MAXXI celebrates 10 years

The MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome opened ten years ago this weekend.

The New York Times: “What would Pope Urban VIII have made of MAXXI, the new museum of contemporary art designed by Zaha Hadid on the outskirts of this city’s historic quarter? My guess is that he would have been ecstatic.

“This 17th-century pope, one of the most prominent cultural patrons in Roman history, understood that great cities are not frozen in time. He loved dreaming up lavish new projects over breakfast with his artistic soul mate, the Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini…

“MAXXI jolts this city back to the present like a thunderclap. Its sensual lines seem to draw the energy of the city right up into its belly. The galleries would probably have sent a shiver of joy up the old pope’s spine. Even Bernini, I suspect, would have appreciated their curves.

“The completion of the museum is proof that this city is no longer allergic to the new and a rebuke to those who still see Rome as a catalogue of architectural relics for scholars or tourists. It affirms the view that cities thrive when each generation attempts to rise to the challenges of the past while remaining true to contemporary values. That means that yes, we too — the living — have something to contribute.”

Photograph by Hufton+Crow

Source: zaha hadid

The Investcorp Building celebrates 5 years

The Investcorp Building of Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College opened 5 years ago this week.

Integrating new academic, research and archive facilities within a design defined by the existing built and natural environment of the college, the Investcorp Building was awarded by the Oxford Preservation Trust and received a 2016 RIBA National Award.

“This is a project that demonstrates great virtuosity and a huge amount of technical skill… a superb building which will stand the test of time,” explained the RIBA jury.

“An exquisite little gem… one of the most beautifully crafted buildings I have encountered for a long time,” detailed the RIBA Journal at its opening.

Photograph by Luke Hayes

Source: zaha hadid

ME Dubai at Opus receives 2020 Legend Award

ME Dubai hotel at the Opus receives 2020 Legend Award from Departures Magazine in their list of the world’s most stunning new buildings.

The 2020 Legend Awards serve as inspiration for future travel—when it is safe to do so; honouring buildings that set the gold standard for global architecture by pushing the boundaries of innovation to create larger-than-life works of art that are feats of culture, not to mention feats of gravity.

“If you have ever looked at a piece of art, listened to a recording, or seen a display of fashion that you knew right away was destined to become iconic, you understand how we feel about these buildings. Most have only gone up in the last year, and already, they have redefined the skylines of their city or the hospitality offerings of their region,” explains Departure Magazine’s editors.

Located in the Burj Khalifa district adjacent to Downtown Dubai and Business Bay on the Dubai Water Canal, the Opus by Zaha Hadid Architects for Omniyat explores the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior.

Designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole, the Opus takes the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38 metre wide, three-storey bridge 71 metres above the ground.

The precise orthogonal geometries of the Opus’ elemental glass cube contrast dramatically with the fluidity of the eight-storey void at its centre.

During the day, the cube’s façade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel.

The ME Dubai at the Opus incorporates 74 rooms and 19 suites with bespoke furniture by Zaha Hadid Design while the Opus building also houses offices floors, serviced residences and restaurants.

Departures Magazine’s 2020 Legend Awards ‘ Most innovative architecture’

Photograph by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Source: zaha hadid

Leeza SOHO finalist for AZ Awards 2020

Leeza SOHO in Beijing has been selected as a finalist for the AZ Awards 2020, in the category: Architecture – Commercial and institutional buildings over 1,000 square metres.

Launched in 2011 by AZURE magazine, the AZ Awards recognises excellence and innovation in design, and showcases the world’s best projects, products and ideas.

Leeza SOHO tower for SOHO China anchors the new Fengtai business district – a growing financial and transport hub between the city centre and the recently opened Beijing Daxing International Airport to the south.

Adjacent to the business district’s rail station at the intersection of five new lines currently under construction on Beijing’s Subway network, Leeza SOHO’s site is diagonally dissected by an underground subway service tunnel.

Straddling this tunnel, the tower’s design divides its volume into two halves enclosed by a single facade. The space between these two halves extends the full height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194m which rotates as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with Lize road to the north.

