ZAHA LEGACY

al-Wakrah stadium

QATAR STADIUM – ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

A HUGE SIGNIFICANT DEATH FOR THE ARCHITECTURAL WORLD,

I AM CRITICIZED AS NOT GIVING PRAISES TO OTHER ARCHITECTS.   YES, I AM CHOOSY ABOUT WHO I EMBRACE,  AND EVEN THOSE I PRAISE HAVE THEIR FLAWS.

I HAD ISSUES WITH ZAHA ABOUT HER ADAMANT CRITICISM OF NATURE AND YET USING IT TO INSPIRE HER DESIGNS ,  AND HER FLIP FLOPPING  VIEW YEARS LATER WHEN GREEN WAS IN,  AND  ALSO HER HONG KONG PEAK WINNER ENTRY THAT STRIPPED THE SITE OF ALL NATURE WITH A CLASH AND BANG FORCED ANGULAR  BUILDING, ECHOING REM KOOLHAAS HER MENTOR.

HER RECENT CRASS STATEMENT OF NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORKERS ON HER QATAR STADIUM  GOT HER  BAD PRESS AND  SHE DEFENDED HERSELF WITH  A LAW SUIT THAT FORCED A  RETRACTION OF  FRAUDULENT STATEMENTS AGAINST HER.  IN CONTRAST FRANK GEHRY USED HIS STAR POWER TO CHAMPION THE WORKERS RIGHTS.

HER JAPAN NATIONAL STADIUM WAS BEAUTIFUL AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT,  BUT POLITICAL NATIONAL POWERS WERE AGAINST HER, AND USED QUESTIONABLE  COST OVERRUNS  TO  TERMINATE ZAHA.  SO SHE HAD HER PROBLEMS OF BEING DIRECT AND SPEAKING OUT AND PUSHING FOR INTEGRITY WITH HER DESIGNS.   HER METHOD BOLD AND BRASH.

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GALAXY SOHO, BEIJING, CHINA – ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

HER TOTAL WORK DEVOTED TO SERVING THE RICH CORPORATE CLIENTS ETC.

ZAHA HAD A  BIG TIME SOUL.  HER REAL TALENT WAS BEING A SENSUOUS CURVY DESIGNER THAT GOT HER DREAMS BUILT.    I CAN RELATE,    USING FLOWING LINES MYSELF.   ONE CAN ONLY BE TAUGHT THESE SHAPES  IN A LIMITED MATTER,  THE REST HAS TO COME FROM THE SOUL.

I  AM ENVIOUS THAT SHE CAME FROM MONEY AND COULD HIRE THE BEST ASSISTANTS TO PRODUCE FANTASTIC PRESENTATIONS THAT GOT COMMISSIONS AND WON COMPETITIONS ,    BUT  THAT IS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET AHEAD IN THIS MONEY ORIENTED WORLD.  MONEY AND TALENT ALLOWED HER TO EXPRESS HERSELF.  GOD BLESS THOSE THAT HAVE.  SHE BUILT AND PROPOSED WHAT SENSUOUS ARCHITECTS HAVE BUILT AND ASPIRED TO BUILD FOR THE LAST CENTURY.     BUT SHE OPENED THE FLOOD GATES TO BUILD BIGGER, SMALLER AND MORE.   THE WORLD CELEBRATING HER TRIUMPHS.

MY CONNECTION TO ZAHA WAS THROUGH ALVIN BOYARSKY THE DIRECTOR OF THE AA IN ITS’ HAY DAY IN LONDON  WHEN ZAHA,  ARCHIGRAM,  JAN KEPLICKY ,   RICK MATHER ETC.  TAUGHT THERE.    ALVIN MY PROFESSOR AND MENTOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.  I CHATTING LAST WITH ZAHA AND PETER COOK AT RICK MATHER’S  RECEPTION IN LONDON IN MEMORY OF ALVIN BOYARSKY IN 1990.

THE BIG WORD IN “SENSUOUS”,  SHE EXECUTED THE FLOWING LINES LIKE THE WORLD WAS TOTALLY NUDE.  HER FORMS  LIKE SLEEK CARS,  SEAGULLS,  STING RAYS,  SHARKS ETC.   HISTORY HAS DEMONSTRATED WITH THE SAARINEN TULPIT CHAIRS AND PEDESTAL TABLES.  THESE SHAPES LAST FOREVER.

