Noticias de Arquitectura

An architect at her peak
julio 5, 2007, 12:20 am
Filed under: Hadid, Peak

By Rowan Moore, Evening Standard 02.07.07

Back in the Eighties, when most architects were entranced by postmodernism, a young woman produced a design for a project in Hong Kong that was completely unlike anything else. Called The Peak, it was a combination of nightclub and apartments, made up of flying beams that seemed to hover high above the city.

The woman was Zaha Hadid, and a quarter of a century later her models and paintings of The Peak – among the first exhibits you come to at this show – still stop you in your tracks. The project is arresting for its audacity, but also for the beauty and the richness of the material on show, all of which, in the age before computers really took off, was handmade. The Peak is no flash gesture, but worked over, thought through, intensely considered.

The Peak was never built, launching Hadid’s (exaggerated) reputation as the world’s greatest unbuilt architect. In the past few years she has emphatically put that reputation behind her, with projects all over the planet, and an office staff in the low hundreds. Across the room from those highly wrought early paintings is a whole wall of constantly churning images of huge projects in Dubai, Milan, Abu Dhabi, London and Leipzig, to name but a few. The effort that is in the paintings gives way to the shallower charms of computer images but it is also replaced, in the best of the projects, by the complexity and invention of constructions that are actually being built.

The Design Museum’s exhibition, its biggest ever, is a temple of creative production, starting with a dark cave glittering with objects and images and moving on to an upper floor dominated by Hadid’s furniture. It takes full advantage of the fact that Hadid is one of few architects in the world whose output of designs and objects makes such a display possible.

It is a place to be dazzled and amazed more than to pore over drawings and projects, or be informed about her theories.

From the chandelier that greets you, Hadid is shown more as a creator of seductive things and designs than as a thinker: for the latter you’d be better off going to a book.

• Until 25 November,