Just a few weeks before the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale opens, architect Zaha Hadid has released images of her lightweight pleated metal installation ‘Arum.’ Hadid’s response to this year’s theme of ‘Common Ground’—set by 2012 director David Chipperfield—is just one of 66 projects by architects, photographers, artists, critics and scholars. The 2012 Venice Biennale will also see Angola, the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, and Peru participate for the first time.
Working with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher—with whom she has a strong ‘Common Ground’—the form of their collaborative pavilion shows their joint interest in the boundaries between architecture, landscape and geology. As is the case with much of Hadid’s work, computer generative technologies are implemented to align these research-based processes.
Of the concept behind the form of the pavilion, Hadid says “It is well known that our early work was initially inspired by Russian Suprematism. In our installation and exhibition at the Biennale we want to show that – apart from the dialogue with the work of contemporary competitors that existed all along – our recent work connects to a rather different historical strand of research. The more our design research and work evolved on the basis of algorithmic form generation, the more we learned to appreciate the work of pioneers like Frei Otto who achieved the most elegant designs on the basis of material-structural form-finding processes.”
Made from pleated metal, Arum is the result of a first time exploration for Hadid and Schumacher into the amalgamation of light-weight shell structures and tensile structures, methods which have been individually used extensively but never together. In homage to the research and inspiration in this design field – the installation will also exhibit the work of Frei Otto, Felix Candela, Heinz Isler and Philippe Block.
Zaha Hadid Architects at Venice Architecture Biennale Room 1.9, Corderie dell’ Arsenale 29th August – 25th November 2012