A Parametric Devotion: Patrik Schumacher Discusses "Architecture and Freedom" at the Royal Academy

16:00 - 7 November, 2015

For its fall season of architecture events, the Royal Academy’s working theme is “Architecture and Freedom: a changing connection,” in a program conceived and organized by Architecture Programme Curator, Owen Hopkins. One of these events was a recent lecture by Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, and ardent promoter of Parametricism. In his lecture, what starts out with a brief exercise in damage control over the barrage of criticism recently endured by the firm, emerges as an impassioned discussion of architectural politics, design philosophies, and social imperatives.

Spotlight: Zaha Hadid

08:00 - 31 October, 2015
Spotlight: Zaha Hadid, Heydar Aliyev Center. Image © Hufton+Crow
Heydar Aliyev Center. Image © Hufton+Crow

Pritzker prize-winning architect, fashion designer and artist Zaha Hadid (born 31 October 1950) has become one of the most recognizable faces of our field. Revered and denounced with equal aplomb for the sensuous curved forms for which she has become known, Hadid rose to prominence not solely through parametricism but by designing spaces to occupy geometries in new ways. Today, her work continues to push boundaries both creative and technological, and her fearless media presence has cemented her place in society as a woman who needs just one name: Zaha.

Call for Submissions: Modern Art Museum in Lebanon

11:00 - 10 October, 2015
Call for Submissions: Modern Art Museum in Lebanon, Courtesy of The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL)
Courtesy of The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL)

The Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL) has launched a competition for the design of a new modern and contemporary art museum in Beirut, Lebanon. Architects of Lebanese origins based in Lebanon or globally are invited to submit entries for the yet-to-be-named museum, which is set to open in 2020.

Five Films to Watch at the 2015 Architecture Film Festival in Rotterdam

04:00 - 28 September, 2015
Five Films to Watch at the 2015 Architecture Film Festival in Rotterdam, 'Concrete Love: The Architecture of the Böhms' will open the festival on the 7th October 2015. Image Courtesy of AFFR
'Concrete Love: The Architecture of the Böhms' will open the festival on the 7th October 2015. Image Courtesy of AFFR

It's only logical that Rotterdam, one of Europe's leading cities for architecture and architectural practice, has a biennial film festival. Since its inception in 2000, the city's homage to architectural cinema now claims to be the biggest architectural film festival in the world. Featuring over one hundred international documentaries, feature films and shorts—as well as debates, lectures and seminars—this year's festival plans to "provide a podium for discussing the city and future of spatial development." From cinematic journeys into the world of the illusive Böhm family to Zaha Hadid, Chinese ghost cities to London's Barbican estate, this year's programme circles around the theme of the Global Home.

With the eighth incarnation of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) opening next week (running from the 7th - 11th October 2015), we've selected our five top picks from this year's schedule.

Gallery: A Sneak Peek at Zaha Hadid's Dominion Tower in Moscow

12:30 - 25 September, 2015
Gallery: A Sneak Peek at Zaha Hadid's Dominion Tower in Moscow, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared with us this sneak peek of Zaha Hadid Architects' latest completed work, the Dominion Tower in Moscow. Led by Project Director Christos Passas, the building's eight rectilinear stories are each staggered and cantilevered over the one below and feature ribbon windows with a trademark Zaha Hadid twist, while the interior features a dramatic top-lit atrium criss-crossed by stairs. Read on to see Ghinitoiu's full photo set.

RIBA Awards 2016 Royal Gold Medal to Zaha Hadid

05:20 - 24 September, 2015
RIBA Awards 2016 Royal Gold Medal to Zaha Hadid, Zaha Hadid, recipient of the 2016 RIBA Gold Medal. Image © Mary McCartney
Zaha Hadid, recipient of the 2016 RIBA Gold Medal. Image © Mary McCartney

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed that Dame Zaha Hadid will receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal — the first sole woman to be awarded the UK's highest honour for architects in her own right. Previous female winners (Sheila O’Donnell in 2015, Patty Hopkins in 1994, and Ray Eames in 1979) were each recognised alongside their husbands and practice partners.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is awarded to those who have had a significant influence "either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture." Other notable Royal Gold Medallists include Frank Gehry (2000), Lord Norman Foster, Baron of Thames Bank (1983), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1959), Le Corbusier (1953), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941). The medallists' names are engraved into the marble wall at the RIBA's headquarters in London.

Zaha Hadid Backs Down From Second Tokyo Olympic Stadium Bid

13:01 - 18 September, 2015
Zaha Hadid Backs Down From Second Tokyo Olympic Stadium Bid, ZHA's New National Stadium proposal. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects
ZHA's New National Stadium proposal. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

Just two weeks after the Japan Sport Council launched a second call for New National Stadium proposals, Zaha Hadid Architects and partner Nikken Sekkei have withdrawn from the competition. Although the duo promised to develop a "cost-effective" design that strictly adhered to the new competition's scaled down brief, they were unable to secure a contractor and therefore were forced to step down from the competition. 

"It is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new National Stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition," said ZHA in a press release.  

