The so-called 'creative industries' are what almost all major world cities want to be known for and base their future economy on. So, how does a city become a 'design city'? Mayors everywhere in the world are currently pondering this question. Oh Se-Hoon, the former mayor of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, who preferred landmark construction projects over welfare programs, spent 450 million dollars on a fancy, sleek new building called the Dongdaemun Design Plaza - or DDP for short.
Zaha Hadid Architects
By Martin Søberg
Dame Zaha Hadid is the uncrowned queen of contemporary iconic architecture. Her buildings practically scream, "I'm a Hadid". A bona fide autrice, Hadid is without a doubt the world's most famous woman in a starchitect stratosphere strangely dominated by her masculine peers.
Since her student days in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (born 1950) has been intensely preoccupied with changing our general notions of space - not only in a physical sense, but also socially and culturally. Hadid's projects are characterized by their dynamic formal qualities of sinuously, curving shapes, or crystallized strata. This sums up as a kind of new Baroque, a sensuous, more vibrant and engaging type of architecture.
Hadid's projects during the late 1970s and 1980s were marked by a profound understanding of early 20th Century avant-garde artists and architects. In an attempt to redevelop and make relevant again the formal investigations of Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, her projects expressed utopian ideals.
Today, Zaha Hadid Architects create landmarks projects for all types of functional programs. Their buildings are never bland or mundane, but moreover assertive statements of a particular view, that the world may indeed look different. Their efforts have resulted in a staggering almost one thousand projects throughout the globe, in every scale, from urban design schemes to objects and furniture design.
Along with her strong conceptual and historical awareness, nature's forms and shapes appear as a recurrent source of inspiration for Zaha Hadid's architecture. It includes attention to physical contexts and landscapes, whether resulting in layered structures or powerful moving lines but also exploring possible interfaces between patterns and construction.
Zaha Hadid Architects embraced digital drawing early on. This has made the studio able to challenge traditional ways of making architecture. In collaboration with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid has meticulously explored the possibilities of parametric design, allowing for the conception and construction of architecture as seamless flows of energy and matter. Zaha Hadid is the 2004 Pritzker Prize laureate and winner of the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011.
Visit Zaha Hadid's website here.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ New Cultural Center in Azerbaijan Hovers on a Platform of Light, Like a Beacon of Advanced Design that Spans East and West.
A former gunpowder store of severe Palladianism transformed for public use and adorned with pavilion of curvy splendor. Distinction rather than architectural assimilation at Zaha Hadid Architects’ Serpentine Sackler Gallery, opening up the existing listed building towards the surrounding lushness of Kensington Gardens.
The new Port Authority Headquarters - the future Port House - is located on the boundary between the city of Antwerp and its harbor.
The Galaxy SOHO, inspired by the grand scale of Beijing, will become an integral part of the living city.
The design of the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, located at the northern edge of the Michigan State University campus, is influenced by a set of movement paths that traverse and border the site.
The Pierresvives building unifies an archive, a library and a sports department within a single envelope.
The design of the Rocca London Gallery brings about a connective language between the architecture and the bathroom products, with the movement of water "carving out" the interior and moving through the Gallery as individual drops
The museum positions itself symbolically and functionally as open and fluid, engaging its context and content to ensure it is profoundly interlinked with not only Glasgow's history, but also its future.
Overlooking the Pearl River the Guangzhou Opera House is at the heart of Guangzhou's cultural sites development.
Zaha Hadid Architects' first completed project in England presents itself as an open, transparent and welcoming addition to the community's local urban regeneration process.
The architectural expression for the new performing arts centre by Zaha Hadid Architects was inspired by the uniquely beautiful monument of Petra.
The MAXXI is located in the Flaminio quarter of Rome, in the area of the former Montello military barracks. The complex houses two institutions: MAXXI Arte and MAXXI Architecture, aiming to promote art and architecture through collection, conservation, study and exhibition of contemporary works.
The JS Bach Chamber Music Hall was first installed in the Manchester Art Gallery during the Summer 2009 Festival. The same pavilion will be at the Holland Festival in 2010.
Located between the centre of Cairo and the city's airport the design for Cairo Expo City delivers a unique facility for Cairo - state of the art city for exhibitions and conferences.
The Zaha Hadid for Lacoste footwear collaboration began with a digitized interpretation of surfaces with repeated patterns.
The new Port House design consists of two entities: the existing Fire Station and a new crystalline volume lifted above the retained building.
The concept for the Neil Barrett flagship store in Tokyo is based on the minimal cut of the brand's fashion design and parallels its approach in using the same design parameters of fixed points, folding, pleating and cut outs.
The building's envelope plays an essential role in defining its relation to the surrounding environment and atmospheric variations.
The new museum and cultural center will house pieces from collections of both the New York based Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the St. Petersburg based State Hermitage Museum.
The 1.8 km long Nordpark Cable Railway, comprised of four new stations and a cable-stayed suspension bridge over the river Inn, takes you from the center of Innsbruck to the top of the mountain in less than half an hour.
As a part of Lincoln Center Festival Zaha Hadid has collaborated with Frédéric Flamand, director of the Ballet National de Marseille, on the creation of the piece "Metapolis II." The third of a series of reflections on the contemporary city.
The Kartal - Pendik Masterplan is a winning competition proposal for a new city centre on the east bank of Istanbul.
The aim of the project was to create a node of cultural exchanges that simultaneously will serve as a landmark announcing the arrival to Cagliari from the sea, and answer the five challenges proposed by the brief.
The Central Building is the active nerve-centre or brain of the whole BMW factory complex. All threads of the building's activities gather together and branch out again from here.
The design is based on Zaha Hadid's personal interpretation of the surrounding landscape and the relationship to the original building.
Located in the center of Wolfsburg, on the ICE rail line, the Science Center is set both as the endpoint of a chain of important cultural buildings, by Aalto, Scharoun and Schweger, and as a connecting link to the north bank of the Mittelland Kanal - the Volkswagen plant and the Autostadt.
Zaha Hadid Architects won the International Competition for the Design of the New EuskoTren Headquarters in Durango, Spain.
The ski jump is part of a larger refurbishment project for the Olympic Arena and has replaced the old ski jump, which no longer met with International standards.
With the move to this dynamic new building, the first free-standing home for the Center's pioneering programming, the CAC will become one of the most centrally located contemporary arts institutions in the USA.
The 116 m2 structure will be a ten-year intervention into a dynamic area of Odasiba Island. The temporary Guggenheim will be a trend setter in terms of the architectural identity of the area.