 2007 work will fit into its historic setting. "They don’t clash, they complement in a way the pyramid does at the Louvre," he said. "It is a very beguiling structure, it draws you in, it is an extraordinary thing”. “Is it principally sculptural?" Stock questioned, attempting to describe the installation. "Is it a piece of architecture... do you see it was a building, in other words? Do you see it as something organic that has grown out of the ground? It is all of those things combined.” Lilas Installation at the Serpentine Gallery © Zaha Hadid Architects from Zaha Hadid Architects on Vimeo.
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Patrik Schumacher on starchitecture: “It’s just not helpful… We don’t want to be stars”

When Zaha Hadid passed away this March, many questioned the future of her practice, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). As its leader, the Iraq-born British architect had played a starring role in the international design scene. Since her passing, ZHA has continued with Patrik Schumacher, the firm's only former partner, at its helm. Schumacher spoke with AN's Senior Editor Matt Shaw about what the future holds for ZHA, the impact of starchitecture, progressive urbanism, and more.

The Architect's Newspaper: How will ZHA continue? Do you feel like you have a good team behind you? 

Patrik Schumacher: Oh absolutely we have a great team [and] many layers of people who have been with us for many, many years. A lot of them are former students of mine. There’s a...much-shared sensibility and set of values—let’s say the DNA of the firm—deeply embedded in everybody’s way of working. It's also not just about being ambitious about ZHA, but being ambitious about giving leadership to the discipline as a whole. This is something I’ve been doing through my writings and attempting to do. There’s also the effort to overcome some of the prejudice, which the firm has faced through some of its critics.

What do you make of ZHA's criticisms?

I think this is based on a lack of understanding of our motivations. I’m trying to address this and I want to be more open to engagement with critics [by] explaining what we’re really about. We don’t want to be stars. We don’t want to become rich quick. We’re not insensitive to social and political issues. We actually share a lot with those critical of our work, critics who sometimes seem to take the moral high ground. What we all share, and should be expected to share as a basis for conversation, is a commitment to societal development, progress, emancipation, freedom, prosperity, and attempt to make architecture relevant to [the] development of the city and society. These kinds of shared motivations should be a basis for a conversation, [one that] also respects that maybe we see clients differently. We at ZHA see society's development differently and I’m willing to talk about my optimism for more market-based organization processes and entrepreneurial solutions to societal problems. Solutions to maybe what we can perceive to be certain economic statements and stagnation in recent years. 

Do you think that as the discussion around Zaha Architects changes from one of a star to a system there will be a change?

I think it’s very important because the starchitecture discourse, when the phrase comes up, always has negative connotations of superficiality, celebrity cult, etc. It was very unhelpful to us and certainly not something we or even Zaha was ever aiming for. It’s just not helpful. People become well-known because of a certain merit, because of an inspirational flavor and input of their work into the field. It is generated initially within the discipline through a form of peer recognition before being carried out into the public at large. At that point, some of the reasons why a person became well known get lost and you just have a free floating celebrity. That’s not helping. I don’t think that I’m aspiring to this, nor would I achieve this. At ZHA, we want to focus more on the ideas, principles, and, of course, with respect to society at large and the clients [with whom] we had established a reputation. Colleagues and critics should be able to realize that this is not only a superficial reputation, but a reputation which has reasons to back it up.

I’ve been saying that the discourse on icons is misguided in many ways. Iconography, in a positive sense, is something that becomes conspicuous because it’s innovative and has been rigorously developed from principles. Conspicuity, recognizability, and strangeness can be seen as side-effects even when the act of being iconic is not the driver or the original motif. Instead, it’s a temporary inevitability.

If you look at the Seagram building in New York when it arrived on the scene in the 1950s, it had the shock of a different form of "new." It was incredibly iconic and of a totally new civilization. However, this is only a temporary condition. Now the city has been remade in its image and you hardly notice it. Only architects who are aware of this notice. That is the way we should look at some of our work. As temporarily conspicuous and not necessarily something which we are craving for. Our work is not meant to be a spectacle and this is important to realize because it can very easily become a target for icon and star bashing. This is incredibly unhelpful because it’s no longer talking about the merit and demerit the of the work, its arguments, and the innovative thrust of a project, but rather its superficial celebrity status.  

Do you see the parametricism as being the "next modernism?"

Yes, though they have very different technological social paradigms. This civilization has evolved into a new condition and, as a result, the built environment is bound to change with it. In fact, it has been continuously changing but in ways which the discipline so far hasn’t impacted it sufficiently. If parametricism does not become hegemonic like modernism was in the 1960s, then it means that the discipline has become impotent. Currently, we have retro styles like neo-rationalism dominating construction in London and that simply means that the last 50 years of architectural research development made no impact at all. You might as well have shut down all organs of architectural criticism or schools of architecture or biennials because they came to zero. 