Zaha Hadid: “Niemeyer Had an Innate Talent for Sensuality”

14:00 - 12 September, 2015
Zaha Hadid: “Niemeyer Had an Innate Talent for Sensuality”, © Steve Double
© Steve Double

The first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid tells newspaper El País that she was fortunate as a child to have traveled with her parents and seen some of the world’s most impressive works of architecture and engineering feats. 

Awed by the Mosque of Cordoba, Hadid says that the contrast between the darkness and the marble of the central church left a lasting impression, making this one of her favorite works to this day. 

Zaha Hadid Architects Release Video Presentation and Report on New National Stadium in Tokyo

11:30 - 7 September, 2015
Zaha Hadid Architects Release Video Presentation and Report on New National Stadium in Tokyo, © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia
© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia

Update: On September 1st, the Japan Sport Council launched a new competition to find another design for Japan’s New National Stadium - this time for a design and build project with more stringent cost restrictions. Today, contractor Nikken Sekkei and Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that they will be re-entering the contest together, bringing forward work from their original design. “Our firm is certain that retaining the team of Design Supervisor and designers will deliver the best National Stadium, and we have invited Zaha Hadid Architects to join the design team” said Nikken Sekkei in a statement. “Applying this knowledge and experience of the project, this team can further develop the design to the new brief as a cost-effective proposal to realize the world’s best National Stadium.” The article below was originally published on August 26th.

In mid-July, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declared that ZHA's design for a New National stadium would not be completed and that plans for the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium would "start from zero." In response Zaha Hadid Architects has just issued a press release and a link to a 23-minute video presentation. The video, ZHA explains, "outline[s] in detail the unique design for the New National Stadium which has been developed over two years to be the most compact and efficient stadium for this very special location in Tokyo. Zaha Hadid Architects welcomes a new contractor bidding process for the New National Stadium to reduce costs and ensure value for money in terms of quality, durability and long-term sustainability."

Watch the video - or if you haven't got 23 minutes, read our synopsis - after the break.

© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia +18

Construction Begins on Zaha Hadid's One Thousand Museum in Miami

08:00 - 1 September, 2015
Construction Begins on Zaha Hadid's One Thousand Museum in Miami , Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Following the ground breaking last December, construction has begun on Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum in Miami, with 9,500 cubic yards of concrete already poured. Designed in association with the local architect of record, O’Donnell Dannwolf Partners Architects, the residential skyscraper will rise 62 stories, comprising half- and full-floor residences, duplex townhomes, and a single duplex penthouse, overlooking Museum Park and Biscayne Bay at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard. As a burgeoning area, Museum Park—once called Bicentennial Park—is home to the Peréz Art Museum Miami and will soon be home to the Frost Museum of Science.

Some Thoughts on Zaha Hadid Architects' Campaign to Win Back the Tokyo Stadium Commission

09:30 - 27 August, 2015
Some Thoughts on Zaha Hadid Architects' Campaign to Win Back the Tokyo Stadium Commission, © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia
© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia

Zaha Hadid Architects are no longer the architects of the New National Stadium, Tokyo's headline venue for the 2020 Olympic Games. You probably already knew - ZHA have been making quite a fuss about it, with a 1,400-word statement released last month and a 23-minute video released yesterday, both arguing that scrapping their design is a bad idea.

Clearly, brevity is not one of ZHA's strong suits, so for those who don't have 30-plus minutes to chew their way through both video and statement, the basics are as follows: the official reason given by the Japanese government for scrapping the stadium has been the rising costs of the design. ZHA have countered this complaint by saying that the rising costs are not a result of their design but of an uncompetitive tender process for the construction, and of skyrocketing construction prices across the whole of Tokyo. They add that by starting the project from scratch, Japan risks overshooting their 2020 deadline for the Olympic venue.

An extra complication is added by the widespread public dislike of the stadium's design, scale and location - most notably coming in the form of a petition led by Fumihiko Maki and Toyo Ito - which has caused some to speculate that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is secretly bowing to political pressure. In response, ZHA's video emphasized the features of the design which were either required by the brief or an attempt to respond to the context, in an attempt to absolve themselves from blame.

However, with the decision to start anew now over a month old, the question remains: will ZHA's attempts to win back the project be enough? More importantly, should this campaign be taken seriously?

© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia +7

Exhibition: Childhood ReCollections

07:00 - 25 August, 2015
Exhibition: Childhood ReCollections, Daniel Libeskind with accordion in Lodz, Poland, 1955
Daniel Libeskind with accordion in Lodz, Poland, 1955

Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Daniel Libeskind, Nieto Sobejano, Denise Scott Brown and Philip Treacy reveal the childhood recollections that have shaped their outstanding visions and work.

Architects and designers are often asked whose work inspired them as students and influenced their thinking, but Roca London Gallery’s autumn show suggests that design inspiration actually goes back much further than this, into early childhood, and can take some unexpected forms. 

Zaha Hadid Unveils High Line Installation

10:40 - 19 August, 2015
Zaha Hadid Unveils High Line Installation, Zaha Hadid’s High Line Installation, named Allongé, is now on view. Image © Scott Frances
Zaha Hadid’s High Line Installation, named Allongé, is now on view. Image © Scott Frances

With the construction of their High Line-adjacent residential building 520 West 28th Street, Zaha Hadid Architects have constructed a temporary construction shelter to protect pedestrians in the event of any falling construction materials. However, as is often the case with Zaha Hadid designs, this is a construction shelter unlike any other, serving as a protective shelter but also as an artistic installation.

