Many of Zaha Hadid’s architectural commissions have been inspired by the forms and growth patterns of the natural world – the Snow Show was an opportunity to translate her organic formal language into a real landscape of ice and snow. At the same time, it shared another recurrent, more playful theme of her studio’s work; it was an invitation to visitors to explore, play and appreciate the simple visual pleasure of snow and light.
The sculpture expressed the transformation from one state of being to another and was made up of two mirrored landscape formations, one of snow, another of ice. The snow formation was melted by a surreal landscape of blue flames – an intervention by the artist Cai Guo-Qiang – which covered the structure in blue streams, pools and terraces.
The ice formation was sculpted, carved and underwent a more natural metamorphosis as it gradually melted. It appeared as a constantly changing glacier of vaulting spaces and canyons; walls curved into ceilings, giving the impression of a frozen moment of fluidity. Slim veins of light were interwoven with the structure, which functioned as both furniture and public living room for an ice bar. Only as it was gradually eroded and transformed did the sculpture reveal the hidden volumes and patterns within.