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Zaha Hadid pays homage to Kurt Schwitters’s Merzbau for exhibition at Zurich’s Galerie Gmurzynska

The projects Zaha Hadid worked on before her death earlier this year are, one by one, being revealed to the public. First, plans were revealed for a new residential building in Manhattan. Now, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed a Hadid-designed exhibition space for Kurt Schwitters: Merz, a retrospective of Schwitters's work at Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich. The space is a homage to the German artist's Merzbau, the gradual, surreal transformation of a suite of rooms in his family's Hannover home. The Merzbau was constructed between 1923 and 1933, but destroyed in a 1943 Allied bombing raid. The Sprengel Museum Hannover has reconstructed one of the rooms as part of its permanent exhibition. “This design process is capable of delivering an intricate order, open ended and unpredictable, but at any time highly articulate. It is full of contingencies, but forges a unique, path-dependent identity,” explained Patrik Schumacher, director of ZHA, in a press release. For a previous collaboration with Galerie Gmurzynska, Hadid honored painter Kasimir Malevich by selecting Suprematist work by Russian avant-garde artists to pair with her architecture for the gallery. This show features 70 Schwitters works across all media arrayed in a curving, warped white space that distorts the viewer's sense of scale. The gallery is in the same building complex that once hosted Galerie Dada, the alternative space run by artists Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball. Adrian Notz, director of Cabaret Voltaire, where Dada was born in 1916, will curate archival documents that show Schwitters’s forays into stage design, theater, sound, and poetry, pursuits that complement his visual work. A book to accompany Kurt Schwitters: Merz will feature writing by Museum Ludwig director Siegfried Gohr, Schumacher, Notz, and others. The show runs through September 30. Additional information on exhibition hours and special events can be found here.
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One of Hadid’s last designs to be built in Chelsea

One of the last designs from late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid will be realized in New York. Working with developers The Moinian Group, Hadid and her firm Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) were commissioned more than a year ago to provide apartments and space for a "world-class" cultural institution at 220 Eleventh Avenue in West Chelsea, Manhattan.

“We must invest in cultural spaces—they are a vital component of a rich urban life and cityscape, they unite the city and tie the urban fabric together,” said Hadid in 2015.  

Hadid's long-term colleague and Partner at ZHA Patrik Schumacher spoke of the firm's joy to be working in a city that played a big part in Hadid's life. “As the world celebrates Zaha’s remarkable legacy," he said in a press release, "we are delighted to be announcing her unique collaboration with The Moinian Group for New York, a city that greatly influenced her creative work.”

Hadid's design aims to evoke the loft-like residences that are commonplace in the Chelsea. A coterie of penthouse apartments and a cultural institution will also be embedded into the project. At the time of writing, The Moinian Group are in talks with institutions regarding residency at the site.

“We are deeply honored to develop one of Zaha’s final creations and cement her astonishing legacy forevermore here in Manhattan. She was a special woman and a friend who we all miss very much,” said Mitchell Moinian of The Moinian Group.

The Moinian Group's release mentions that Hadid visited New York many times and was able to develop an understanding of the city, its values and architectural heritage. As a result, the Group said, much of Manhattan's vernacular typologies and the area's way of life have formed her design and approach for 220 Eleventh Avenue.

Set to break ground at the start of next year, sales for housing units are currently in line to begin toward the end of 2017. Images of the project have not yet been revealed but you can find images of her other New York project on the High Line here.

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Peter Cook’s Obituary of Zaha Hadid

THE MEMORY OF ZAHA

Zaha : the Great Light extinguished. From every point of view exceptional : As a direct, original, fearless personality. With a more than adequate supply of charm and humour. Used with more discretion than blandness. IMMENSE talent. Such that it either inspired, bewildered, or caused deep jealousy (that manifest itself in lesser talent to pick away at her motives, reputation or personality)

Thirteen years ago, the other Giant : Cedric Price, died. Different animal, but leaving a similar void. London – and the architecture world – now seems lost : we are now berift of that most precious and mysterious quality : power through inspiration and talent plus bags of personality that rendered both of them as beacons of hope for architecture. ‘Sticking to one’s guns’ is an amazing gift. Zaha told it as it is : she had the priority of a clear, powerful and ever-poetic architecture. Many tried to copy it but lacked her deftness of line. And the line was MORE than a line : it so easily and frequently resulted in a spatial exploration of extraordinary newness : the wonder of the interior of the Alyev Centre in Baku remains in one’s mind as a dream. The sharp, clean, razor-like dart of the Vitra Fire Station has the purity of an ‘early period’ Zaha building – but you’re actually inside it, living the dream of the drawing. From the first years when this conspicuously talented recent student became the lively attachment to Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis’ young OMA setup, you were aware of a strength of talent bursting out. Her trajectory and example stands there beckoning the many women (now maybe a majority) who work in architecture : if she can do it, they can do it . Let’s hope one or two of them out there can blend talent with personality – the latter gift being a necessary factor in order to sustain the pressure in this, most contrary, profession. A loyal friend who could also be a good laugh. Peter Cook 4.1.16 Editor's note: This piece will also appear in The Architectural Review.
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Updates on Zaha Hadid’s passing and our December interview with her