This rotation of the atrium intertwines Leeza SOHO’s two halves in a dynamic ‘pas de deux’. Acting as a public square for the new district and providing varying views due to its twisting, sculptural form, the tower creates a fantastic new civic space for Beijing that is directly connected to the city’s transport network.

Leeza SOHO’s double-insulated, unitised glass curtain wall system steps the glazing units on each floor at an angle, providing narrow ventilating registers to draw outside air through operable cavities; creating extremely efficient environmental control for each floor.

Targeting LEED Gold certification, Leeza SOHO’s energy management system monitors real-time environmental control and energy efficiency. The tower includes an insulating green roof with photovoltaic array; 2,680 bicycle parking spaces, with lockers, shower facilities and dedicated charging spaces.

AZ awards People’s Choice portal is now open, inviting the public to vote for their favourite project. Voting ends on 19 June 2020 and the winner revealed at the AZ Awards Gala on 18 September 2020.

Vote for Leeza SOHO through the AZ People’s Choice Portal here

Photograph by Hufton + Crow

Source: zaha hadid

ME Dubai hotel at the Opus

Home to the new ME Dubai hotel, the Opus is located in the Burj Khalifa district adjacent to Downtown Dubai and Business Bay on the Dubai Water Canal. Exploring the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior, the design was presented by Zaha Hadid in 2007 and is the only hotel in which she created both its architecture and interiors.

Spanning 84,300 square metres (907,400 square feet), the Opus was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38 metre wide, three-storey bridge 71 metres above the ground.

“The precise orthogonal geometries of the Opus’ elemental glass cube contrast dramatically with the fluidity of the eight-storey void at its centre,” explained Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects.

The cube’s double-glazed insulating façades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain. Applied around the entire building, this dotted frit patterning emphasizes the clarity of the building’s orthogonal form, while at the same time, dissolving its volume through the continuous play of light varying between ever-changing reflections and transparency.

The void’s 6,000 square metre façade is created from 4,300 individual units of flat, single-curved or double-curved glass. The high-efficiency glazing units are comprised of 8mm Low-E glass (coated on the inside), a 16mm cavity between the panes and 2 layers of 6mm clear glass with a 1.52mm PVB resin laminate. This curved façade was designed using digital 3D modelling that also identified specific zones which required tempered glass.

During the day, the cube’s façade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel.

Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design is installed throughout the hotel, including the ‘Petalinas’ sofas and ‘Ottomans’ pods in the lobby that are fabricated from materials ensuring a long lifecycle and its components can be recycled. The ‘Opus’ beds in each bedroom while the ‘Work & Play’ combination sofa with desk are installed in the suites. The hotel’s bedrooms also incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection, designed by Hadid in 2015 for Noken Porcelanosa, continuing her fluid architectural language throughout the hotel’s interiors.

The ME Dubai hotel incorporates 74 rooms and 19 suites, while the Opus building also houses offices floors, serviced residences and restaurants, cafes and bars including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant and the MAINE Land Brasserie.

Sensors throughout the Opus automatically adjust the ventilation and lighting according to occupancy to conserve energy while ME Dubai follows Meliá Hotels International initiatives for sustainable practices. Hotel guests will receive stainless-steel water bottles to use during their stay with drinking water dispensers installed throughout the hotel. With no plastic bottles in guest rooms and a program to become entirely plastic free in all areas, the hotel is also reducing food waste by not serving buffets and has composters to recycle discarded organics.

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Photograph by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Source: zaha hadid

ZHA to build CECEP’s new Shanghai headquarters

Following the international design competition, Zaha Hadid Architects has been selected to build the new Shanghai headquarters of the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP).

CECEP is the country’s leading company initiating and funding projects with a focus on renewable energy technologies that include: solar, hydroelectric and wind power generation; environmental conservation initiatives such as water collection, treatment and recycling; as well as developing innovations to reduce energy consumption and emissions throughout the construction industry.

