the world's most visited architecture website

A Sincere Interview with Zaha Hadid

With the opening of her latest London project, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park, Xan Brooks of the Guardian conducted this interview with the enigmatic Zaha Hadid. They discuss some of her greatest successes (The MAXXI museum) and some of the contentious issues around some of her buildings (Galaxy Soho, for example) - before moving on to her approach to designing for oppressive regimes (yes, "if it helps people") and finally her apprehension over a return trip to Iraq, the homeland which she has not returned to in over 30 years. You can read the full article here.

20 Architects Design a Dolls' House for KIDS

Inspired by the dolls' house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition in 1922, twenty British practices are each designing a contemporary dolls' house in aid of the disabled childrens' charity KIDS. Each version will sit on a 750mm square plinth to be exhibited during this year's London Design Festival (14th - 21st September, 2013) before being auctioned. Each design must contain "a unique feature to make life easier for a child who is disabled."

Video: Walking the Stadium by Zaha Hadid, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid

The past weekend we announced the three countries competing to be the Olympic Games 2020 host.

We know that Tokyo won the race and that is why today we invite you to take a virtual tour of the Olympic Stadium project designed by Zaha Hadid, which involves the refurbishment of the former Japan National Stadium, originally built for the 1964 Games. The expanded sports complex will be able to accommodate 80,000 spectators.

Zaha Hadid: Has International Fame Come at a Cost?

From "Paper Architect" to employing over 400 staff working on 950 projects in 44 countries, Zaha Hadid has proven that her avant-garde ideas are not only buildable, but also the most popular architectural brand in the world. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the countries first in line to commission Hadid icons. Rowan Moore, however, claims that her recent accolades have come at the cost of her original ideals, becoming trapped in her own public persona. Read the full article, Zaha Hadid: queen of the curve.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery / Zaha Hadid Architects

On September 28, 2013, Zaha Hadid Architects will be celebrating the completion of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. An extension to London’s famous Serpentine Gallery, the new innovative arts venue will be housed in a 208-year-old, Grade II-listed building, formerly known as The Magazine, in Kensington Gardens just north of the main gallery. 

This project will be Zaha Hadid’s first permanent structure in central London and second commission from the Gallery, as she designed the inaugural Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2000.

Three Projects Shortlisted for 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize

The RIBA has announced three projects—two located in Asia and one in the United States—for the shortlist of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize. Named for Berthold Lubetkin, a Georgian-born architect, the prize celebrates the work of RIBA members building outside of the UK. Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, Grimshaw’s Via Verde and Wilkinson Eyre’s Cooled Conservatories will face off for the honor; the winner of this year’s Lubetkin Prize will be announced (along with the winner of the prestigious Stirling Prize) on September 26th in London.

Angela Brady, RIBA President, said:

"The 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize shortlist features three exceptionally innovative projects that meet three very different urban challenges. From the blueprint for New York affordable housing and the creation of an impressive new shopping district in central Beijing to Singapore’s new sustainable gardens, these are all extremely clever solutions. These cutting-edge schemes show the leading role that architects play in delivering visionary new thinking about urban issues, and illustrate why UK creative talent has such recognition around the world."

More on the shortlisted projects after the break…

Zaha Hadid Purchases the Design Museum in London

The Design Museum in London has confirmed that Zaha Hadid has purchased their original building, which they've called home since 1989, just over a year after placing a bid with a private backer. According to the Architects' Journal, Hadid will use the building to house her practice's archive as well as serve as an occasional exhibition space. "The building will give an opportunity to consolidate our archive in a single location,” she said, “and also engage in a collective dialogue by exhibiting the research and innovation of global collaborations in art, architecture and design.”

Parametric Space / Zaha Hadid Architects, Kollision, CAVI, Wahlberg

Zaha Hadid Architects worked together with design offices Kollision, CAVI and Wahlberg to create the interactive installation 'Parametric Space' for the exhibition 'Zaha Hadid - World Architecture', which is on view at the Danish Architecture Centre through September 29, 2013. The installation is a fully parametric space that reacts to the visitors' movements by changing shape and expression. Learn more after the break.

Zaha Hadid - World Architecture Exhibition

Opening Friday, June 28, the Zaha Hadid - World Architecture exhibition will be the first solo show in Copenhagen, which runs until September 29. Iraqi-British architect and Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Zaha Hadid is one of the most sought after, admired and discussed architects in the world, and has developed this extraordinary experience in collaboration with the Danish Architecture Centre. The pre-opening talk begins on opening day at 5:00pm with Patrik Schumacher (director and senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects), and Kent Martinussen (CEO - Danish Architecture Centre). For more information, please visit here.

Izmir Selects Zaha Hadid as World Expo 2020 Architect

The 8,500 year old Turkish city of Izmir has announced Zaha Hadid as the architect for its World Expo 2020 bid. As home of the Asklepion, one of the world’s oldest hospitals whose history has played a major role in the evolution of healthcare, Izmir hopes claim the title as host of the New Routes to a Better World / Health for All themed fair over its competitors - São Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Ayutthaya (Thailand) and Dubai (UAE).

Zaha Hadid Architects + AECOM to Design 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar

Zaha Hadid Architects have been selected to work alongside AECOM for the design and construction the Al Wakrah Stadium and Precinct of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. The 45,000-seat stadium will be nestled within a rich cultural fabric of traditional Islamic architecture, historical buildings, distinctive mosques and archeological sites that belongs to one of the oldest inhabited areas of Qatar, just south of Doha. As noted by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, embracing the identify of this cultural heritage will be a crucial part to the success of the stadium. 

