Skip to content

Zaha Hadid Architects

Your Starred Items

Archive Search
Your Starred Items


Tokyo, Japan Exhibition

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • 18/10/2014 – 23/12/2014
  • Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
  • Complete

Zaha Hadid’s relationship with Japan began early in her career. The country holds an unparalleled reputation for its innovative and forward-thinking approach to technology, engineering and design, yet maintains and respects deep tradition and craftsmanship within today’s society. With such duality comfortably entrenched in the national character, it is thus no surprise that Japan was among the earliest to adopt Zaha Hadid’s work—an architecture that embraces the future with confidence; exploring new concepts and materiality in buildings that engage, integrate and adapt to the complexities of contemporary life patterns.

In the early 1980’s Hadid designed the Tomigaya and Azabu Jyuban buildings in Tokyo and then built the Moon Soon interior in Sapporo at the end of that decade, and it is a revisiting of these projects with which the exhibition begins. Original drawings, paintings and models are accompanied by meticulously recreated furniture designed for the Moon Soon.

Alongside these formative Japanese projects, rarely exhibited early paintings by Hadid, as well as a selection of vintage models, are displayed within The Field of Towers. The forty-six small towers each represent an iteration of her practice’s investigations into parametric tower design. The close proximity of works from Hadid’s early years to its current research focus creates a rich visual and conceptual dialogue, inviting the viewer to grasp the contextual threads that connect more than thirty years of her projects.

Entering Gallery 2, the viewer is met with a 28-metre projection, continuing the journey through the firm’s archive—a journey that has been consciously mapped via an exhibition design that is itself based on the structure of an urban master plan.

Highlights of this journey are showcased within the space, comprised of a carefully curated selection of Hadid’s projects both conceptual and built, and examples of her innovative furniture and design collaborations. Each architectural project exhibited displays the formal and geometric complexity with structural audacity and material authenticity engrained within its DNA.

Throughout the exhibition we also find examples of Hadid’s explorations into contemporary use of the most traditional of materials such as wood and stone: including the curvilinear theatre of the Heydar Aliyev Centre hand-crafted in oak; the undulating roof of the London Aquatics Centre in ash, and the organic forms of the Mercuric Tables carved in Carrara marble.

An interactive virtual reality installation is presented in the far corner of the gallery, inviting the viewer to wear 3D glasses and experience the Galaxy Soho project in Beijing as well as the New National Stadium, Tokyo. Transitioned by this virtual flight from archive, to present, to future, the exhibition culminates in a display devoted to the forthcoming New National Stadium of Japan.

Hadid has said architecture is ultimately about well-being: every design revolves around how people will use and enjoy space. Throughout her repertoire we sense the evolution of each project as the very specific

result of context, local culture, programmatic requirements and innovative engineering coming together – allowing architecture, city and landscape to seamlessly combine in both formal strategy and spatial experience. These projects define inspirational public spaces where Hadid’s concepts of seamless spatial flow are made real – creating a whole new kind of civic space for the city.

These principles are strikingly evident in the design for the New National Stadium.

The exhibition outlines how the stadium’s design offers maximum accessibility to sport and culture for everyone in Tokyo. Community facilities and public walkways are integrated within the design, with the

civic realm of the surrounding environment extending into the building. Through models, drawings and imagery, we learn how this user-focused, highly adaptable stadium will ensure the greatest use by Japan’s sporting, cultural, civic and community organizations for many generations to come.






Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Director

Woody Yao,
Maha Kutay

Exhibition Team (ZHA)

Margarita Valova,
Yoshi Uchiyama,
Olga Yatsyuk,
Johanna Huang,
Zhenjiang Guo,
Paulo Flores,
Alia Faisal Zayani,
Claudia Fruianu.

Exhibition Coordinators

Manon Janssens (ZHA)
Shino Nomura (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery)

Azabu Jyuban and Tomigaya Building Models

Satoshi Ohashi,
Yang Jingwen,
Di Ding,
Rhina Portillo,
Matthias Urschler.

National Stadium Model and Renders

Jim Heverin,
Paulo Flores,
Yoshi Uchiyama,
Fernando Poucell,
Junyi Wang,
Irene Guerra,
Takehiko Iseki,
Ben Kikkawa,
Carlos Medina.

Video Installation

Henry Virgin

Moon Soon Furniture

Satoshi Ohashi
Yang Jingwen
Shu Hashimoto

3D interactive installation

Sponsored by Dassault

With kind support from

David Gill Galleries
United Nude