Hadid retrospective opens

Zaha Hadid’s first major UK exhibition opens at the Design Museum today.

Spread out over two floors, the exhibition will explore a breadth of undeveloped, developing and realised work by the global architect.

A former student of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Hadid is one of the few architects to have had work commissioned across Europe, the US, Russia and Asia.

The first floor is dedicated to Hadid’s finished work, exploring her distinct approach to architecture as a theorist and charting the evolution of her earlier work, from linear forms to the voluptuous shapes that distinguish her particular handwriting today.

Examples include The Vitra Fire Station, built in 1993 in Weil am Rhein, the Phaeno Science Centre in Wolfsburg, the BMW Central Building in Leipzig – all in Germany – and the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, US.

‘Work in progress’ is featured throughout the second floor, looking at buildings currently in development across the world, while designs of small-scale objects such as chairs, examine Hadid’s diversity and ability to work as a designer, as well as an architect.

Her striking Swarm Chandelier, created for Established and Sons, is the first thing that visitors will see on entering the exhibition.

Influential designs that were never realised – such as The Peak Club in Hong Kong and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales – will also feature in the exhibition.

In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize and in 2006, was honoured with a retrospective show at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

Zaha Hadid – Architecture and Design runs until 25 November at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London E1.

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