Guggenheim Museum Presents Zaha Hadid

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Exhibition: Zaha Hadid

Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), New York City
Dates: Saturday, June 3–Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Press Preview: Friday, June 2, 2006, 2–4 PM

Overview: Zaha Hadid will provide an in-depth examination of the oeuvre of one of today’s most visionary architects. The first woman to be awarded the distinguished Pritzker Architecture Prize, which she won in 2004, Hadid is internationally known for both her theoretical and academic work, as well as a portfolio of built projects that have literally “shifted the geometry of buildings.” The Iraqi-born, London-based architect has collaborated with the Guggenheim on several projects, including the design for the museum’s exhibition The Great Utopia in 1992. Each of Hadid’s dynamic and innovative projects builds on over twenty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture, and design. Zaha Hadid will provide a comprehensive look at her projects worldwide. True to Hadid’s interdisciplinary approach to architecture, there will be a wide range of mediums on display including painting, drawing, large-scale urban plans, proposals for international design competitions, building designs for contemporary cultural and sports facilities, and documentation of current projects under construction.

Organization: Germano Celant, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, and Monica Ramírez-Montagut, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Sponsor: This exhibition is made possible by Oldcastle Glass.
Additional support is provided by Deutsche Bank.
The Leadership Committee for Zaha Hadid is gratefully acknowledged.

Description: Having first achieved international recognition through her striking images and designs, Zaha Hadid is now widely known as an innovative architect who consistently tests the boundaries of architecture, urbanism, and design. One of Hadid’s most important “testing fields” has been her drawings. Her reconsideration of the architectural drawing, through nontraditional floor plans with spatial configurations open to interpretation, has had a major impact on all areas of design and architecture. Once considered unbuildable, her graphic conceptions can now be seen around the world, including major buildings in Europe, North America, and Asia.

At the outset of her career, Hadid’s architectural practice followed Constructivist ideals. Based on floating lines and planes frozen in time and space, her early architecture presented broken, compound angles with acute interstices that expressed considerable tension. Hadid’s latest architecture incorporates smoother surfaces where walls seem to melt, floors curve upward, and ceilings appear to compress, bend, and expand, creating a sense of constant transformation. Hadid’s search for “fluid fields,” flexible and permeable carpets or layers of skin, has remained constant throughout her career. In her designs, architecture emerges not as an isolated object but out of the surrounding landscape and urban environment, and as a result of its users’ movements and paths. The movements of the surroundings create trajectories that shape her buildings, creating what she calls “fluid geometries” and “artificial natures.”

Hadid’s most recently completed project, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, has already been described by critics as a masterpiece, while the BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany, which opened last year, was called a revolution in modern workplace design. Previous seminal buildings, such as the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Germany, the Bergisel Ski-Jump in Innsbruck, Austria, the Strasbourg Tram Station in France, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and the Ordrupgaard Museum Extension in Copenhagen have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our vision of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms.

Catalogue: A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is also being produced ($50 softcover only). Color illustrations of designs and models, previously unpublished paintings, and photographs of buildings at all stages of construction will accompany essays by leading authorities on Hadid’s work. Contributions by authors Joseph Giovannini, Detlef Mertins, and Patrik Schumacher will complement two unpublished interviews between Zaha Hadid and Alvin Boyarsky. The catalogue is published by the Guggenheim Museum and will be distributed in North America by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers.

Symposium: “Contamination: Impure Architecture.” June 3, from 10 AM–4 PM

On Saturday, June 3, the Guggenheim and Oldcastle Glass will co-host a one-day symposium “Contamination: Impure Architecture.” As a product of a culture, a time, and a process, architecture is contaminated and contaminates. This “impure architecture” may reflect and affect how we view civilizations today; it also brings into question our concepts of truth, ideality, utopia and progress as embodied in the built world. Join Kunle Adeyemi, Elizabeth Diller, Greg Lynn, Farshid Moussavi, Bernard Tschumi, and other key architectural theorists and practitioners in a consideration of the transformative power of contamination. The symposium is organized by Cynthia Davidson and LOG magazine and made possible by Oldcastle Glass. Free to the public.

Reservations required. To RSVP, call 212-423-3684, or email

April 19, 2006

Betsy Ennis / Leily Soleimani
Guggenheim Public Affairs

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