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INTERIOR OF UNIQUE CIRCLE YACHT,                  ZAHA HADID ARCHITECT

HER  DESIGN INTERESTS WERE BROAD FROM SHOES TO MEGA COMPLEXES.  SHE HAD BIG EYES,  SHE SAW EVERYTHING AND WANTED TO MAKE THE WORLD OVER WITH HER DESIGNS OF: YACHTS,  SHOES,  INTERIORS. ETC.

THE OUTSIDE INSIDE THING WERE THE SAME.  SHE EMBELLISHED THE THEME.  NOT LIKE THE DECORATED GIMIC BOX STUFF THAT IS SO POPULAR FOR ARCHITECTS TO HIDE BEHIND THESE DAYS.

ZAHA HAD HER  UNIVERSAL BEAUTY SIDE WITH  CURVES.  AND ALSO  HER PRICKLY SIDE OF EXAGGERATED PIERCING THRUSTS.  LEFT OVER FROM HER RAM KOOLHAAS TIMES.  SHE WAS AT EASE DOING BOTH.  BUT I CHOOSE TO SHOW ONLY HER CURVY SIDE WHICH WILL BE FOREVER ATTRACTIVE.   HISTORY HAS A WAY OF JUDGING,  LIKE IT HAS DONE WITH THE BURTALIST ARCHITECTURE.   I  A BIG FAN OF BRUTALISM, BECAUSE IT PRODUCED GREAT SPACES WITH FANTASTIC LIGHT,  BUT THE PUBLIC JUDGED IT UGLY AND IS TEARING IT DOWN.    THAT WILL HAPPEN TO CLASH AND BANG  PRICKLY ARCHITECTURE AS WELL.

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HEYDAR ALIYEV CULTURAL CENTRE         ZAHA HADID  ARCHITECTS

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PIERRES VIVES BUILDING         ZAHA HADID  ARCHITECTS

THE AMAZING THING IS SHE BUILT HER DREAMS ,  HAVING 200 PROJECTS AT TIME OF HER DEATH.

DESIGN DEMANDS CONTROL AND SHE MADE SURE SHE GOT IT. LIKE ALL BIG OFFICES SHE RELIED ON OTHERS,  BUT SHE WAS THE CONDUCTOR AND CARED ABOUT EVERYTHING.  THAT MEANT SHE HAD SOPHISTICATED ASSOCIATES THAT MADE THESE CONCEPTS COME TO FRUITION.  HAVING ALL THE HEADACHES OF DEALING WITH LIMITED CLIENTS,  RUNNING MULTIPLE  OFFICES  AND ORCHESTRATING  A  PILE OF MONEY  TOOK CAREFUL MANAGEMENT .

ZAHA ALSO LEFT A TREASURE CHEST OF PAPER ARCHITECTURE,  WHICH WILL BE STUDIED FOR EONS.  THE JAPAN NATIONAL STADIUM FOR EXAMPLE.

MY UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT SHE DEMANDED PERFECTION AND WAS DIRECT WITH HER WISHES.  HOW RARE THESE DAYS IN A WORLD THAT WORSHIPS POLITE CHATTING.   A CAREER TO BE STUDIED AND REVERED.  BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS SHE BUILT AND PROPOSED BEAUTY  THAT INSPIRES  AND ENRICHES  LIVES.  A LEGACY TO BE CELEBRATED.

GLEN

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HUNGERBURGBAHN,  INNSBRUCK,    RAIL ENTRY       ZAHA HADID  ARCHITECTS

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ABU DHABI    PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

IN 2008 I WAS WORKING IN ABU DHABI  FOR TDIC,  ZAHAD HAD DRAWINGS AND PLANS OF A PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX.  IT WAS ONE OF THREE MAJOR COMPLEXES PROPOSED ALONG WITH FRANK GHERY, JEAN NOUVEL.   I WAS  BLOWN AWAY WITH THE BEAUTY OF ZAHAD’S DESIGN WHEREAS I HAD ISSUES WITH NOUVEL AND GEHRY.  LEE TABLER CEO OF TDIC AND FORMER STUDENT OF MINE POINTING OUT THE MONUMENT BUILDINGS WERE TOTALLY FUNDED AND DID NOT HAVE TO MAKE MONEY.  WHEREAS  THE ECO RESORT I WAS DESIGNING  WAS PROFIT MOTIVATED.  MAKING A DIFFERENCE OF APPROACHES.