Video: 'The Competition' Trailer

Madrid-based architect Angel Borrego Cubero of Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS) has directed and produced the first documentary focused on the tense process that characterizes an architectural competition. Appropriately titled The Competition, the film captures a fascinating account on how five world renowned architects - Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster - “toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition.” The premise is based on a nearly forgotten, 2008 competition for a new National Museum of Art of Andorra, a small Pyrenees country nestled between Spain and France, which has yet to be realized. 

The Competition is expected to debut in late 2013. Updates will be available on OSS’s website and facebook.

Zaha Hadid Wins Veuve Cliquot Business Women Award

Zaha Hadid has been announced as the winner of the 41st Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award at a ceremony in London on Monday. Now in its 41st year, the Veuve Clicquot Award was set up by the Champagne house to recognize the work of successful businesswomen worldwide, who embody their spirit of Madame Clicquot. 

The New 'Context' in Architecture: Learning From Lebanon

Context in architecture has become a subject bloated with discussion and debate over the years. And, as a matter of fact, it has come to matter very little in its formal and typological sense. Take, for instance, the fluid forms that compose Zaha Hadid’s hundreds of projects around the world, or Frank Gehry’s exploding compositions seen from South America to the unmistakable Guggenheim in Bilbao. The form architecture takes in these cases, and countless others, is in itself a deliberate disregard towards context in its literal sense.

But is this disregard for context a mistake? Observers would often say so, though I would like to disagree. It has become frequent that projects like these, largely formal and not politely accommodating their historic surrounding, actually take greater interest in social urban issues that have a direct impact on the city dwellers. Quite simply, successful architecture today is one that serves society culturally and practically, addressing tangible problems of 21st century cities and dealing with context in a solution-oriented manner, going beyond aesthetics (whose value is only temporary) and into future-invested urbanism. Case-in-point? My hometown: Beirut, Lebanon.

The Lebanese American University Campus in Byblos. Image © Nadim Asfar The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut's Historic Campus. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects.

Zaha Hadid Architects' First Built Tower: CMA CGM Headquarters

Zaha Hadid Architects’ first built tower, the CMA CGM Headquarters in Marseille, France, is most immediately notable for its vertical form.

As the stunning images from Hufton + Crow show, the tower’s disparate volumes (generated from gradual centripetal vectors) gently converge towards each other and then bend apart to create an elegant "metallic curving arc that slowly lifts and accelerates skywards into [...a] dramatic vertical geometry.”

Read More about CMA CGM Headquarters, after the break...

© Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow

Zaha Hadid to Develop Plans for New London Airport

As pressure mounts to solve the UK’s aviation crisis, the Mayor of London has appointed Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) alongside a world-class team of aviation experts to develop plans for a new major airport in southeast England. The team is expected to resolve the debate on how and where the capital’s next multi-runway airport hub should be constructed, a decision that will play a critical role in the future of the British economy.

Zaha Hadid said: "This work is essential to deliver the most integrated transport solutions for London and the UK. It will enable London to maintain its position as one of the world's most important economic, commercial and cultural centers; outlining the city's future growth and development which has always been founded on global connectivity."

See who made the list after the break...

Zaha Hadid commissioned to design Miami Skyscraper

The northern portion of the Biscayne Wall © Marc Averette via Wikipedia
The northern portion of the Biscayne Wall © Marc Averette via Wikipedia

The Miami Herald has just announced that Zaha Hadid will be designing her first skyscraper in the Western hemisphere in Miami: America’s Next Great Architectural City. The female powerhouse has been commissioned to transform a waterfront property, currently occupied by a BP Station at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, predominantly into a residential high rise. The skyscraper will rise above the neighboring Museum Park and fill a void in the wall of towering condos, commonly referred to as the “Biscayne Wall”. Details of the design are expected to be released next year.

This news comes shortly after Zaha’s loss to Norman Foster in an intense competition to design New York City’s next high-profile office tower on 425 Park Avenue. You can watch the A-list architects battle it out here as they present their ideas to the jury.

As we reported last year, Zaha was also selected to design a Miami Beach parking garage at Collins Park, which was approved for construction by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board last month.

Check out the preliminary renderings of the Collins Park garage, after the break…

The Dynamism of Zaha's Eli and Edythe Broad Museum

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol

Rio de Janeiro-based writer Robert Landon has shared with us his experience exploring Zaha Hadid’s newly completed Eli and Edythe Broad Museum in Michigan.

As you approach Zaha Hadid’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, it is the complex, light-catching carapace that first reels in the eye — a fine shock after the brick, neo-Gothic buildings that define the rest of the Michigan State University campus. Draw closer and its undulating fins, opening and closing in rhythmic asymmetries, begin to seduce the mind. In some places scrunched up into sharp angles and in others allowed to breathe for longer stretches across the low-slung facade, the fins seem to be the expression of some higher, grid-bending equation.

In a half-conscious attempt to solve the math, you begin to circle the building. At certain points, the fins spread wide enough for generous glimpses inside, but as you move keep moving, the inner secrets vanish again behind the metal lattice. In the same way, the relentlessly kinetic carapace tantalizes with, but ultimately eludes, any logical or definitive summing up. What is certain, though, is that, by the time you’ve come full circle, you’ll have grown quite curious to see what is going on inside.

More after the break…