In March 2016, when world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack at age 65 in a Miami hospital, the news sent shockwaves through the architecture community.
The flamboyant British designer—born on October 31, 1950 in Iraq, educated in Beirut, and known as the “Queen of the Curve” for her swooping, elegantly complex designs—was a legend in her time. She had design commissions around the world, been awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2004 and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ gold medal in 2016, and transcended the old-guard strictures of a staunchly male-dominated profession.
This article was originally published on April 21, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Although Zaha Hadid began her remarkable architectural career in the late 1970s, it would not be until the 1990s that her work would lift out her drawings and paintings to be realized in physical form. The VitraFire Station, designed for the factory complex of the same name in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, was the among the first of Hadid’s design projects to be built. The building’s obliquely intersecting concrete planes, which serve to shape and define the street running through the complex, represent the earliest attempt to translate Hadid’s fantastical, powerful conceptual drawings into a functional architectural space.
Guardrails and handrails are two elements that are often confused. While the first is used to close a space and prevent a person from falling, the second is a support bar for balance. Normally standard solutions are used for both elements, but with an attractive design, they can become standout details in a project.
For inspiration on materials, structures, and details of guardrails and handrails, here are 17 notable examples.
Capable of transforming a facade or shaping a sculptural roof form, tensile structures test the limits of our imagination (and understanding of geometry). This week’s photo set features structures that rely on cables, anchors, posts and membranes to create expansive, dramatic spans of open space bathed in natural light. Stark shadows and fair curves make tensile structures particularly photogenic, as captured in this set of images from Christopher Frederick Jones, Marie-Françoise Plissart, Yoshihiro Koitani and more.
There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.
Zaha Hadid's projects are remarkable not only for her innovative way of handling tangible materials but also for her imagination regarding the medium of light. Her theories of fragmentation and fluidity are now well-known design techniques which enabled her form-finding. However, her advances in using light to render her architecture have often been neglected—even though they became an essential element in revealing and interpreting her architecture. The three-decade transition from minimal light lines at her early Vitra Fire Station to the world's tallest atrium at the Leeza SOHO skyscraper, which collects an abundance of daylight, shows the remarkable development of Zaha Hadid’s luminous legacy.
Seeing the space of an auditorium in section is a key tool in allowing us to approach a design's of acoustics, accessibility, and lighting. These components are what make the design of an auditorium a complex task, requiring detailed and specific studies.
There are a number of ways to design an auditorium that offers multiple responses to these challenges. For this reason, we have selected a number of sections from different auditoriums that can help you understand how other architects have solved the challenge.
Check out the 30 auditorium sections below, they are sure to inspire you!
Between March of 2013 and December of 2014, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown wrote a regular column for ArchDaily titled “London Calling,” covering architectural topics of note in the UK's capital. Now, Henley is returning to his column – but in the wake of 2016's shock political developments, his column is re-branding. Thus, here he presents the first of his column “Beyond London” – a look at architectural topics around the UK. Here, Henley presents his opinion on those political developments, and the role architects should play as the UK embarks on a new period in its history.
Post-Brexit, British architects need to think hard about the profession’s London-centric position. There has been a policy of inclusion of non-London architects on panels, their work in magazines and on awards shortlists, but this is not enough. It was quite clear on June 24th when the London design community awoke to the realization that Britain will leave the European Union, that a “Remain”-minded bubble had formed within the capital. The same may be true of the other large cities around the country which voted largely in favour of “Remain.”