The Work Of Zaha Hadid Cultural Studies Essay

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Currently there are a lot of new buildings that have strong futuristic appearance and inspiring features, represent tomorrows skyline. The rapid development of technologies like hybrid cars, slim size computers and advance communication gadgets has certainly shown us new heights of transformation. The influenced of architecture has come to its light too. Imaginary arts and craft based on fictional space movies and illustrations have come a long way to introduced and to be recognized for its rare platonic solids and geometry constructions. The society is getting more positive and acceptance with the growth of technology and high development future. The world is evolving in this era and by tomorrow there will be more of these buildings appearing as part of the city infrastructure.

The architect Zaha Hadid or Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid is well known for her intense de-constructivist designs and neo-modernist designs in the architecture industry. Her designs are similar to Sci-Fi movies that create forms of morph, shape change geometries and breaking the rules of space.She emphasized her work based upon the concept of de-constructivist designs on a prism shape that in-cooperates between interior and exterior influences. The overall form is based on cutting away or reshaping the surface to look like a deform prism or crystal debris. It is therefore resurrecting a historical element that had become largely absent from the 'square'. This is how she would choose her earlier designs to look like. The rapid developments from big cities in England, America and China may have some strong appraisal for Zaha Hadid's creations and attracted many to her concepts of a new city infrastructure should have and in-cooperated for the future. Previously, huge events like the Beijing's Olympics and the Shanghai Expo proves her design is a must for a new horizon. Her works is an outgrowth of that vision, her buildings can be understood only as part of a more continuous pattern and that is finally getting commissions worthy of her talent.

Zaha Hadid introduced some alternatives and new concepts of architecture to the world and may be accepted by many who like her works but there are some may find it rather less institutional, lavishly expensive to the cost and the commissions she is getting. She only interested in the onetime 'wow' factor as a signature creation than thinking about the effectiveness and the long run purpose of the building. Her critics mentioned her works as a 'design blunder' for the London Aquatic Center and her winning competition entry for the 'Cardiff Bay Opera House' was "re-evaluated" after an outrage to the idea of building it. She may be a good designer with sense of creativity for a specific culture but this culture is limited to certain things.Her works were compared with Michael Hopkins' Velodrome versus the London Aquatics Centre that has drawn some attention about her design flaws. The Velodrome design was developed through an almost antithetical approach, it emerged in slow synthesis as the simultaneous inputs by various members of the multi-disciplinary 'integrated design team' which were accommodated to the inputs of others.

Perhaps though a point where the despite disparities of architecture developments and lack of fairness for those may have some differences. Thus without claiming the full 'universality' in design culture, I am inclined to see patterns that insist on comparison, and hence on explorations of the linkages between futuristic designs, society experience and normative mores across boundaries between their struggles and success. At least in the early modernity of this new architecture era, the connections seem to me compelling.

Here is a little history about her background as she would mature and to be one of the early architects in the neo-modernist movement. Architect Zaha Hadid is not only the first female and a foreign Muslim woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize which is equivalent the Nobel Prize in architecture, an award can only takes a life time to archive for architects. She ranked 69th in the Forbes magazine and enlisted as one of "The world's 100 most powerful women". After winning the Pritzker prize she still has a lot to struggle with her own hands when it comes to some projects. In her last 15 years, there has been some tremendous change and now it seems as normal to have women in this profession but still very difficult for women to operate in this profession because there are some worlds are limited for them to access. She experienced resistance but she kept on her own path, her direction and her focus.

Zaha Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, she grew up in a very peaceful and developing Iraq, not from the one we known of today. The Iraq of her childhood days was a wonderful place, western-oriented country with a growing economy that flourished until the year 1963, Ba'ath politics took over the government and her father was a wealthy politician, economist and industrialist and a co-founder of the Iraqi National Democratic at that time.