Continuing their commitment to renewable energy and environmental conservation, the new CECEP headquarters in Shanghai has been designed to be the ‘greenest’ building in the city with sustainability embedded into every aspect of its design and construction to achieve more than 90 credits in China’s exacting Three Star Green Building Rating system – the highest score for any building in Shanghai.

The 218,000 sq.m headquarters sets new benchmarks for the city in energy conservation, energy efficiency and sustainability. Located adjacent to the Yangpu Bridge on the Huangpu River, the design responds to its riverfront site and is defined by the history and dynamism of Shanghai.

A mixed-use urban campus of three office towers, shopping, dining and leisure facilities linked together by a park that connects directly with the city, the new headquarters echoes CECEP’s commitment to environmental education by creating vital new public spaces for its staff and neighbouring communities to enjoy the natural world.

Incorporating rainwater harvesting to irrigate expansive green spaces and landscaping in a biophilic design that enhances indoor-outdoor connectivity, the design also minimises cooling demand through optimised external shading.

With Shanghai’s significant temperature differences between day and night, each building’s integrated thermal mass also provides reductions in both heating and cooling consumption. Extensive use of locally-produced, prefabricated components will reduce the project’s embodied carbon and also support the local economy while procurement will prioritize the use of recycled materials.

Photovoltaics located at roof level and within the façades are connected to battery storage and a micro-grid to provide on-site energy production that will reduce energy consumption by 25%.

In addition to high-efficiency heating and ventilation with waste heat recovery, together with cooling systems using non-potable water, the new headquarters will also use thermal ice storage for cooling. Ice generated by chillers at night using off peak electricity is stored in thermal tanks then used for cooling during the day to significantly reduce peak daytime electrical consumption when the cooling load is highest.

The building management system will continually monitor the interior environment and automatically react to changes in internal conditions such as variations in temperature, air quality, natural daylight, or number of occupants. To reduce energy consumption and prolong their lifespan, these intelligent systems will also collate data to predict and optimise energy usage.

The new headquarters will use 5G network capability to operate intelligent management and biometric security systems that will eliminate contact with communal surfaces by staff and visitors.

Source: zaha hadid

Vauxhall Cross Island Awarded Planning Permission

Responding to Lambeth council’s aspirations for a district centre for Vauxhall in London, the design creates a vibrant new public square adjacent to the busy rail, underground and bus interchange. The proposal also accommodates TfL’s existing plans to upgrade the traffic gyratory and bus station to provide greater accessibility and safety for all.

Comprising two towers connected by a 10-storey podium that defines its streetscape, the 42-storey (151m)   northern tower accommodates 257 apartments that includes 23 affordable homes. The 53-storey (185m) southern tower houses a 619-room hotel and office space.

Generating approximately 2,000 new jobs within a mixed-use design that includes a new public square, homes, offices, shops and a hotel, the design creates vital civic space, amenities and employment for its growing community.

In awarding planning permission, housing secretary Robert Jenrick explained he took into account inspector John Braithwaite’s report that the quality of the architecture was undeniable and the scheme outstanding in townscape terms, in addition to the number of new homes that would be provided and the improvements to Vauxhall’s public realm. 

Render by Slashcube

Source: zaha hadid

Two ZHA projects nominated for ArchDaily Building of the Year Award China

Two projects in Beijing by Zaha Hadid Architects have been nominated for the 4th edition of ArchDaily’s Building of the Year Award China; Leeza SOHO and Beijing Daxing International Airport.

Leeza SOHO’s site is diagonally dissected by an underground subway service tunnel at the intersection of five new lines currently under construction on Beijing’s Subway network. Straddling this tunnel, the tower’s design divides its volume into two halves enclosed by a single facade. The space between these two halves extends the full height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194m which rotates as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with Lize road to the north.

Beijing Daxing International Airport will initially serve 45 million passengers per year, and accommodate 72 million travellers by 2025 with further expansion for 100 million passengers and 4 million tonnes of cargo annually by 2040. The airport’s 700,000m² passenger terminal’s compact radial design allows a maximum number of aircraft to be parked directly at the terminal with minimum distances from the centre of the building, providing exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations.

The voting portal is now open for 14 days, allowing readers to select the shortlist.

