Zaha Hadid Architects has opened an exhibition exploring the firm’s 15-year evolutionary work in China since the opening ZHA’s first office in China.
The exhibition, titled The New World, is now on view at the Guardian Art Center in Beijing until 3 October 2023, marking a significant milestone and celebrating their 15-year journey in China.
The New World exhibition unfolds the firm’s work and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism and architecture, showing how ZHA’s work integrates advances in design and construction technologies accross the world.
As described by ZHA, the firm’s works “respond to the increased complexities of contemporary life with fluid geometries informed by the logic and coherence of structures and systems within the natural world.” “ZHA redefined architecture for the 21st century with a repertoire of projects that have captured imaginations across the globe.”
Deeply rooted in Zaha Hadid’s revolutionary exploration and research, for the first time, the context of the new world was outlined by the late Zaha Hadid.
In 1983, Zaha Hadid explained that “technology’s rapid development and our ever-changing lifestyles have created a fundamentally new and exhilarating backdrop for architecture, and in this new world context I felt we must reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Modernism – not to resurrect them, but to unveil new ideas.”
Within this new world context outlined by Hadid twenty years ago, The New World exhibition details the evolution and of ZHA’s work since opening their first office in China.
The exhibition, divided into ten zones, showcases the development and future of ZHA’s architecture that showcase specific aspects of their work. Among those works, there is the Guangzhou Opera House, completed in 2010, which was ZHA’s first building in China.
Another 14 pioneering Chinese projects have since opened, including Beijing’s renowned Leeza SOHO tower and Daxing International Airport are revisited as seminal projects. Further, the exhibition displays 25 ZHA projects across the country which are currently in development.
Moreover, the show also looks to the future by focusing on ZHA’s detailed research and multidisciplinary approach in their work.For instance, new digital design tools, robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are providing a glimpse of how ZHA designs and constructs. In addition, the show captures the firm’s captivating power tackling developing efficiencies in design, construction techniques and materials that reduce the environmental impact of their architecture while enhancing the performance of each building.
The New World presents ZHA’s research into continual improvements for the construction industry, the exhibition studies ZHA’s collaborations with leading scientific institutions around the world in the development of award-winning innovations in sustainability strategies and materials, as well as the studio’s applications of advanced data analytics and agent-based modelling which enable their architecture to address both individual and overall wellness.
At the hart of the exhibition, ZHA’s new virtual architecture within the metaverse that is information-rich and socially engaging, are further revisited. ZHA’s virtual architecture, integrating photo-quality, 3D and multiplayer online video-game creation tools combined with high-speed network and cloud technologies, ZHA’s virtual environments, focus on user experience and interaction.
Powered by parametric design technology and incorporating community-forming social infrastructure, ZHA’s virtual environments are enhancing communication and collaboration around the world.
The exhibition builds upon ZHA’s perspective on the future of cities, while the exhibition’s “Building the Future” zone presents a selection of forthcoming projects throughout China where their work assimilates local cultures and sensitivities to site-specific conditions.
The show, reflecting ZHA’s unwavering optimism for the future, examines the consistently inventive nature of their architecture.
“Marrying advancements in design technologies with ecologically sound materials and sustainable construction practices, ZHA does not look at the disparate parts, but works to understand them as a whole to meet the aspirations of each new generation,” said the firm in an exhibition description.
Zaha Hadid Architects and Chicago-based ArchAgenda recently launched Metrotopia, dubbed as a unique metaverse venture dedicated to becoming the virtual communication hub for the global design community. ZHA’s Taikang Financial Centre broke ground in Wuhan, China.
The firm’s Business Stadium Central in Vilnius was also approved the City of Vilnius.
Exhibition: The New World
Date: Until 3 October 2023
Venue: The Guardian Art Center, No. 1 Wangfujing Street, Beijing, China
All images © Virgile Simon Bertrand.
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Guangzhou Opera House
Zaha Hadid Architects