Her father taught her cultures of the world while always stressing the importance of her heritage and her background. He used and learned this through at the London School of Economics and joined the fight for Iraqi independence from foreign occupation. His political views on the industrialization economy of Iraq, property issues and the nationalization of the country's oil have influenced her thoughts of the world. Her childhood experiences brought her to belief in open communication between people, but also a conviction in Iraqi's freedom. She was proud of her father's achievements and there is no reason why she would not be equally ambitious just like her father. In the past, female role models were plenty in Iraq, but in architecture, in the Middle East, there were none in the 1950s to the 1960s.She was educated in Baghdad in a school run by French Roman Catholics, and continued part of her secondary education years in Switzerland and The Great Britain. During her elementary education, she mixed with different cultures. She attended a nun school with Christian, Jewish, and Islamic girls but this is the first indication of a cultural exchange in her life. She felt distanced from her Muslim heritage at the school because of its Christian educational style. She never had a traditional education as a Muslim. Education in Arab countries, Islam or Arab culture is the same, it is only a cultural differences.

Zaha Hadid became interested in architecture at the age of eleven, although she pursued her other interests before attending architecture school. A friend of the family was designing a home for her relatives and would bring models to show her and her parents thought she would like to see more arts and craft by taking her to architectural exhibitions in her childhood days. The mix between Arab and Western influences as she developed her interest in architectural.She returned to the Middle East to continue her education at the American University in Beirut from 1968 to 1971. She studied the field of modern mathematics and the relationship between philosophy, physics and math interested her briefly before studied architecture. She returned back to Britain and in 1977 she then received a diploma from the Architectural Association (AA) in London.The Architectural Association (AA) in London in the 70's was a good place for young, ambitious and independent architects. This place becomes a very solid foundation for architects to grow and to achieve their success; this is where famous architects got their academic education and the environment in which Zaha Hadid's architectural style began to develop from 1972 and to the next 5 years. During her years at AA she had more time to develop her ideas and creating her own architectural methods. People like Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Will Alsop and Bernard Tschumi are names of today's award winning architects. While there, she studied with Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, Daniel Libe-skind, Bernard Tschumi and among others.

In the early 1968, optimistic modernism was abandoned and was caused by the economic uncertainty and cultural issues. The architecture industry was affected too. Rem Koolhaas founded OMA in 1975 together with others, like Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis and (Koolhaas's wife) Madelon Vriesendorp in London. They were later joined by one of Koolhaas's student was Zaha Hadid who would eventually achieved her own success later in time. Koolhaas offered her a job as a partner in his new firm, the 'Office for Metropolitan Architecture' or OMA. But she didn't last very long working for them. The relation Zaha Hadid with OMA was more of a fundamental level than working as a team with them. There was almost a kind of no dialogue basis between them. They did support her when she needed guidance." Koolhaus did serve as a mentor and a friend to her. As her former tutor, he could understand her work and the ideas that she was trying to convey during the time when she was still in AA. She obviously respects his opinions, comments and values his friendship when she was his student.

Koolhaas described her at the time as "a planet in her own orbit". Hadid had her own ideas on architecture and waiting for the right time to mature. This relationship soon became too restrictive for her, although she and Koolhaus remained close friends.Soon after that, she taught at AA and until 1987 she led her own studio. She started teaching while developing her own vision of neo-modernist architecture, which referred back to modernism's times in the constructivism and suprematism from the early 20th century of architecture. Her final graduation project was a hotel on London's Hungerford Bridge, was based on Malevich's Tectonik and written in the year 1928 after the suprematist Kasimir Malevich: "we can only perceive space when we break free from the earth, when the point of support disappears." Hadid's works were inspired by these words and from then onwards her creations become landscapes which metaphorically transformed her way of thinking design, literally this would be today's reality.She formed and founded Zaha Hadid Architects 'ZHA' in 1980. She has gone to produce internationally acclaimed award winning designs for structure buildings and interiors around the world. Zaha Hadid was hired to teach in a number of institutions. The year 1994 she was teaching in 3 different institutions in the United States: the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University's School of Design, the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois's School of Architecture, and the Master Studio at Columbia University. Since then, by the year 2001 she was appointed as professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.

