16 April 2012

Zaha Hadid

Good Friday at the Vitra Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Have a look at their simple but effective homepage www.design-museum.de

This is the production site of Vitra and you can only visit on a guided tour. Over the years Vitra has commissioned world-renowned architects to build pavilions, conference centres and production facilities. Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry and Alvaro Siza have all built here.

These photos are of Zaha Hadid's first work: the Vitra fire station, built in 1994. She (www.zaha-hadid.com) has just been awarded the contract to build the new central bank in Baghdad, in her home country.

There are lots of (better) photos available on the net. These reflect what struck me most: the very clever use of glass, reflective materials and concrete. Look at the first picture: the concrete gets a reflective shine through the glass making it appear lighter than the metal next to it!  

The inside is more amazing than the exterior. No straight walls, an amazing combination of limited materials and it flows beautifully. There are no doors inside and the windows are set in the concrete walls within very thin window frames, making the outside views very much part of the interior.
Shower facilities to the left. The metal sheets hide the lockers. Not sure what the space to the right was intended for, but note the flow of windows: set at an angle and practically frameless. 
Upstairs kitchen and canteen.
Am I obsessed with these frameless windows?
And outside the trees were blooming. 

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