Zaha Hadid’s Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre
We’re gaga over these renderings of Zaha Hadid’s proposed Performing Arts Centre in Abu Dhabi. We haven’t heard much about how green the building will be, but we’re excited to see more and more star architects inspired by natural and organic forms (check out the leaf-like windows!). The Performing Arts Center will be part of a multi-billion dollar cultural district with other buildings by Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, and Tadao Ando. In her own words, Ms. Hadid describes the structure as a “biological analogy” whose primary components (branches, stems, fruits, and leaves) are then “transformed from these abstract diagrams into architectonic design.” We can only hope that such poetic biomimicry will be translated into green functions, materials, and technologies as well.
Vitra Fire Station
An early design for a fire station for the Vitra furniture complex in Germany by Zaha Hadid.
“Each station has its own unique context, topography, altitude, and circulation. We studied natural phenomena such as glacial moraines and ice movements – as we wanted each station to use the fluid language of natural ice formations, like a frozen stream on the mountainside.”Zaha Hadid
BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany, 2005
Maggies Centre, Fife, Scotland, 2006
Size+Matter: Zaha Hadid
One of the highlights of the London Design Festival was the inauguration of the South Bank as a cultural hub, the crowning moment of which was Zaha Hadid being awarded the first London Design Medal on Monday night. We were on hand to find out a little about how she manages to work as she does, and to hear about ‘Urban Nebula’, her graceful, concrete (two words that don’t often appear together) installation on the Southbank
Tree of knowledge
Zaha Hadid unveils final design of ‘Pierres Vives’
This project captures the unique combination of three civic institutions – the archives, the library and the sports department, the spectacular design is inspired by the idea of a ‘tree of knowledge’ as an organizational diagram. The archive is located at the solid base of the trunk, followed by the slightly more porous library, with the sports department and its offices on top. These various parts of this “cite administrative” share several functions at the heart of the building, with auditorium and meeting rooms combining in a huge cantilever canopy above the entrance. The branches projecting off the main trunk on ground floor, articulate the entrances into the various institutions. All the public entrances are located on the western side; whilst the service entrances for staff and loading bays are on the eastern side. In this way the tree-trunk analogy is exploited to organise and articulate the complexity of the overall “cite administrative”.
commercial and housing complex
We don’t often bring news of projects without at least an inkling of the actual design, but sometimes we just can’t resist: Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi Pritzker Prize winning architect, is set to design Melbourne’s, and Australia’s, greenest and probably most expensive commercial and housing complex. A tall order, considering that Melbourne is already home to CH2 and 40 Albert Road, which have been the only two buildings in the country to achieve the highest 6-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
While the design is still shrouded in secrecy (the image above is just an artist’s impression of what the design might look like, and is not the official design of the development), a few facts have already leaked to the outside world. The design will be composed of four buildings, Docklands’ tallest tower, elaborate civic spaces over two sites, and decking over Wurundjeri Way pedestrian river paths.
The proposed tower will be 50 to 60 levels high and would occupy the site once earmarked for the failed Grollo Tower. The design is set to be so green, that according to The Age, an Australian newspaper, “it would deserve an eight-to-12-star energy rating” something which is impossible under current Green Star guidelines, and would be the equivalent of a rating three or four times above LEED Platinum.
We have featured Zaha previously when we spoke about the Performing Arts Centre in Abu Dhabi. She is of course quite famous for her extreme designs, which vary from being quite angular and sculptural, to her more recent biologically-inspired shapes. Whatever one may think of her work, you cannot deny that she is doing some very interesting and exciting projects. We can’t wait to see what the final design for the Melbourne Docklands will look like and hope that the final design is as green as it is claimed to be.