UPDATE: Please read Sir Peter Cook's obituary of Zaha Hadid here. As the Architect's Newspaper (AN) reported earlier today, Zaha Hadid has passed away at age 65. According the Guardian, she was struck with fatal heart attack in a Miami hospital where she was being treated for bronchitis. In 2004, Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE, became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She was awarded the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011 as well as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) gold medal in 2016. The Iraqi-born architect studied at London's Architectural Association (AA) from 1972-1977 and afterwards became a partner at OMA. In 1979 she established her eponymous London-based firm that would go on to produce a wide range of projects, including skyscrapers, art galleries, furniture, sets, and shoes, just to name a few. In a release forwarded to AN, Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the Pritzker Architecture Prize, wrote "Zaha represented the highest aspirations of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She combined her vision and intellect with a force of personality that left no room for complacency. She made a real difference." Lord Peter Palumbo, the Chair of the Jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, said "The world of culture has lost a standard-bearer for the art of architecture. Zaha Hadid fought prejudice all her life with great success. And this, in addition to her genius as an architect, will secure her legacy for all time." This past December 2015, AN's managing editor Olivia Martin had the chance to speak with Hadid at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. AN invites you to revisit that interview here. Speaking of her own architectural style, she said "It evolved over time and is always evolving. It looks similar, but it constantly changes… maybe not radically, but continuously." Recent project from her firm included this hotel in Rio de Janeiro, her first project in South America, and these residences near New York City's High Line. AN will continue to cover her passing with a full obituary in the near future.  
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Planned as a hotel, Zaha Hadid’s first project in South America is now a luxury residence

Zaha Hadid, with Arup and Mello Affonso Engineering, is executing her first project in South America. Casa Atlantica is a luxury residential building in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. According to ARUP, Casa Atlantica was originally planned as a luxury hotel but changed to a residential building in order to meet the region's urban standards. The client, Brazilian entrepreneur Omar Peres, gave Hadid complete design liberty. She was, however, governed by strict requirements on height and proximity to neighbors. Zaha Hadid Architects' explained their response to these constraints: "Working within site restrictions governing the height and distance from adjacent buildings, Casa Atlantica's design establishes a fluid order defined by its structure which morphs and expands at each level to create balconies, while also dividing each floor into separate residential units." Casa Atlanta will be 18,000 feet-squared, have 12 floors, feature a rooftop swimming pool, and reach approximately 130 feet in height. Construction is set to begin in March. For further information, visit Zaha Hadid Architects' project page here.  
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Kengo Kuma claims commission for Tokyo Olympic Stadium as Hadid fumes

At last, design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium has finally been decided with Kengo Kuma's winning commission. The Japanese firm fought off a plan by Toyo Ito to claim the prize. Zaha Hadid, however, was less than complimentary of the decision. The 80,000 capacity stadium will cost $1.2 billion, almost half the cost of Hadid's proposal and will crucially be constructed by Taisei Corp, a major firm in Japan. That's not to say that decision isn't still mired in controversy. Nicknamed the "hamburger," several architects, according to the Financial Times, claim it bears “remarkable similarities” to a an earlier design that was scrapped in July. Utilizing a wood and steel roof, Kuma's design creates a green space within the city of Tokyo with the facade’s horizontal lines seemingly referencing the 1,300-year-old Gojunoto wooden pagoda at Horyuji Temple. Meanwhile the environment is completed via the implementation of Jingu Shrine trees and other foliage found within the vicinity of the stadium. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke of the design, saying "I think this is a wonderful plan that meets criteria such as basic principles, construction period and cost," when he announced the winning practice. Hadid, though, has other ideas. “Sadly the Japanese authorities, with the support of some of those from our own profession in Japan, have colluded to close the doors on the project to the world,” Zaha Hadid Architect's said in statement. "This shocking treatment of an international design and engineering team ... was not about design or budget." "In fact much of our two years of detailed design work and the cost savings we recommended have been validated by the remarkable similarities of our original detailed stadium layout and our seating bowl configuration with those of the design announced today," she continued. Completion is set to be around November 2019, though there are doubts that it will be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup that Japan is hosting that year. This was initially a requirement that was demanded by the Japan Sports Council and one that Hadid says her firm would have been able to meet. “Work would already be under way building the stadium if the original design team had simply been able to develop this original design, avoiding the increased costs of an 18-month delay and risk that it may not be ready in time for the 2020 Games.” Meanwhile, president of Tokyo 2020, Yoshiro Mori, has said, “The stadium incorporates the views of experts in the construction field and we are looking forward very much to using the new stadium as the centrepiece of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”