Zaha Hadid Unveils Community-Oriented Housing Project In Monterrey

Courtesy of Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their first project in Mexico, a residential development in Monterrey. The country’s third-largest city, Monterrey is a rapidly growing and increasingly important manufacturing and technology center. The project, named “Esfera City Center,” is located to the southwest of Monterrey in the Huajuco Canyon, where it will provide crucial homes in a rapidly expanding part of the city.

Consisting of 981 units from single-person lofts to four-bedroom apartments totaling 137,000 square meters, the design rejects the original brief from the client which called for 12 residential towers, instead opting for a series of long, low-rise blocks which surround a public park, bringing a community focus to the design.

More images and information about the Esfera City Center project after the break.

The 17 Top Architect-Designed Products at Milan Design Week 2015

Re-launch of Meinhard von Gerkan’s Berlin Chair / gmp architekten. Image © Peter Schumacher, Stuttgart, Germany

The 54th edition of Milan Design Week (also known as Salone del Mobile) recently came to a close. In celebration of its success, we have compiled a list of the most talked about architect-designed products showcased this year. Take a look after the break to see new products from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and more.

Patrik Schumacher: “The Denunciation of Architectural Icons and Stars is Superficial and Ignorant”

’ Heydar Aliyev Center. Image © Hufton + Crow

In the latest of his provocative posts on Facebook, Patrik Schumacher has come out in defense of iconic design and star architects, arguing that the current trend of criticism is “superficial and ignorant,” and “all-too-easy point-scoring which indeed usually misses the point.”

Schumacher says that critics “should perhaps slow down a bit in their (pre-)judgement and reflect on their role as mediators between the discourse of architecture and the interested public.” In the 1,400 word post, he goes on to elaborate that so-called icons and the star system are inevitable results of this mediation, adding that “explanation rather than dismissal and substitution should be seen as the critics’ task.”

Read on after the break for more highlights from Schumacher’s argument

VIDEO: The Making of Zaha Hadid’s Loa and Vesu Vases

Crafted from pure silver and standing at 40-centimeters-tall, the Loa and Vesu vases by Zaha Hadid Architects are as bold and dynamic as the firm’s architecture. In this fascinating video, watch Austrian silversmiths Wiener Silber Manufactur handcraft the ornamental vases in their Viennese studio using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. Designed by Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, and a team of four designers, the vases reference “the volcanic forces of expansion and compression, subtle fluctuations and distortions of ripples”, and are both as functional as they are sculptural. 

3 New Films Showcase 7 Architects Redefining the Role of Women in Architecture

E1027, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin by . Image © Julian Lennon 2014

“I cannot, in whole conscience, recommend architecture as a profession for girls. I know some women who have done well at it, but the obstacles are so great that it takes an exceptional girl to make a go of it. If she insisted on becoming an architect, I would try to dissuade her. If then, she was still determined, I would give her my blessing–she could be that exceptional one.”
– Pietro Belluschi, FAIA from the 1955 New York Life Insurance Company brochure, “Should You Be an Architect?”

With great fanfare, in mid-October 2014 on the opening night of the 6th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in Manhattan, Festival Director Kyle Bergman announced that the festival’s special focus this year was on women in architecture. “We’ve been wanting to feature women in architecture for a while now,” he told me, “and this year we finally have the films to make that happen,” referring to three new documentaries: Gray Matters (2014), Making Space: 5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture (2014) and Zaha Hadid: Who Dares Wins (2013).

Zaha Hadid and ADPI Unveil Plans for World’s Largest Passenger Terminal in Beijing

© ZHA / Methanoia

ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled designs for what will be the world’s largest passenger terminal – the New Airport Terminal Building. The Daxing scheme, based off the bid-winning planning concept by ADPI, hopes to alleviate traffic from ’s existing Capital Airport, which is operating beyond its planned capacity.

“Initially accommodating 45 million passengers per year, the new terminal will be adaptable and sustainable, operating in many different configurations dependent on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day,” stated ZHA in a press release. “With an integrated multi-modal transport centre featuring direct links to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high speed rail, the new Daxing airport will be a key hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for the region’s economic development, including the city of Tianjin and Hebei Province.”

Defining a More Purposeful Architecture: A Guide to Current Architectural Trends

The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.

These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.

176-Pound Concrete Slab Falls From Year-Old Zaha Hadid Library

Library and Learning Centre University of Economics / . Image © Roland Halbe

A 176-pound (80 kilograms) chunk of concrete cladding has fallen from year-old Library and Learning Centre at the University of Economics Vienna. This, unfortunately, isn’t the first time the Zaha Hadid-designed structure has malfunctioned; last year, an “assembly error” was deemed the reason why a large piece of fiberglass-reinforced concrete crashed down in front of the building’s entrance.