Source: zaha hadid

ZHA Covid-19 Update

The health and safety of our employees, partners and clients is always our priority. With cases of coronavirus Covid-19 increasing in the UK and abroad, ZHA has established a task force to continually monitor the evolving situation and evaluate every aspect of our work to ensure the wellbeing our staff and our ongoing business continuity, as well as manage potential risks effectively, avoid service interruption and mitigate concerns.


Wellbeing & Workplace

  • We are rigorously following guidance from the government health authorities for each of our seven offices worldwide and are in regular contact with every employee of each office.  
  • All team members are being regularly updated on official guidance to ensure their wellbeing and workplace safety.  
  • Our People & Talent team has implemented detailed monitoring of absenteeism with appropriate screening before returning to work.
  • We have minimised internal and external face-to-face meetings with the use of Skype for Business, Go To Meeting and telephone calls.
  • From 11 March, our two London offices have remained separate with no physical interactions between staff from the two offices either inside or outside of the working environment and hours. Staff who live with or are in a relationship with another staff member have been allocated workstations in the same site. 
  • From 16 March 2020, all employees’ temperatures are measured before entering the premises. Anyone with fever will return home and self-isolate as per government guidance.
  • We have also put in place a team of full-time cleaners for constant cleaning of all surfaces.
  • All our team members with underlying medical conditions or who are in any stage of pregnancy have been working from home.

Management Systems, IT & Remote Infrastructure

  • To ensure business continuity, the task force is regularly evaluating our management systems to identify and action priorities and communicate with the project teams. Our management systems have assessed each project team to guarantee capacity and skills to minimise any impact on project continuity.
  • ZHA has established secure remote connection infrastructure to enable remote working with full access to our network. Frequent ongoing evaluations enable appropriate action if advised by the authorities.
  • All senior team members are supplied with full IT and communication equipment should homeworking become mandatory.

Business & Personal Travel

  • From 16 March 2020 we have suspended all business travel until further advised.
  • Any team member who returned from an impacted area before travel restrictions were in place has been remotely working from home in isolation.
  • All employees have been advised to carefully consider personal travel and ensure not to unnecessarily place themselves or colleagues at risk. All employees must advise our People & Talent team of personal travel plans before departure.
  • Any staff member choosing to travel outside the UK must contact our People & Talent team in advance of their return to work and await instructions before attending any of our offices or having interactions with any other staff members

ZHA’s task force has established these policies following guidance from the relevant government health authorities, in particular Public Health England for our two London offices. These policies are subject to change with the rapidly evolving nature of the situation.

Download as PDF

Source: zaha hadid

Morpheus model showcased at the Pompidou Centre

An intricate paper model of the Morpheus Hotel exoskeleton is within the “Neurons, simulated intelligence” exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

While artificial intelligence appears to have invaded all the industrial fields of the contemporary world, from finance to medicine, games to behaviour, architecture and the military, this situation has never really been linked to the history of neuro-science and neuro-computation. The exhibition “Neurons, simulated intelligence” highlights the links between the experimentation of artists, architects, designers and musicians, with the research undertaken by major scientific laboratories or the industrial sector.

Morpheus was designed as a vertical extrusion of the site’s existing abandoned foundations for a condominium tower that did not progress; using this rectangular footprint to define a 40-storey building of two internal vertical circulation cores at podium and roof levels where the hotel’s many guest amenities were required.

Three horizontal vortices generate the voids through the central atrium and define the hotel’s spectacular interior public spaces. In-between these voids, a series of bridges create unique spaces for the restaurants, bars and guest lounges by renowned chefs including Alain Ducasse & Pierre Herme.

Working with BuroHappold Engineering, Zaha Hadid Architects designed the building’s structure to optimise the hotel’s interiors. The world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton, its rich pattern of structural members at lower levels progresses upwards to a less dense grid of lighter members at its summit.

NEURONS, Simulated intelligence
26 Feb 2020 – 20 Apr 2020 | 11 am – 9 pm
Galerie 4 at Pompidou Centre, Paris

Pompidou Centre

Source: zaha hadid