The late Dame Zaha Hadid’s incredible legacy is being celebrated in Venice through an exhibition which explores the architect’s bold work which spanned across architecture, art, fashion and product design. The exhibition will run alongside this year’s Architecture Biennale of Venice.
The exhibition is hosted by Fondazione Berengo in the magnificent 16th century Palazzo Franchetti, commanding a phenomenal view of the Canal Grande in Venice. It is the first post-humous event dedicated to the Iraqi-born architect’s work, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. The exhibition was being organised by Hadid herself before her passing and it is a true homage to the genius that was Zaha. It pays tribute to the unique way she took on the world (often critical and apologetically harsh) through her pioneering design-led research that pushed the boundaries of imagination and innovation across design disciplines.
Zaha Hadid The Exhibition is a wonderful journey through Hadid’s four-decade long career. There is an abundance of work on display, amounting to one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of the late architect’s work to date. It is a journey inside one of the greatest architects of our time’s minds: a personal retrospective which gets you closer to appreciating her extraordinary way of seeing, understanding and shaping the world. As you walk through the palazzo’s many rooms, you are treated to built and unbuilt examples of her early work, her more recent projects, cutting edge research led by her London-based studio, augmented reality multimedia displays, and interview videos which get you to the heart of Hadid’s philosophy. A large selection of the architect’s paintings is also on display, a perhaps rarer glimpse of her visions which capture her dynamism more often associated to her architectural work.
The entire experience of the Hadid universe is beautifully presented, but what steals the show are the incredible models which viewers will be able to explore. Some of her most famous build designs are shown in 3D form alongside some lesser known but equally wonderful examples, such as Hadid’s unbuilt Sleuk Rith Institute in Cambodia. There are also a lot of interesting working models, which track the behind-the-scenes evolution of ideas that some of the architect’s most iconic designs went through during their developmental and research stages.
Love her or loath her, as you feast your eyes on the sheer depth and breadth of the work on show, one cannot escape the impact Zaha Hadid has had on design and technology. Her architecture blurred the boundaries of what was possible, but also the lines within the design disciplines themselves. In fact, the exhibition also showcases some of Hadid’s perhaps lesser known works in fashion and product design. They serve to underline just how well-rounded and immersed in design the architect really was. Through showcasing the range of design disciplines Zaha Hadid immersed herself in, this exhibition clearly underlines her versatility and raw talent, defining her as a true multi-disciplinary design icon.
Enhanced by the 16th-century palazzo setting it is hosted in, Zaha Hadid’s work is truly mesmerising. The exhibition is an example of where future meets history. Dynamic, bold, sleek lines characteristic of Hadid’s unique style sit side by side century enriched traditional Venetian design. Hadid’s futuristic visions come to life in her work which in turn – and rather surprisingly – blend with the historic richness of the palazzo they are set within. This is, perhaps, the essence of Hadid’s legacy. An architecture of organic lines frozen on landscapes in perennial dynamic tension, but one which despite its highly futuristic look, can sit comfortably within the context of culturally rich and historic territories around the world.
When is it?
10am-6pm from the 27th May to the 27th November 2016
Where is it?
Palazzo Franchetti, Campo Santo Stefano (next to the Academia Bridge), Venice, Italy.
(For more information on the exhibition, please click here.)