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For those of you who don’t know Zaha’s work here is a reprint from Arch Daily. What is especially relevant to us as artists is how she started building her ideas in architectural masterpieces. The process is one of discovery which is relevant any form of artwork. What we do at the highest level is not paint-by-numbers, it is exploring the possibilities from all angles…literally and figuratively. I’ve found that the most I explore my tools and my ideas the stronger they become. I encourage you to do the same. Read about Zaha and strive to be great!

Dame Zaha Mohammad HadidDBERA (Arabicزها حديد‎‎ Zahā Ḥadīd; 31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) was an Iraqi-born British architect. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Ordrupgaard Museum Extension1 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsPhaeno Science Centre 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsTerminus Multimodal Hoenheim Nord1 2001. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsRosenthal Center for Contempoary Art 2003 . Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects+11

A year after her untimely passing, we take a look back on one of the hallmarks of Zaha Hadid’s career as an architect: her sketches. In October we wrote about how her paintings influenced her architecture. Now, we examine her most emblematic sketches and the part they played in the initial formal exploration of her design process.

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Terminus Multimodal Hoenheim Nord1 2001. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Terminus Multimodal Hoenheim Nord1 2001. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
 
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Phaeno Science Centre 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Phaeno Science Centre 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
 

Drawings, whether done by hand or digitally, are the result of a personal, intimate process of thinking through a project and setting a path for the general development of the design. Possessing different characteristics and intensities, each sketch is a reflection of the author’s thoughts–acting as both a kind of signature and the theoretical seed of a larger process. Some architects use sketches to define details and create their design from that starting point, some use the drawing itself to determine the form of a project, and other architects draw the context in order to imagine the specific location of their project.

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Rosenthal Center for Contempoary Art 2003 . Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Rosenthal Center for Contempoary Art 2003 . Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
 
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Rosenthal Center for Contempoary Art 2003 . Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Rosenthal Center for Contempoary Art 2003 . Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
 

Zaha’s exceptional, unique sketches don’t have much to do with concrete visions of what a project will eventually be. On the contrary, her drawings are profoundly influenced by her admiration for artistic abstraction. The beauty lies in the formal liberty that Hadid mines as she approaches what will eventually become her buildings. The drawings depict formal exercises, spatial conceptualizations, compositions, construction systems, structures, or contextual relationships (among other things). They are an invitation to use the liberty gifted to us by the act of drawing.

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Phaeno Science Centre 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Phaeno Science Centre 2005. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects