In a retrospective display of projects dating from 1982, MAM Shanghai presents an impactful exhibition of Zaha Hadid Architects in mainland China.
ZHA Close Up at MAM Shanghai explores the pioneering research and interconnecting relationships that unite their projects around the globe, detailing the technological innovations that are transforming how the studio imagines, designs and constructs built environments.
Running from 26 June – 15 September 2021, the exhibition examines the evolution of Zaha Hadid Architects’ buildings over the last 40 years.
Founded by the late Zaha Hadid in 1979, Hadid was a major figure in the world of architecture and the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She first travelled to China in 1981 at the very beginning of her career. Like her birthplace Iraq, carved by the Euphrates and the Tigris, China’s natural landscapes and urban settlements have been shaped through history by its great rivers and waterways. Travelling from north to south, visiting many Chinese cities to experience its art and architecture, Hadid studied the methods that embed its historic architecture within the great theatre of natural landscapes.
ZHA’s competition-winning design for the Peak Club in Hong Kong (1982-1983) manifests Hadid’s investigations into the fluid relationships between building and site, interior and exterior, architecture and engineering. Defined by the topography of the surrounding mountainside, in this and later seminal projects such as the Guangzhou Opera House (2010) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (2019), ZHA’s work echoes the coherence of the nature in an organic architectural language generating unrivalled spatial experiences that are intuitive to navigate and recognised around the world.
ZHA Close Up explores the journey of four decades of experimentation that are inscribed within ZHA’s architecture and has seen their designs become more spatially inventive, more structurally efficient, more technologically advanced and more environmentally sensitive with each new design and positions their work at the forefront of architectural practice.
Shai Baitel, Artistic Director of MAM Shanghai, said: “I am excited to include, as part of our interdisciplinary and immersive approach at MAM, this important exhibition, celebrating Zaha Hadid’s ingenuity. Hadid was an exceptional woman, and we are delighted to show our audience the development of her movement as a researcher, designer, and architect through various geographies and histories—and how this movement impacts the current innovative vision and work of Zaha Hadid Architects, following her untimely passing. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) continues and expands on her legacy and MAM is proud to present this show, granting unprecedented insights into the vision of one of the most important architects of our time.”
MAM Shanghai is the largest contemporary art museum in Shanghai, measuring over 7,000 square meters. The state of the art museum located at the heart of Shanghai’s cultural mile along the Huangpu River is a premier institution for contemporary art with a global and multidisciplinary approach.
ZHA Close Up – Work & Research
26 June – 15 September 2021