ZAHA ROSE TO THE OCCASION AND PRODUCED THE ULTIMATE DESIGN.  I HOPE IT WILL BE BUILT.

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FLOOR PLAN

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PERFORMING ARTS ABU DHABI   INTERIOR         ZAHA HADID  ARCHITECTS

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FRANK GEHRY ON LEFT,  PRESENTLY BEING BUILT,  JEAN NOUVEL IN THE MIDDLE AND ZAHA HADID ON THE RIGHT.

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UNIQUE CIRCLE YACHTS FOR BLOHM+VOSS – ZAHA HADID    ARCHITECTS

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UNITED NUDE SHOES            ZAHA HAFID ARCHITECTS

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I AM SURE ZAHA WAS INFLUENCED BY LUIGI COLANI.   THE FAMOUS CONCEPT DESIGNER THAT DID THIS TOTAL VISUAL PACKAGE  OVER 30 YEARS AGO ,   HE DESIGNS CLOTHES AND YACHTS AS WELL.

Zaha Hadid's Japanese Olympic stadium design

NATIONAL STADIUM OF JAPAN – ZAHA HADID  ARCHITECT

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SKY SOHO SHANGHAI – ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS

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3 comments

  1. Glen,

    Thanks for the appreciation of Zaha. It is very good of you to acknowledge her singular, sensuous designs, built and proposed. In contrast to less organic projects littering the landscape, her forms exude integrity; they appear unified, naturally consistent, structures that clearly are products of a very strong and focused creative mind. Whether or not one ‘likes’ her work, there is no doubt in the clarity and exuberance of her architecture. Perhaps the service to money and power that inherent in her architectural experience, will inspire the ordinary ‘architects in the street’ to widen their view of what is possible at a more humble level of small scale local projects. It appears to me to be an awesome task to solve the technical problems of, for instance, glazing: control of light, sealing, cleaning; the long term maintenance and integrity of the organic forms meeting the real world of materials. Expansion, contraction, and the effects on highly contrasting material connections and the subtle variations of temperatures of the constantly curvilinear forms create very difficult challenges for her engineers. All very abstract for me: need direct experience of her architecture to really make an intelligent response.

    What is the material of the rail entry? I assume it is reinforced concrete. But maybe something else?

    When I think about it, I’ve spent little time in structures of curved forms. Since my sense of space is dominant, I tend to respond to the ‘shape’ of the space, the quality of light, all which is not geometric; rectilinear or otherwise. The influence of Japanese architectural space and Wright and others organic approach and ‘exploding the box’ have resonated with me. In my low rent and very limited design experience, the hard edge real world of convention has had its way, whittling down large ideas to small. Perhaps if I had jumped in with both feet long ago, embraced the full spectrum of the profession and business of architecture/landscape architecture, I may have been able to make my mark and be remembered, at least in a friendly blog. But that’s not who I am.

    Cataract surgeries on both eyes successful. Now for the third eye. The violet end of the color spectrum has returned with astounding clarity. I had been seeing violets as muddy reddish browns. Important to me to see color.

    After day
    Before night
    Sky
    Violet

    David

  2. I see the aesthetic form; fluid would be the word. A stylistic motif. The three dimensionality of the curves immediately has one associate with biology or biological forms. But I don’t recognize any ‘biology’ here. Nor an imitation of nature as the classicists insist upon. Nor function , derived from the forms. It is just delight. Your assertion that all these forms are sensual, therefore beautiful is based on why? The architecture is INTRISICALY beautiful because they somewhat imitate nature? Or is the curved forms the source of the beauty? If nature is the source of beauty in things (an argument for later) then which comes first…nature, or the form?

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