November 08, 2012

A little bit of Zaha!

One of my classmates in college nicknamed me 'Zaha' from my fondness of angles and assymetry and oddities, synonymous with the famed architect, Zaha Hadid. My designs are quite far from her work, and thankfully that name never stuck!

No doubt, she's pretty awesome. The only female holder of the prestigious Pritsker award with projects dotted all over the world and has lectured in some of the biggest architectural institutions.

I was lucky enough to be in London during the two week London Festival of Architecture 2012. As part of the festival, was the opening of the Zaha Hadid Exhibition. It was definitely something I looked forward to, but unfortunately forgot to carry my camera and had to rely on my phone.

The exhibition was the basement and ground floor of a building with her studios on the floors above. If only she wasn't on one of her world travel, I could have met the woman herself. sigh. 

There were about 8 or 10 sculptures on display. Most of them were her furniture or landscape design. You can see them here. I particularly liked her Floating staircase design and the Aqua Table. Such smooth lines and seamless surfaces make up her wacky designs.

There were a few models and construction photographs of some of her work. Some of her interns were curating and took visitors around and explained the projects on display. So jealous of them! Hmph.

Despite there not being many things on display, the whole arrangement and flow of the space was so well done. Her attention to detail, precision and perfection was outstanding. Her choice of colour, material and finish reflected the same. I mean, even for the brochure for the exhibition, she chose to be different and folded the A4 sheet in different angles. Crazy lady!

It was a double event when a Architect's Eye photography exhibition and panel discussion was held at the Zaha's Roco Gallery. 

The panel discussion was good, the photographs on display were good too, but I was most excited with the interiors of her project. Who would have thought that a bathroom fixtures showroom could be designed with such brilliance. Everything from the lighting, to the colours and shapes she created were in perfect equilibrium. Although loud in nature, it still brought emphasis to the bathtubs, sinks and toilets. 

Her concept spills out from interiors to the outside of the building too tying the same flowing lines, the depressions and cut outs of the interior but in a exposed concrete expression.

The concept of the design is the movement of water, and water droplets. The flowing lines, sculpted pods and even the pattern of the flooring tiles all mimic that movement. The grey scale colour scheme creates a slightly cold environment. But the contrasts of shade and light define the spaces.

The space was divided into 4 gallery spaces, waiting area and reception, meeting room and audio visual screens. Storage cabinets, shelves, seating and even the reception table are all designed with the same concept in mind.

Overall, the whole space breathed a perfectly complete design with the obvious Zaha Hadid stamp.  

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