11 April 2016

Queen of the curve: an architecture of exuberance

Tribute to Zaha Hadid  (1950-2016).

As much as Zaha's original language of architecture was much based on geometric fractals, floating shreds and deconstruction, in my view her later projects became more in-tune with a fictitious Brasilian neo-modernism. Yes, a language full of curves and exuberance.  Barvo, Zaha!

Encounters with Zaha:

MX (1995) The first time I came across Zaha Hadid was on her 'paper architecture'. Possibly and article on AD.... I remember stumbling across a bunch of provocative images of her work while working on my own thesis project in Guadalajara, México.

SP. Barcelona (1996) I got to seat at her lecture presentation during the Union Internacional de Arquitectos (UIA Barcelona) conference 1996. At the time she only had built the Vitra Fire Station (1993) at Weil am Rehin, Germany and Moonsoon bar in Sapporo, Japan. Still, she was already renown for her design flair and exuberance. A a number of constructions commissions were in the incubator, if not already in the pipeline.

UK (1997-2003)  London/Reading: while my years in England I got to experience events such as the fall of Cardiff Opera House project and the adjacent saga; the Serpentine Gallery temporary pavilion London (2000); Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck Austria and Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio (never visited but - much influenced by the concepts of the 'urban carpet';

UAE (2007 and 2013): The Sheik Zayed Brige in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (study tour with my RMIT Melbourne students students 2007 and 2013).

Roma (2010): MAXXI first 'proper' visit to Rome was in 2010. I much enjoyed staying with my friends Matteo e Francesca who at the time lived on Via Flaminia not far from MAXXI.

Zurich (2012-2013): finalist for The Circle mix-use development across Zurich Airport (2011), I then spent my sabbatical in such a wonderful city. Zaha did not get the Circle project at the end ... but an exhibition town. 

IT (2012) Installation at the Venice Biennale 'Common Ground', ARUM installation.

Vienna (2013) visit to the new library at the Vienna Economics University (December 2013 - January 2014).

Au (2013) .... and Melbourne's Flinders street station, finalist Major Projects Victoria. Lost to Herzog& de Meuron/Hassell (2013).

... and under review for planning approval schematics for hi-rise development were submitted in both Melbourne and Brisbane.
Photos taken at the pre-inaugural visit to the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaft Universität Wien). Photography: Guillermo Aranda-Mena © 2013 

We hope to see your offsprings in Australia Zaha.

Guillermo Aranda-Mena©2016