Zaha Hadid at Sonnabend



Architect Zaha Hadid has created a series of installations for a two-venue show in New York, curated by Kenny Schachter.


According to Schachter, each installation is derived from architectural projects Hadid has been working on. Masterplan (top image and above) was originally part of her citywide plan for the Asian side of Istanbul, while the Opera House desk (below) uses a relief from a wall of the Opera House at the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre.


The exhibition will be open 1 November - 13 December at the Sonnabend Gallery and 169 10th Avenue in New York.

The following is from Kenny Schachter:



Sonnabend and Kenny Schachter/ROVE announce an exciting new exhibition opening on November 1st, 2008, a two-venue New York show of Zaha Hadid’s new installations.


There is a long and well-established history of art galleries showcasing the drawings, models, industrial designs and artworks of architects, not least Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century. However the exhibits at Sonnabend and at the 10th Avenue space will reinvent the relationship between architect and art.


A series of large scale installations use architecture as the conceptual origin for sculptures, reliefs, hybrid design objects and paintings that have a remove from the initial utilitarian derivation and meaning of the works. Below: Wall Relief of Villa


Though these projects begin as architectural commissions, the works on view inform an international discourse on processes, technologies of manufacture, and on form itself. They develop spatial representations that redefine the notion of physical space by warping, pulling and pushing the boundaries of the galleries until we are left with architectonic interpretations that create new and unfamiliar interior landscapes. Below: Kloris seating.


In one instance, a wall is transformed into a life sized relief from which flows, as if in motion, an elegant, futuristic desk. In another piece, “Masterplan”, originating from Hadid’s citywide plan for the Asian side of Istanbul, the scheme is inverted to create a grotto of forms that defy gravity to morph from the ceiling. “Kloris” is a cluster of seating elements and sculptures inspired by the shapes of flower petals.


This show reflects Hadid’s vision of a new twenty-first century urbanism; part of a revolutionary body of works based on organic systems of organization. Each piece explores a new living environment using a formal language of fluidity. They seamlessly integrate art, design and architecture into our lives. Below: Installation of Chanel Pavilion.


These pieces provide a basis to live with architecture in ways previously impossible. Each installation offers elements of Hadid’s 30 year explorations into an architecture of fluidity at all scales. Below: Towers carpet, inspired by Dubai Opera House.


This show is not solely art, design or architecture, but rather a hybrid quoting from all three. Though some objects are imbued with functionality and ergonomic considerations, that is not the point. This is an organic sculptural installation about manipulating space and formal integration. Each piece describes movement in a static material using state-of-the-art methods of design and fabrication. Below: Sonnabend exhibition layout


The Sonnabend and 10th Avenue exhibits build on the excitement of the Mobile Art: Chanel Contemporary Art Container being installed in Central Park, presenting a far-reaching opportunity to view the myriad of art and architectural processes of Zaha Hadid. She has transformed our vision of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms . These exhibits herald the launch of a new category of collecting -- Architecture Art, akin to the recent advent of the contemporary design market.

The Zaha Hadid two venue exhibition will run from November 1st – December 13th 2008 at the Sonnabend Gallery located at 536 West 22nd Street (near Eleventh Avenue) and 168 Tenth Avenue (at 21st Street), New York, New York 10011.

Posted on Thursday October 30th 2008 at 2:00 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • marcos

    please zaha stop!!!

  • Gabs

    Now this is quite nice!

  • Finally something I like of hers.

  • Malain

    ” Hadid’s vision of a new twenty-first century urbanism (…)”
    ” These pieces provide a basis to live with architecture in ways previously impossible. Each installation offers elements of Hadid’s 30 year explorations into an architecture of fluidity at all scales ”

    OMG, guys, it’s about time you realize Hadid’s work as nothing to see with architectural spaces NOR urbanism. Sure, it’s very very impressive on a graphic, and design point of view, but i’d never, NEVER compare that to corbusier’s, nouvel’s, or niemeyer’s work and NEITHER say that this design has anything to do with the 21st century architecture.

    This work is just a hell expensive scultpural comtemporary piece of art …. nothing more. It’s about time ppl start realizing that.

