Virgile Simon Bertrand
In her lifetime, Pritzker prize-winning architect, fashion designer and artist Zaha Hadid (31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) became one of the most recognizable faces of our field. Revered and denounced in equal measure for the sensuous curved forms for which she was known, Hadid rose to prominence not solely through parametricism but by designing spaces to occupy geometries in new ways. Despite her tragically early death in March of 2016, the projects now being completed by her office without their original lead designer continue to push boundaries both creative and technological, while the fearless media presence she cultivated in recent decades has cemented her place in society as a woman who needs just one name: Zaha.
Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.
While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work:
Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Greatest Places 2018 celebrates 100 destinations to visit, stay, eat, and drink from around the world. Chosen by Time’s global team of editors and correspondents, the contenders have been evaluated on quality, originality, innovation, sustainability, and influence.
The list features many architectural delights young and old, designed by famous architects past and present. Ranging from a treehouse in Sweden to a soaring art museum in South Africa, the projects are united by their architectural excellence, worthy of exploration by both architects and the general public.
It is rare for a father and son to share the same birthday. Even rarer is it for such a duo to work in the same profession; rarer still for them both to achieve international success in their respective careers. This, however, is the story of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architects whose combined portfolio tells of the development of modernist architectural thought in the United States. From Eliel’s Art Nouveau-inspired Finnish buildings and modernist urban planning to Eero’s International Style offices and neo-futurist structures, the father-son duo produced a matchless body of work culminating in two individual AIA Gold Medals.
This week marks the first anniversary of the death of Zaha Hadid, the most successful and influential female architect in the architectural discipline. Born in Baghdad (Iraq) in 1950, Hadid became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004, and twelve years later received the gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Hadid's untimely death left a fascinating and inspiring legacy. Meanwhile her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, continues to work on nearly a hundred projects worldwide. To remember her legacy, Spanish company Deimos Imaging has shared a series of photographs focusing on Hadid's work in five countries.
The images were captured by the Deimos-2 satellite, which was launched in 2014 and designed for very high-resolution Earth observation applications, providing multispectral images of just 75 centimeters per pixel. Hadid's incredible works take on a new dimension when you contemplate their proportions from the sky—or rather, from a satellite.
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.
Last week Patrik Schumacher, director at Zaha Hadid Architects and the practice's frontman in the field of architectural theory, took once again to Facebook to disseminate his ideas - this time arguing that "the denunciation of architectural icons and stars is superficial and ignorant." In the post, Schumacher lamented the default position of the architectural media which he believes sees success and reputation as "a red cloth and occasion to knock down icons," going on to outline his beliefs on why stars and icons are useful and even inevitable mechanisms of architectural culture.
Schumacher has made headlines via Facebook before, with a post last year in which he argued for an end to the "moralizing political correctness" that has led to the popularity of socially-conscious design - a post which attracted almost universal outrage from architects, critics and social media users of all stripes. However this latest post had a very different feel; many people, myself included, seemed to find themselves at least partially agreeing with Schumacher. After all, at the most basic level he was asking for designs to each be judged on their individual merits - what's not to like?
This year’s title of “Best Tall Building Worldwide” has been awarded to One Central Park, in Sydney, Australia. The award, presented by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), was chosen after a year long selection process across 88 entries in four regions. Senior representatives of each of these four winners presented at the CTBUH Awards Symposium on November 6th at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and the winner was announced at the Awards Dinner following the Symposium. Read on after the break to learn more about the winning building.
With the World Architecture Festival (WAF) just around the corner, the festival's full program has been unveiled, featuring three days of fascinating talks, an impressive list of key-note speakers and networking opportunities.
"Architects and the City" is the overarching theme for this year’s main conference sessions, and the talks will focus on the contributions architects can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – politics, infrastructure, planning communities and technology. Conference talks include “Greening the urban landscape: strategies for environmental urbanism,” “Question time- is ‘iconic’ architecture out of control?" and “Connecting the city; regenerating communities.”
The festival also features an impressive line-up of key note speakers, including Rocco Yim of Rocco Design Associates who will speak on his involvement in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date, and Richard Rogers who will speak candidly about his life as one of the most influential global figures in architecture and his future agenda. Moshe Safdie will close the Festival, looking back over his extensive career to talk exclusively about the defining moments that shaped its path.
More WAF program highlights after the break...
The World Architecture Festival has announced the shortlist for its 2014 awards, with almost 300 projects competing in the world's largest architectural awards program.
The shortlist includes the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA, Foster + Partners, BIG, Woods Bagot, KPF, Farrells, Perkins + Will and Aedas, alongside many other smaller practices. Although the shortlist practices from over 50 countries, this year there is a noticable increase in entries from Asia – with the number of projects in China, Malaysia and Vietnam up by 87%, 71% and 140% respectively over last year.
The shortlisted projects will be presented live by the architects to international judging panels. After this, the winning projects in each of the 27 categories will go on for the World Building or Future Project of the Year award, judged by the festival's 'super-jury': Richard Rogers, Rocco Yim, Julie Eizenberg, Enric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich.
This year's festival, hosted once again at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, will take place from the 1st - 3rd of October, when the winning projects will be announced. You can book your festival pass here - and read on after the break for the full shortlist.
Text description provided by the architects. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the ‘Shop in Shop’ concept for Neil Barrett is based on a singular, cohesive project that is divided into sixteen separate pieces. Specific pieces have then been selected and installed into each of the four Neil Barrett Shop in Shop’s in Seoul, and also into the Hong Kong shop; creating a unique display landscape within each store. The pieces have been carved and molded from the original solid as pairs that define each other to create an artificial landscape that unfolds multiple layers for display. More images and architects' description after the break.