Zaha Hadid obsession with shadows and light rooted from the Islam architecture, while its flows openly, charging forward like an ocean bed, while it hits on impact and form a metaphor tsunami, together with an unbalance of modern urban landscapes. All of this would have been impossible without the support of computer-aided design to allow architects almost infinitely creating any shapes they want to have. Building these new kinds of spaces was another problem. Such extreme rhythm of shapes required significant investment and time, both financially and engineering supports.

Her style has been described as today's De-constructivist and Neo-modernist. In the Britain's Design Museum discussed her work referring to baroque modernism. Baroque classicists like Francesco Borromini 'shattered Renaissance ideas of a single viewpoint perspective in favor of dizzying spaces designed to lift the eyes and the heart to God'. Zaha Hadid against both the classically rules, modernism of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and the old rules of space: walls, ceilings, front and back, right angles. She then reassembles them as what she describe, "a new fluid, kind of spatiality of design" of multiple perspective points and fragmented mesh geometries, designed to attach the chaotic forms of modern living quarters.

Perhaps her style was partially inspired by her tutor's work, when Zaha Hadid graduated in 1977, Rem Koolhaas offered her a job but she didn't last long. If she had drawn to any of her tutors it was Rem Koolhaas, he was working out his ideas of neo-modernity in books such as 1977's 'Delirious New York'. This has set Rem Koolhaas's career and he described the "chance-like" nature of city life: "The City is an addictive machine from which there is no escape" in his book. He explained the city was a group of "red hot spots." He acknowledged that this method had already been proven in the Japanese Metabolist Movement from the 1960s to the 1970s.

The scheme for The Peak in Hong Kong 1983 marked a shift in her ability to sense certainties from her past, the resistance between the complexity of order and chaos. Her passion remains in her work, creating abstract architectures.

Her works were recognized and accepted in Asia, this all started from her first encounter of a project that signaled her breakthrough in the year 1983. The competition project was 'The Peak', a country club in Hong Kong and she won the competition entry in The Peak project that took first place. Her contest entry was originally removed by some technical reason, but a late judge pulled it back from the pile of rejected schemes. The project was to design a multi-level sports club, but it was never build because the developer went bankrupted after the incident.

In the year 1993, The Vitra fire station at Weil-am-Rhein, Germany was Zaha Hadid's first completed project, which later converted in to a museum. In the year 2002, she designed the Hoenheim-North Terminus and Car Park at Strasbourg, France and the Bergisel Ski Jump overlooking Innsbruck in Austria. Since then, in the 2003 her career was spreading to worldwide recognition.

The Expo 2010 in Shanghai China was a major World Expo in the convention of international fairs and expositions, the first since 1992. The theme for the trade fair "Better City - Better Life" and indicated Shanghai's new status in the 21st century as the "next great world city". It had the largest number of countries participating and was the priciest Expo in the history of the world's fairs. After winning the bid to host the Expo in 2002, Shanghai began a monumental task to reshape the city.

The Germany pavilion is one of the popular European pavilions in the expo. The theme, entitled "Balancity" contributes the devotion from the word, "balance". The outlook of the structure is more of an asymmetrical balance, trying to sustain the heavy weight roof and the awkward arrangements that seem almost impossible to build.

The architect Lennart Wiechell from Schmidhuber +Kaindl Gmbh Germany was the designer for this project.

At first glance, the every shape and form of the building is different and almost like shattered geometries fixed together in one structure. The building seems to have an awkward position of gravity; the top is heavier than the bottom. When looked at them separately, the whole building looks unstable. As an ensemble, they hold each other perfectly and expressing this unique "balancity" concept through architecture.

The design had similar resemblance of her work which based on the neo-modernist craft and concepts of defying gravity and bizarre geometries. These structures and events had made this far for the architects like Zaha Hadid and among others to introduce and to landmark Deconstructivism in to the heart of Asia.

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