Zaha Hadid in Abu Dhabi update



Zaha Hadid's office have sent us two more images of her Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre, plus a statement describing the project.


The top image shows a perspective looking towards the building from the sea, while the image above shows the main lobby.

Hadid formally unveiled the design, which was first shown exclusively on dezeen here and here, at a press conference in Abu Dhabi today.

The full statement is pasted below:

Zaha Hadid Architects announce the design of the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre – a new cultural institution for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on behalf of the Tourism Development and Investment Company of Abu Dhabi (TDIC).

Zaha Hadid unveiled the design of the new Performing Arts Centre at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE today.

Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre concept, a 62 metre high building is proposing to house five theatres – a music hall, concert hall, opera house, drama theatre and a flexible theatre with a combined seating capacity for 6,300. The Centre may also house an Academy of Performing Arts.

The Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre will be one of five major cultural institutions on the new 270-hectacre cultural district of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi - developed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on behalf of the Tourism Development and Investment Company of Abu Dhabi (TDIC).

Zaha Hadid describes the design of the Performing Arts Centre as “a sculptural form that emerges from a linear intersection of pedestrian paths within the cultural district, gradually developing into a growing organism that sprouts a network of successive branches.

"As it winds through the site, the architecture increases in complexity, building up height and depth and achieving multiple summits in the bodies housing the performance spaces, which spring from the structure like fruits on a vine and face westward, toward the water.

“The Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre is a continuation of the long-standing relationship we have with the Guggenheim Foundation and with the Emirate. We are very honoured to be a part of the project," states Hadid.

“Our first Guggenheim exhibition design, ‘The Great Utopias’, was in 1992 whilst the very successful mid-retrospective of our work closed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York less than two months ago. We’ve also been working in Abu Dhabi for many years, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge was a seminal project for the office and its construction is well underway".

Thomas Krens, Director of the Guggenheim Foundation said, “In Abu Dhabi we have had the good fortune to discover a partner that not only shares our point of view, but expands upon it. The plans for Saadiyat Island and the cultural district, envisioned and developed by the Abu Dhabi Government, are, quite simply, extraordinary.

"When this comprehensive and inclusive vision is realised, it will set a standard for global culture that will resonate for decades to come."

Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre - Design Concept
The Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre’s distinct formal language is derived from a set of typologies evident in organizational systems and growth in the natural world. These natural scenarios are formed by energy being supplied to enclosed systems, and the subsequent decrease in energy caused when organized structures develop in nature.

The ‘energy’ of the Performing Arts Centre is symbolized by the predominant movements in the urban fabric along the central axis of the pedestrian corridor and the cultural centre’s seafront promenade – the site’s two intersecting primary elements.

Growth-simulation processes have been used to develop spatial representations into a set of basic geometries and then superimposed with programmatic diagrams into a series of repeated cycles. The primary components of this biological analogy (branches, stems, fruits and leaves) are then transformed from these abstract diagrams into architectonic design.

The building, with panoramic views to the sea and the skyline of Abu Dhabi, will be part of an inclining ensemble of institutions of the cultural district on Saadiyat Isalnd that stretch from the Maritime Museum at its southern end to Contemporary Art Museum at the northern tip.

Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre - Spatial Arrangement
The central axis of Abu Dhabi’s cultural district is a pedestrian corridor that stretches from the Sheikh Zayed National Museum toward the sea. This axis interacts with the seafront promenade to generate a branching geometry where islands are formed, isolated, and translated into distinct bodies within the Performing Arts Centre to house the main concert halls.

The proposed Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre contains five major performance halls. The Concert Hall is above the lower four theatres, allowing daylight into its interior and dramatic views of the sea and city skyline from the huge window behind the stage. Local lobbies for each theatre are orientated towards the sea to give visitors a constant visual contact with their surroundings.

On the north side of the building, the restaurant offers a wide, shaded roof terrace, accessible through the adjacent Conference Centre above the Lyric Theatre.

The Academy for Performing Arts is housed above the Experimental Theatre in the southern side of the Centre, whilst in the eastern ‘tail’ of the building, retail areas take advantage of pedestrian traffic using the bridge connecting the centre with the main pedestrian corridor of the Abu Dhabi cultural district on Saadiyat Island.

The Abu Dhabi Cultural District on Saadiyat Island
The Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation has been working with the Tourism Development and Investment Company of Abu Dhabi (TDIC) to develop all five institutions on Saadiyat Island.

The five institutions of the the Abu Dhabi Cultural District on Saadiyat Island:
1 Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
2 Contemporary Arts Museum (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi) by Frank Gehry Partners
3 Classical Art Museum by Jean Nouvel Studios
4 Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando
5 Sheikh Zayed National Museum: (Architect to be confirmed)

Posted on Friday February 2nd 2007 at 1:33 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Vedasri Siddamsetty

    Its refreshing to read about non-conformist ideas with the developing of space. Zaha Hadid challenges the novelty and keeps the spirit of architecture alive. Impressive? definitely.

  • Estoy encantada del proyecto, es realmente una obra de arte y conocimiento, me encantaria poder trabajar con ustedes soy Arquitecta Colombia y trabajo en la una multinacional Fancesa que procesa vidrio en el departamento de Arquitectura.