    Remember Pierres Vives, Pau’s mediatheque, the firemen station, London swiming pool, zaragoza’s bridge …. cancelled, modified or damn expensive because unpossible to built … that’s not an architect behavior. It’s just a lack of monney, and a black hole in the profession’s already reduced pride.

  • Marcus Des

    Yep, it’s Zaha. Love it or hate it. I love it.

  • atomant

    wow, am i the first post in a zaha hadid news?

  • zuy

    nice pieces of zara hadid for art design collections

  • Azeem

    WOW these are extremly overwhelming the Entire space!!

  • Are you guys sponsored by Hadid?

  • g

    not anywhere near as good as alsop

  • tman

    One would think that after all these years of producing this stuff, something truly important would emerge. That the forms would point to something meaningfull besides the elastic and rubberry form making. Or that the forms would change a bit to speak of connectivity, urban joinery…something besides simple form making. Actually, what is really funny (sad), is that this type of form making is very difficult and complicated. One would think that all this “design” energy could be put to use making our cities better. All we get though is object after object. This work is no longer learning or growing…it has given up the question. It is too bad because she obviously has so much energy…sad to see it wasted.

  • modular

    Not a fan of Zaha Hadid, but I need to know…. how can that be done with such a large size? What kind of construction methods are used to do this?

    It would be great if someone could explain me…

  • Mathias

    I suppose the research is more impressive than the images we are looking at here. It woud be great if the research could be documented. I am much more interested in the process. Where did it start for zaha, and what did she encounter on her way, how did she end up here? anyone?

  • M!

    She is a better sculptor than architect, I suppose so, cause I´ve never been on a building designed by her.

    Anyway that´s really impressive.

    I really enjoy the one with the girl sitted, it´s not only a sculpture.

  • modular, I would guess the process to make these involves machining the forms out of a solid foam, or perhaps molding them out of a polyurethane resin or a polyester resin and then adding a gloss finish. So basically you are looking at some form of stable plastic that is painter or is just naturally that color. Also, these renderings show everything as one solid, but most likely each piece is made up of smaller, more manageable pieces that are assembled at the gallery. But I could be wrong… maybe they crane that stuff in ala Richard Serra. Not to group Hadid and Serra together… the latter is way out of her league!

  • OLGV.

    Well… never the less, I don’t see the space unity/fluidity which Zaha always talk about, in the way that the projects are exposed/presented [displayed on the building’s floor]. And yes I was expecting to see something like this, not only random exposed fluid forms.
    Forms that I like considering them a 3d/architectural logo of a project.

  • OLGV.

    @ modular:
    it’s about working with plastic materials, raisins, fiber glass, etc. [google DuPont as a start]…. and metallic structures…. i don’t think that she is very into metallic surfaces….

  • Xit

    Double dropped acid styling, take me to your dealer !

  • modular

    ** Regarding to the construction processes **

    Thanks guys for the info. But… you talk about smaller pieces all put together on the spot. These smaller pieces are made in some kind of 3D printer or something?

  • christopher

    It’s interesting that this is more true to what her work actually is – an art installation. Sound and fury.

  • anonymous

    to modular…

    on the small scale you should see the youtube time lapse video of the melissa shoe by zaha, its really interesting to see how they make that which is probably similar to the stuff you see above…in terms of just making it for exhibtion.

    for making stuff at a similar scale in this fluid form, there is a detail mag article showing construction method for her floor at hotel puerto de america.

    In real life, materials like corian worth be worth looking at…the hotel p de a uses thermoplastic a bit as well if i remember correctly..

    The above drawings are all renders…3d printing has limited size that it can print at, most machines are 25cm cubed max.. CNC machines can be used to make much bigger stuff, and then high pressure water jets for the real building, (the new macs are made with water jets too)…but i’m no expert, but i know there is quite a varied range of technologies out there, zaha’s office being one of the best for making good experiments with them,

    its quite interesting to have so many people who hate zaha, i was recently reading to be sucessful on the internet, one should aim to increase the amount of people who hate you, and the amount of people who love you would increase at a higher rate….i guess she’s doing quite well judging by her dezeen comments….haa keep up the hate guys, hopefully you can all hate me someday!!

