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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid at the Serpentine Galleries: the early paintings in virtual reality

A pioneering and visionary architect and artist who left behind an extraordinary body of work, many of Hadid’s architectural proposals took the form of paintings which prophesied the potential of the digital age and the application of software in architecture. Technology grew to be central to the work of Hadid and in honour to Hadid’s legacy of profound experimentation and innovation, the London exhibition of Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings at the Serpentine Galleries was born.

Continuing with her legacy of experimentation and innovation, the Serpentine Galleries and Google Arts & Culture have collaborated on a new virtual reality project - Zaha Hadid: Virtual Reality Experiences 2016. Viewers from around the world can now experience four of her early paintings translated into virtual reality, offering groundbreaking 360 degree video experiences.

As a prolific painter and visionary architect, Hadid changed the way we think about the relationship between mediums. This experience, previously only available at the galleries, is now available to a global audience online, with the four paintings now accessible as 360 degree video experiences. You can see the videos online on Google Arts & Culture and for an immersive experience, you can see them through a virtual reality headset. Working with Google’s ultra-high resolution Art Camera to document the paintings enables a close up and intimate relationship with the viewer.

None of these architectural painting proposals were ever realised as completed buildings – they remain heroic unrealised projects, which makes the VR experience all the more poignant for its ability to show how their spatial qualities unfold. The four 360 degree films translate some of the key aspects and DNA contained inside the paintings, offering a dynamic and immersive experience of the paintings on display in the exhibition.


Zaha Hadid at Serpentine Galleries, Google Arts & Culture

Zaha Hadid Early Paintings and Drawings, Serpentine Sackler Gallery