Zaha Hadid Designs Dune-Inspired Net Zero Headquarters for Bee’ah

© Architects / MIR

Designs have been released for Bee’ah’s new headquarters in . The Middle Eastern environmental and waste management company commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), following an invited competition, to design a facility that reflects their goal to operate entirely from renewable energy sources and move towards zero waste, as well as increase their educational outreach. 

ZHA’s design builds from its desert context, acting as two energy efficient “dunes” that intersect to form a central “oasis.” Watch an animated tour through the building, after the break.

Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster Tapped to Design Luxury Hotels in China

Jumeirah Nanjing. Image Courtesy of Jumeirah Group

Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster have been tapped to design two luxury hotels for the Jumeirah Group’s newest properties in : Jumeirah Wuhan and Jumeirah Nanjing. Both properties will be adjacent to existing business districts and will provide luxury suites, specialty restaurants, executive club lounges, business centers, spas and more. 

Zaha Hadid Designs Five Wooden Towers to House Cambodian Genocide Institute

Reflecting Pool. Image Courtesy of ZHA

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their design for the Sleuk Rith Institute in Phnom Penh. The highly-anticipated project, commissioned by the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (), will serve as Cambodia’s go-to archive for Khmer Rouge history and a leading center for genocide studies in Asia.

Five wooden towers, inspired by ancient Angkorian architecture, will house the institute’s “cross-section of pursuits,” including a genocide research center, graduate school, museum, document archives and research library. As the towers rise, the structures will interweave and link, connecting various departments above the ground level and uniting the institution as a singular whole.

A virtual tour through the institute, after the break.

Who Should Win the Stirling Prize? The BBC Invites You to Cast Your Vote

The RIBA and the BBC have partnered to screen a series of interactive online films in the final week leading up to the announcement of the 18th RIBA Stirling Prize. As the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, given annually to “the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year,” the shortlist has garnered worldwide attention. Although the ultimate decision lies in the hands of a jury, headed by British architect Spencer de Grey, the BBC will host a public vote which is available as of today.

a+u 529: Recent Projects

Courtesy of Shinkenchiku-sha

The October issue of a+u introduces 14 recent works from around the globe. In particular, the issue is focused on architecture that emerged from the relationship with the urban structures or the developmental history of the site. Over time, they influence and transform the surrounding environment. Architects employ diverse “tactics” in order to create such architecture: collaborating with the residents, relating to the neighboring buildings and open spaces, diversifying the building’s programs, and employing intricate construction details. In this issue, we focus our attention on the process of conceiving the projects driven by various tactics. We invite our readers to look beyond a single building and examine the works’ possibilities to be used in a long span of time.

Zaha Hadid Installs Ultra-Thin Shell Structure at London’s V&A

© Luke Hayes

Zaha Hadid Architects has constructed an experimental structure on the grounds of London’s V&A Museum, just in time for the London Design Festival. The temporary installation is the practice’s thinnest shell structure to date, testing new design and construction technologies for achieving minimal material thickness while “investigating the relationship between formal arrangement and structural performance.” 

Zaha Hadid Says She “Would Love To Do a Tower in London”

Architects’ designs for three towers in were recently unveiled. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

Despite her position as one of the world’s most prominent and successful architects, Zaha Hadid yesterday revealed that there is one thing she feels is missing from her portfolio: a skyscraper in London. Speaking to BD at the announcement of her Science Museum competition win, Hadid said ”I’d love to do a tower in London but it hasn’t arrived.” More of Hadid’s comments after the break.

London Science Museum Taps Zaha Hadid to Design Maths Gallery

View from East Gallery Entrance. Image © ZHA

has been selected to design a new mathematics gallery in London’s Science Museum. Aimed to be the “world’s foremost gallery of mathematics,” as described by museum director Ian Blatchford, the £7.5 million state-of-the-art gallery will examine the ideas of mathematicians from the past 400 years in an effort to illustrate just how mathematics has helped shape our world. 

“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,” stated Hadid. 

Zaha Hadid Unveils ‘Blossoming’ Towers for Brisbane Riverfront Development

Courtesy of

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their latest design, an urban riverfront development in Brisbane. The project consists of three 22 and 25-story sculptural towers containing 486 apartments and eight riverfront villas, along with car parking spaces and 7,300 square meters of landscaped public parklands. According to property developer Sunland Group’s Managing Director, Sahba Abedian, Grace on Coronation is slated to reinvigorate a historic site.

MARK Magazine #51

Courtesy of MARK Magazine

Articles on ’s building boom often highlight the property bubble, megalomaniac planners, governmental corruption and private graft, substandard building practices and the destruction of the nation’s cultural heritage.

In Mark #51, we interviewed four Chinese architects on four aspects of China’s building practices to reveal the mechanisms at the foundation of this unedifying image. Li Hu offers his thoughts on architecture, Liu Yuyang on urban planning, Li Xiaodong on aesthetics and Liu Jiakun on construction processes. What can we learn from their experience?