Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti

005Image courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti

In celebration of Zaha Hadid’s career in architecture and design that spans four decades, Fondazione Berengo will host an abridged retrospective exhibition of her work at the 16th century Palazzo Franchetti on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy. The exhibition, coinciding with this year’s Venice Architectural Biennale, showcases many of the seminal paintings, drawings and models of Hadid’s repertoire, conveying the ingenuity and dynamism of her architectural projects in a variety of media including photography and film. Through Hadid’s designs – built, under-construction, in development and unrealised – the exhibition displays the pioneering research and investigation that instigates and defines Zaha Hadid Architects’ work. Hadid directly engaged with the experimentation of the Russian Avant-garde early in her career, exploring the compositional techniques of fragmentation, layering and porosity that transcend all her projects.

 

zaha hadid exhibition at the palazzo franchettiImage courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

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Hadid described her process, “My paintings really evolved thirty years ago because I thought the architectural drawings required a much greater degree of distortion and fragmentation to assist our research – but eventually it affected the work of course. In the early days of our office the method we used to construct a drawing or painting or model led to new, exciting discoveries. We sometimes did not know what the research would lead to – but we knew there would be something, and that all the experiments had to lead to perfecting the project. It might take ten years for a 2D sketch to evolve into a workable space, and then into a realised building. And these are the journeys that I think are very exciting, as they are not predictable. For example, I used to produce hatched lines on my drawings. These became striated models, which eventually became the diagram for MAXXI Museum. So a simple idea like that would take quite a long journey.

 

zaha hadid exhibition at the palazzo franchettiImage courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

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“Doing the drawings was a slow process, as they required tremendous concentration and precision. The whole system of drawing led to ideas, putting one sheet over another and tracing and reworking, like a form of reverse archaeology in a way, leading to a layering process where distortion in the drawing could lead to distortion in the building. Or extruded drawings could lead to extruded sections in buildings. The processes led to literal translations in the building,” continued Hadid. The leads and connections between all of Zaha Hadid Architects’ projects is evident in the exhibition’s juxtaposition of these early designs with projects such as the BMW Central Building in Leipzig (completed 2005) within a landscape of models that integrates project typologies, formal composition, geography and chronology.

 

zaha hadid exhibition at the palazzo franchettiImage courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

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Three projects representing milestones in Zaha Hadid’s career will also be presented in their own room. Beginning with the Vitra Fire Station (completed 1993) in Weil am Rhein, Germany, Zaha Hadid Architects’ first completed project and followed by the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (completed 2003), which contributed to Zaha Hadid being awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Concluding the room’s projects is the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (completed 2009) which transcends the periods in which the practice implemented and developed its wide-ranging experimentation with the rapid advancements in computer-aided design. All of Zaha Hadid Architects works in progress will be exhibited, including projects to be completed in the coming year.

 

zaha hadid exhibition at the palazzo franchettiImage courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

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Through detailed exploration of two projects currently under construction, the exhibition outlines the (CODE). CODE’s research and development harnesses the latent opportunities within the inter-disciplinary collaboration of computationally literate architects, engineers and emerging digital manufacturing methods; establishing a collective research culture throughout Zaha Hadid Architects that enables many diverse talents and innovative ideas to feed into each other. CODE’s research applications determined the airflow patterns that define the shapes and spaces of the Mathematics Gallery at the Science Museum, which were a result of a fluid exchange of means, methods and models across disciplines and the lineage of innovative, tensile fabric structures that the office has undertaken in the past. These galleries outline the development and continued advancements of this research and their application throughout Zaha Hadid Architects’ body of work.

 

zaha hadid exhibition at the palazzo franchettiImage courtesy of Fondazione Berengo

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The developments that computing has brought to architecture are incredible, enabling an intensification of relationships and greater precision – both internally within the buildings as well as externally with their context. It took me twenty years to convince people to do everything in 3D, with an army of people trying to draw the most difficult perspectives, and now everyone works in 3D on the computer – but they think a plan is a horizontal section, but it’s not. The plan really needs organization via a diagram”, Zaha Hadid has explained. Adriano Berengo, president of Fondazione Berengo said, “Visitors to the exhibition will have a greater understanding of Zaha Hadid’s pioneering vision that redefined architecture and design for the 21st century and captured imaginations across the globe. Although I work in the art world and Dame Zaha Hadid’s excellence was architecture, her work is also imbued with art, that patina that makes everything eternal, including the creator herself.”

 

Palazzo Franchetti, Venice
27 May – 27 November 2016

 

more. fondazioneberengo.org

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