Burnham Pavilion / Zaha Hadid

Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Michelle Litvin
Images courtesy of © Michelle Litvin

The figure of Daniel Burnham has been very important for the city of Chicago as we currently know it,  as he was one of the authors of the Plan of Chicago, also known as the Burnham Plan,  which reshaped Chicago’s central area starting in 1909.  To celebrate the centennial of this plan several events have been held during this year, such as the Union Station 2020 competition and the Burnham Memorial competition. Also, two pavilions by UN Studio and Zaha Hadid have been temporally  installed at the Millenium Park (read our previous article about this), hosting multimedia exhibits on the future of Chicago. The pavilions will be opened to the public until Oct 31st, 2009.

Zaha Hadid Architects´s pavilion merges new formal concepts with the memory of Burnham’s bold, historic urban planning. Superimpositions of spatial structures with hidden traces of Burnham’s Plan are overlaid and inscribed within the structure to create a dynamic form.

Read Zaha´s statement on the design after the break:

Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Michelle Litvin
Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Michelle Litvin

“The Burnham Plan Centennial is all about celebrating the bold plans and big dreams of Daniel Burnham’s visionary Plan of Chicago. It’s about reinvention and improvement on an urban scale and about welcoming the future with innovative ideas and technologies. Our design continues Chicago’s renowned tradition of cutting edge architecture and engineering, at the scale of a temporary pavilion, whilst referencing the organizational systems of Burnham’s Plan. The structure is aligned with a diagonal in Burnham’s early 20th Century Plan of Chicago. We then overlay using contemporary 21st Century techniques to generate the fluid, organic form – while the structure is always articulated through the tensioned as a reminder of Burnham’s original ideas.”

Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Michelle Litvin
Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Michelle Litvin

“Fabric is both a traditional and a high-tech material whose form is directly related to the forces applied to it – creating beautiful geometries that are never arbitrary. I find this very exciting.”

- Zaha Hadid

Client: Burnham Plan Centennial
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Local architect: Thomas Roszak
Structural engineers: Rockey Structures
Fabricator: Fabric Images
Lighting & electrical: Tracey Dear
Multimedia content: The Gray Circle

Cite: "Burnham Pavilion / Zaha Hadid" 24 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=33110>
  • leogeo

    What creativity I wonder how she comes up with such amazing designs!

    • theChavacano

      Computer designs

    • madvillan

      maya slaves. ‘get back to work’ wohhh-cheee!!

  • EL

    Eh…It was a cool form, but overall I was disapointed when I saw it for the first time. The perforations overhead are covered in a mosquito net, makes the whole experience feel like you’re standing in a big tent. They had to put up chain rails around the interior because the ‘tent’ was so low to the ground, people were stepping on it and getting it really dirty. Even worse than the UNstudio pavilion, it is not able to be handled by the public. Who wants to be in an intriguing space that you cant interact with?? I call that a museum.

    Kudos for the sleek form, but a more durable construction method is needed.

  • http://studiomarchitecto.wordpress.com marc

    it looks like a cockroach or something.. heehee

  • novan

    the ambient light is wonderfull….i don’t know what she’s thinking about design

  • fokt

    Not to be anal, but it’s Daniel Burnham; not David. Let’s get the names of historic figures correct.

    • http://www.archdaily.com David Basulto [tricky]

      Shame on me :(

      it´s been fixed

  • Alan Docherty

    It is strikingly similar to a pavilion by cre8architecture previously published on archdaily


    • http://www.hv-a.com francesco

      and to other millions of identical potatoes spread all over the first year classes of architecture in every school of the world nowadays. Isn’t it?

    • http://www.archdaily.com David Basulto [tricky]

      Dear Alan,

      I have to disagree on that. I think that the generative structure is WAY different, hence the final result.

    • Joshua

      the morei effect on the cre8 pavilion is nice though

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  • WJD

    I hope Chicago becomes the 2016 summer olympic choice. For more than one year Chicago has taken many positive steps to show visitors and it’s citizens what the city may be like if it is chosen by the IOC. I believe this project has little if anything to do with Burnham, and more to do with olympic selection process. The IOC will announce its choice this October; this these architecture demonstration projects add welcome help.

  • public eye

    The form could just be created without the mention of Daniel Burnham. Architects always create the form they like and then they try to give a reason for it; sometimes convincing, sometimes, like this Zaha’s, just BS.

  • Davey Stewart

    Where’d Hadid get her creativity? Have a look here at Thomas Heatherwick’s site: http://tinyurl.com/ngglvw

    Heatherwick seems also to have been the inspiration for the pentagon memorial, the design of which was shown on this site last September: http://tinyurl.com/lfdpfz

    Variations of TH’s seats are also to be seen at the HighLine SkyPark in NYC: http://tinyurl.com/ny9ftu

  • kyle

    I visited it. The construction method is pretty cool but the actual real life thing is almost a let down after the renderings. The zipper sleeve is really complex and a neat concept but the wrinkles leave a little to be desired. The other pavilion at the site by UNstudio is great from about 150 feet but really is kind of junky when you get close because the construction isn’t that smooth and they really didn’t take into account thousands of visitors every day.

    • gigi

      thanx Kyle — nice to get a hands-on/eyes-on perspective… the random player haters comments were a bit much… Was looking forward to checking it out when I make it up there again/ Got a Fibonacci/shell-ish vibe from photos — so you think execution got the better of it?

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  • jeffrey

    i think its funny you guys posted Zaha’s pavilion and not Van Berkel’s. . . . whats up with that?

  • Peter

    I appreciate her efforts! I personally don’t like this form obsessed architecture but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate specially when is done with such perfection! I get upset when I see mediocre work in the same page as great work!

  • marcial

    more of the same

    the first time, This struck me. now that seems a repetition of the overused resource

  • Robert

    Pretty sure there wouldn’t be as much criticism if this wasn’t Hadid…

    • XXue

      totally agree~~

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  • mnlkjw

    very ugly, very bad taste

  • Z

    “Step One – Instruct Lifeless Intern to Open Rhino

    Step Two – Make Form

    Step Three- Contour

    Step Four- Send to Engineer and Architect of Record to Figure out Anything Technical.

    Step Five- Make up a Story.”

    Spoken like a true architect

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  • mass transient

    greg lynn, embryonic house. last decade.

  • aa

    wow, this looks like the ‘things’ greg lynn was doing 15 years ago. He must be ppppppised! Jajajajjaa!
    C’mon Zaha! Can’t do any better?…

  • http://www.archdaily.com tomnguyen

    this is nice, but her designs in 90s to 2005 are better.

  • masoud

    خيلي جالب بود و به عنوان اسيايي افتخار ميكنم و و يك روزي مطمينن جا رو پاي زاحا ميزارم