Named Allongé, the installation is "is inspired by the connectivity and dynamism of movement along the High Line," allowing visitors to the High Line to move through 34 meters (112 feet) of sweeping metallic fabric supported by a curvilinear steel frame, offering a spatial experience that foreshadows the presence of Hadid's building at the site.

Zaha Hadid Architects Releases Full Statement on Scrapped Tokyo Stadium Plans

10:40 - 28 July, 2015
Zaha Hadid Architects Releases Full Statement on Scrapped Tokyo Stadium Plans, © Japan Sports Council
© Japan Sports Council

Following the news earlier this month that their design for Tokyo's 2022 Olympics stadium would be scrappedZaha Hadid Architects have released a comprehensive statement about the project's cancellation. Despite the many critics of the project's design - including Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki - it was ultimately the project's increasing costs that sparked its demise. However, the 1400-word statement from ZHA attempts to put distance between the firm and the claim by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) that much of the increase in costs was due to a complex design, instead arguing that "At every stage over the two years of development, the design and budget estimates were approved by the JSC" and adding a number of times that "ZHA worked proactively to reduce the estimated cost throughout."

Read on after the break to find out where ZHA pins the blame for the cost increases and to read the statement in full.

25 Architects You Should Know

16:00 - 18 July, 2015
25 Architects You Should Know, © Flickr CC user victortsu
© Flickr CC user victortsu

As an unavoidable art form, “architecture is one of humanity’s most visible and long-lasting forms of expression,” writes Complex Media. Within the past 150 years—the period of modern architecture—a distinct form of artistry has developed, significantly changing the way we look at the urban environments around us. To highlight some of the key figures in architecture over the past 150 years, Complex Media has created a list of “25 Architects You Should Know,” covering a range of icons including Zaha HadidIeoh Ming PeiPhilip JohnsonOscar NeimeyerSOMDaniel Libeskind, and more. Read the full list to learn more about each iconic architect, here.

Zaha Hadid's Designs for the Tokyo National Stadium to be Scrapped

04:30 - 17 July, 2015
Zaha Hadid's Designs for the Tokyo National Stadium to be Scrapped, The 2014 updated design for the Tokyo National Stadium. Image © Japan Sports Council
The 2014 updated design for the Tokyo National Stadium. Image © Japan Sports Council

Following the news in 2012 that Zaha Hadid Architects had won a competition to design the 80,000-seat Tokyo National Stadium as a centerpiece for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan’s Prime Minister has announced that the plans are to be scrapped. Citing spiralling costs as a key reason, Shinzo Abe has declared that the stadium, which was set to replace the existing Kasumigaoka National Stadium, would not be completed in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup nor the 2020 Olympic Games as originally planned.

"Baby Rems" and the Small World of Architecture Internships

09:30 - 9 July, 2015
"Baby Rems" and the Small World of Architecture Internships, Bjarke Ingels worked on the Seattle Central Library during his time at OMA. Image Courtesy OMA
Bjarke Ingels worked on the Seattle Central Library during his time at OMA. Image Courtesy OMA

The world of architecture is small. So small in fact, that Rem Koolhaas has been credited with the creation of over forty practices worldwide, led by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels. Dubbed “Baby Rems” by Metropolis Magazine, this Koolhaas effect is hardly an isolated pattern, with manifestations far beyond the walls of OMA. The phenomenon has dominated the world of architecture, assisted by the prevalence and increasing necessity of internships for burgeoning architects.

In a recent article for Curbed, Patrick Sisson dug into the storied history of internships to uncover some unexpected connections between the world's most prolific architects. With the help of Sisson's list, we've compiled a record of the humble beginnings of the household names of architecture. Where did Frank Gehry get his start? Find out after the break.

Renzo Piano's pavilion at Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum. Image © Robert Laprelle Jeanne Gang worked on OMA's Maison Bordeaux. Image © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA Mies van der Rohe worked on Behren's AEG Turbine Factory. Image © Flickr CC user Joseph The Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York by Louis Sullivan. Image Courtesy of Jack E. Boucher +8

Zaha Hadid Named "New Londoner of the Year"

12:40 - 8 July, 2015
Zaha Hadid Named "New Londoner of the Year", London's dense center. Image Courtesy of NLA
London's dense center. Image Courtesy of NLA

New London Architecture (NLA) has named the winners of this years New London Awards, celebrating the best projects and architects shaping London today. Taking home top honors, Zaha Hadid was crowned "New Londoner of the Year" for her influential work, both in the UK and abroad. The jury commended Hadid for "her role as a champion of design to both the government and the general public alike," citing her success with the London Aquatic Center and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Out of the 51 projects awarded, Pringle Richards Sharratt's Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton was named London's best new building. The Grade II listed structure, which had been on the English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register since 1992, was restored as a new home for BCA’s extensive archives, serving as an exemplar for preservation and reuse