Arum by Zaha Hadid Architects at
Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

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Zaha Hadid will present a pleated metal funnel at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 later this month (+ movie).

Arum by Zaha Hadid Architects at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

Called Arum, the structure is derived from research into combining lightweight shells and tensile structures.

Arum by Zaha Hadid Architects at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

It will be surrounded by documentation of the firm's research and work on similar themes by others, including German architect Frei Otto, in order to place Hadid's work as part of a clear lineage of investigation.

Arum by Zaha Hadid Architects at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

The installation will be on show as part of the Common Ground exhibition in the Arsenale from 28 August to 25 November. Watch director of the biennale David Chipperfield talk to Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about his theme and the current architecture scene in our movie interview.

See all our stories about Zaha Hadid »

Here's some more information from the architects:


This year’s Biennale theme ‘Common Ground’ shows how the work of the major protagonists of contemporary architecture - often regarded as independent individual creations - is in fact based on historical lineages of collective research. This is also true of the work of Zaha Hadid Architects. It is well known that the early work was initially inspired by Russian Suprematism.

In our installation and exhibition at the Biennale we want to show that - apart from the dialogue with the work of contemporary competitors that existed all along - our recent work connects to a rather different historical strand of research. The more our design research and work evolved on the basis of algorithmic form generation, the more we learned to appreciate the work of pioneers like Frei Otto who had achieved the most elegant designs on the basis of material-structural form-finding processes. From Frei Otto we learned how the richness, organic coherence and fluidity of the forms and spaces we desire could emerge rationally from an intricate balance of forces. We expanded Frei Otto’s method to include environmental as well as structural logics, and we moved from material to computational simulations.

One particular area of research we would like to explore with our installation is the domain of lightweight shells in combination with tensile structures. We have already designed a number of complex shells as well as some tensile structures. Here, for the first time, we would like to integrate these two worlds. The Arum shell is an installation made from pleated metal. We will surround the installation with the documentation of our research, including key reference projects of the pre-eminent precursors in this line of research.

We will show the work Frei Otto, Felix Candela, Heinz Isler among others and include work by Philippe Block, a young, contemporary researcher of stone compression shells.

Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 Room 1.9, Corderie dell' Arsenale 29th August - 25th November 2012

With the support of Permasteelisa Spa and ARTE & Partners

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Exhibition Design: Woody Yao, Margarita Valova
Installation Design and Presentation: Shajay Bhooshan, Saman Saffarian, Suryansh Chandra, Mostafa El Sayed
Structural Engineering: Rasti Bartek, Buro Happold, UK
Material & Fabrication Technology: Gregory Epps, RoboFOLD
Coordinator: Manon Janssens
In collaboration with:
» Studio Hadid, Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - Jens Mehlan, Johann Traupmann, Christian Kronaus, Mascha Veech, Robert Neumayr, Mario Gasser, Susanne John
» The BLOCK Research Group, Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH, Zurich - Philippe Block, Matthias Rippmann
» Faculty of Architecture, ETH, Zurich - Toni Kotnik
» Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios de Posgrado, Faculty of Architecture, UNAM, Mexico - Juan Ignacio del Cueto Ruiz-Funes

  • http://dansweeting.com dan

    When will Zaha give up on parametric form-finding? Also the top-render is disturbingly feminine in form if you catch my drift.

    • Anon

      As is the work of Georgia O'Keeffe which does not make it any less credible.

      • xtiaan

        Which is ironic as O’Keeffe herself consistently denied the validity of Freudian interpretations of her art.

    • xtiaan

      In as much as anything taller than it is broad is a phallus, then yes you could say this is uh “distrubingly feminine” (why disturbingly? its not visually pierced, or armed with teeth, its not your mother’s…)

  • Tom

    Lose the lens flares! Shamefully rookie renderings for such an established firm.