Zaha Hadid in Italy
A year after her sudden death, from 23 June 2017 to 14 January 2018 MAXXI is hosting Zaha Hadid in Italy, an exhibition curated by the director of MAXXI Architettura Margherita Guccione and Woody Yao, associate director at Zaha Hadid Design.
Installed in the spaces of Gallery 5 with its extensive glazing overlooking the museum piazza, the exhibition explores Hadid’s work through the rich and complex representational media she employed during the course of her career: from pictorial and conceptual sketches to three-dimensional models, from virtual renderings to interdisciplinary studies, together with objects, videos and photographs revealing her constant pioneering and investigative design research.
The exhibition installation by Zaha Hadid Design, which has been responsible for the design of all the studio’s exhibitions in recent years, was inspired by the architect’s sketches for MAXXI, a three-dimensional version of the fluid lines imagined for the museum that in adapting to the curves and the slopes of the architecture present the various materials organized in diverse areas.
An important section of the exhibition is devoted to the Italian projects including the Terminal Marittimo in Salerno that with it is organic oyster-like structure establishes a new link between the city and the sea; the Messner Mountain Museum at Plan de Corones that is set into the heart of the mountain and which opens up new views; the extraordinary Torre Generali for City Life in Milan that with its vertiginous vertical torsion constructs a new urban horizon; the Stazione dell’alta velocità at Afragola and MAXXI itself, the fluid forms of which traverse an entire city block: more than just a museum, a public urban space.
Woody Yao writes that MAXXI “was fundamental to our development as a studio.” The building, the first to be constructed by Hadid in Italy, won the Stirling Prize in 2010 and is “testament to a genius that reminds us that anything is possible if we have the courage to challenge the prevalent rules and methodologies.”
Ample space has been devoted to Zaha’s relationship with design and the made in Italy phenomenon with which she established repeated creative and productive contacts. When she was designing objects and furnishings Zaha remained first and foremost an architect: Her objects occupy space in the manner of true architecture. From the sofas for B&B and Cassina to the chairs, the benches and the tables for Sawaya & Moroni; from the vases and the centrepieces for Alessi to the modular bookshelves for Magis, with incursions into the worlds of high-end jewellery with the B.zero1 ring and fashion with the exclusive bag designed for a Fendi charity event, her constant experimentation is presented through drawings, videos, prototypes and objects that recount a process that could be scaled up from the very small even to the monumental.
A video wall presenting the various designs, a suspended structure traversing the exhibition and carrying the photos of Helene Binet who has portrayed almost all of Hadid’s architecture and number of large paintings such as Malevich’s Tektonic (2015) and Metropolis (2014) revealing her interest in Russian Constructivism complete the installation.
Finally, a section documents Studio Hadid’s research (ZH CoDe) into interdisciplinary and innovative parametric design with the use of advanced digital technologies.