  • anonymous
  • modular

    still regarding the construction processes. Thank you all for the explanation. I really gotta take a look at Corian.

    Like I said, I’m not a Zaha fan, yet the kind of approach she has towards architecture/design can be interesting if done in other ways.


  • carlo


  • kolohe

    what do people do after they stop working for zaha hadid…?

  • DH

    Alien III inspired?
    Just stop this!

  • Anonymous

    I would say go on holiday and takes a week of sleep, in reality I’ve heard most people don’t want to leave, as they enjoy the firm from getting to do cool research and working in such an interlectual enviroment.

  • headplow

    Say what you will about Zaha Hadid but I personally find these forms very appealing. I think much goes in the way of saying we can create anything we may imagine. If the limits of the imagination can be torn down, imagine what possibilities for the future lie ahead. Inspiration comes in all forms and beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder. Kudos Ms. Hadid, well done.

  • Glitch

    Tres Autechre. Tell me, will a loop of their music be piped over the gallery’s speakers? I’m so there.

  • gaque

    Modular, anonymous, and Henry Julier…I appreciate your discussion of the construction of these works. However, I must point out that these forms do not come from construction considerations…they are abstract, immaterial formal experiments. Just because CNC mills can make curved shapes very easily, does not mean that any curvy project is taking advantage of CNC.

    As I have just mentioned in an another post…if you’d like to see real exploration of programming and fabrication today, look over the dfab projects at the eth in zurich.

  • iamreply

    Autechre are smart,sharp, forever innovative and extremely resourceful which cannot be said for Hadid. Please don’t associate the two. By so many people congratulating this work it makes me think that most of the readers here are observers and commentators and don’t work in the field. If you did you would realise that this is quite easy and lazy. say what you will but this is not good.

  • Nacho

    “Iamreply” please dont say Zaha does easy and lazy architecture. She has been working over 30 years very hard doing very interesting things, at the beggining it was hard for her because nobody believed her architecture was possibble but she kept trying and believing in herself and now she has the tools and recognition and she can do whatever she wants. She has opened a new way for architecture you like it or not.
    For sure this installation is not her best, but dont call it easy and lazy.
    Well done Zaha

  • iamreply

    appologies. ok. THIS piece is easy and lazy. oh and just because you work for a certain amount of time in one field doesn’t necessarily mean your work is valid and justified. I couldn’t care less about her struggle. Take the work on face value not on nametag. This is a big problem these days especially with respects to limited edition work. You are only as strong as your most recent work. end of.

  • LOW

    Zaha, Zaha, Zaha….. *shakes head*

  • d

    u guys prefer to talk about the name than project.. i am here to learn sthg that i dont know, to see sthg that i cudnt see..but u r just wasting time..

  • very intimate curves

  • zee

    i like it…its aesthetically pleasing and thats all i want to know….sometimes, a design without any meaning should be allowed.

  • Shahruk Jahir

    HA HA HA!….
    It’s funny that some people are trying to criticize “ZAHA HADID”.
    HA HA HA HA HA……
    Real joke man!
    I wonder….what do they do for living, most probably Civil, or structural engineers.
    Next time, please mention your occupation before you criticize ZAHA HADID….

  • bebo

    well..sharhruk.. anyone(anyone) can critisize zaha ‘s work even a 3 yers old kid because it is invading the world and obviously minds like you, so good people like us should stop her, and save the world…and by the way i am an architect..HAHAHAHA

  • student

    This is not Zaha hadid’s strongest work, and reminds me of H.R Giger. I find it a little unsettling. However, for those who dislike Hadid’s work, there is no denying she is one of the most influentual architects of our time. She has made her mark and won’t be forgotten. A lot of architect teaching is focused around her concepts.

  • qetu

    I love Hadid's Art-Sculptural-Architecture. For those who thinking that, hers art is not architecture I will tell only – hallo, were are you living. It is XXI century. Cubes combined with cylinders are not architecture any more. No more differences between sculpture and architecture.