  • Marcela Holguin

    Estos proyectos demuestran que la arquitectura se debe transformar desde un sentir, esto solo se puede lograr no solo con un buen trabajo de oficio, sino con creatividad y teniendo una sensibilidad extraordinariaria. Ademas de trabajar desde la irracionalidad, lo no convencional y lo no formal. Un proyecto extraordinario.

  • Jose Hernandez

    Someone knows what kind of materials is this building made of?
    Is nice to see a rational background behind an apparent formalistic style. Although this real quality of the spaces is usually hidden after hyperfuturistic materials, decoration and furniture. So the most of people feel this architecture just as a sensationalistic movement.
    I miss the old technics… mainly the sketches.

  • JLF

    I agree that Hadid’s “biological analogy? is effectively applied to bring creative and inspiring solutions to both site and programmatic levels of the project. However, the notion of using “organic/natural? processes does not need to be constrained only to the curvilinear and amorphous formal language seen in Hadid’s work. Yes, the Center’s distinctive expression of form is one way of incorporating ideas relating to biological phenomena into the creation of space, but the processes seen in nature also employ more rectilinear forms. When it comes down to it, the true test of the architectural process is the quality of the living spaces that manifest as its result. If Hadid only used eye-catching features for a purely “sensationalistic? intent, than it is likely the spaces will compromised as a result. However, if in fact the formal language of the project works for the enhancement of the occupied spaces of the building, than it would be unfair to allow the project to be given only to sensationalist intent.

  • abdul rasheed

    Dear sir,

    can i have the contact details of Zaha Hadid architects in UAE and UK as well.

    Kind regards,

    Abdul Rasheed

  • Fàtima Herrera

    Indiscutiblemente nos queda claro que Zaha Hadid es una de las mejores exponentes de la arquitectura conteporànea, sus obras son sinònimos de arte y belleza para los que admiramos el deconstructivismo y no sòlo para nosotros sino tambièn para los amantes de la arquitectura agresiva y arriesgada.

  • Talaat Youssef

    Zaha ,the ability to have an organic mind with new tech.pencil sketching digital concepts of the pixelized eyes is unique, it is a point, line, plane, space and an architect.
    The project perspectives are harmonic with the deserts waves and the underground safe nests.
    Thanks ZAHA,

    The Lebanese Architect
    Dubai 00971 50 43 585 10

    I tried to contact ur office in UK before.

  • Jon Steven

    actually, the geometry and fantastic original forms are generated from advanced computer programs, such as GC (Generative Components) from Bentley systems, Rhino, and Maya/Max, often from gaming applications or CG. Strangely enough most of it from animation characters in popular CG movies. Generative components from Bentley is probably the most advanced in terms of engineering design and analysis, some of the others creating approximate geometries that exist only in cyberspace. I suppose Hadid’strick has been to capture the students coming out of colleges and design schools who are whizz kids at making these “advanced geometries” rationalising them to a certain extent, and creating what is becoming known in the trade as emergence architecture. As the name suggests, often the forms emerge in a way that is beyond the imagination or even intuitive control of the designer, but are the product of algorithms. The opera house therefore in Dubai is a computer modelled sand dune, the AD bridge quite fat and nothing like the stretched graphics on the images (massive concrete pieces, not at all refined engineering and structurally unbalanced), the Dancing Towers utterly insane (why bend a tower like that and then spend a lifetime trying to make it stand up) and so forth. Perhaps it’s a case of the Emporer’s New Clothes.

  • Aim

    Hola @ todo el mundo, yo soy Aim, yo soy un chico de 33 anos, vivo por el momento en Abu Dhbai, los emiratos arabes unidos, me gustaria conocer gente espanoles o latinos q viven aqui ….. un saludo…Aim

  • Kabir

    Quite impressive and futuristic too but I tend to agree with the JLF.
    She has pioneered a difficult movement so uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

  • faiz rusli uiam

    full of compliment. my senior and lecturer ask me to see her design. it is very suitable for me…

  • Osmán Argüello

    Greetings …

    These projects debn accompanied by good proposals not only architectural level, but also in everything related to human beings and their needs, which include Health. As a professional Doctor, I would like to participate in any of these projects to automate processes and administrative assistance, as this is my field, and make it a city have the best intelligence available with current technology, which lead to reaching greatest benefit to the population and level of development enviable to any other country in the world.


    Dr. Osmán Arguello

  • contuct us yve got more 300 scultures .for abudabi

  • Zaha Hadid is a very bold arquitecta in his(her,your) designs since his(her,your) current is the deconstructivismo and amazes me as juice with the structure and the surrounding one of building, today for today there has been gained(earned) the name of ” The queen of the architecture ” thanks to his(her,your) great sensibility to design and especially this project, which is of my favorite of Zaha since it(he,she) has too much originality to be based on a vineyard to adopt his(her,your) biological analogy and to transport it to the project, to execute it and to achieve it successfully, with a pace and dynamism that estimates in these amorphous curves that undoubtedly someone him(her) daran a very agreeable sensation to the user.

  • janel

    can i have the contact details of Zaha Hadid architects in UAE and UK? email address?

  • Papadimitriou Konstantinos

    A very extraordinary and surrealistic approach in our senses.