The exhibition, coinciding with this year’s Venice Architectural Biennale, showcases many of the seminal paintings, drawings and models of Hadid’s repertoire, conveying the ingenuity and dynamism of her architectural projects in a variety of media including photography and film.
Through Hadid’s designs – built, under-construction, in development and unrealised – the exhibition displays the pioneering research and investigation that instigates and defines Zaha Hadid Architects’ work.
The leads and connections between all of Zaha Hadid Architects’ projects is evident in the exhibition’s juxtaposition of these early designs with projects such as the BMW Central Building in Leipzig (completed 2005) within a landscape of models that integrates project typologies, formal composition, geography and chronology.
Three projects representing milestones in Zaha Hadid’s career are also presented in their own room. Beginning with the Vitra Fire Station (completed 1993) in Weil am Rhein, Germany, Zaha Hadid Architects’ first completed project and followed by the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (completed 2003), which contributed to Zaha Hadid being awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Concluding the room’s projects is the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (completed 2009) which transcends the periods in which the practice implemented and developed its wide-ranging experimentation with the rapid advancements in computer-aided design.
Helene Binet’s photographs, capturing the integrity and materiality of Hadid’s projects, are showcased in their own room. Binet began her relationship with the practice photographing the Vitra Fire Station in 1992 and has continued to the present day with powerful images of many of the firm’s works including the Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy which was inaugurated in April 2016.
All of Zaha Hadid Architects works in progress are exhibited, including projects to be completed in the coming year. The Port House in Antwerp will be inaugurated on 22 September. Its design preserves and repurposes an abandoned 95-year-old fire station into a new headquarters for the port. The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) in Riyadh is a non-profit institution that brings together people from around the world to research and tackle energy challenges for the benefit of society and the environment. Due for completion in October, KAPSARC is built with sustainable construction methods and materials to LEED Platinum certification, and designed to work with its natural environment to ensure comfort for employees alongside minimising energy and resource consumption.
The Mathematics Gallery at London’s Science Museum will open in December. A pioneering new gallery that explores how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world, its design and layout is defined by mathematical equations that are used to create the 3D curved surfaces representing the airflow patterns that would have streamed around the historic 1929 aircraft at the centre of the exhibition. Also included in the exhibition are models, relief studies and visualisations of a residential building on the High Line in New York that will complete in early 2017.
Through detailed exploration of two projects currently under construction, the exhibition outlines the (CODE). CODE’s research and development harnesses the latent opportunities within the inter-disciplinary collaboration of computationally literate architects, engineers and emerging digital manufacturing methods; establishing a collective research culture throughout Zaha Hadid Architects that enables many diverse talents and innovative ideas to feed into each other.
CODE’s research applications determined the airflow patterns that define the shapes and spaces of the Mathematics Gallery at the Science Museum, which were a result of a fluid exchange of means, methods and models across disciplines and the lineage of innovative, tensile fabric structures that the office has undertaken in the past. These galleries outline the development and continued advancements of this research and their application throughout Zaha Hadid Architects’ body of work.
“The developments that computing has brought to architecture are incredible, enabling an intensification of relationships and greater precision – both internally within the buildings as well as externally with their context. It took me twenty years to convince people to do everything in 3D, with an army of people trying to draw the most difficult perspectives, and now everyone works in 3D on the computer – but they think a plan is a horizontal section, but it’s not. The plan really needs organization via a diagram,” Zaha Hadid has explained.
Adriano Berengo, president of Fondazione Berengo said, “Visitors to the exhibition will have a greater understanding of Zaha Hadid’s pioneering vision that redefined architecture and design for the 21st century and captured imaginations across the globe. Although I work in the art world and Dame Zaha Hadid’s excellence was architecture, her work is also imbued with art, that patina that makes everything eternal, including the creator herself.”
Falconeri is continuing its partnership with Fondazione Berengo supporting creativity and innovation in the arts as the major sponsor of the exhibition and hosted a performance in tribute to Zaha Hadid on 25 May at Palazzo Franchetti by soloist Anna Tikhomirova of the Bolshoi Ballet. Falconeri said, “We maintain our commitment to the arts and Zaha Hadid’s work is fantastically inventive in her search for new and unexpected solutions.”
In her 2011 conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Galleries, Zaha Hadid stated, “I know from my experience that without research and experimentation not much can be discovered. With experimentation, you think you’re going to find out one thing, but you actually discover something else. That’s what I think is really exciting. You discover much more than you bargain for. I think there should be no end to experimentation.”