Given that you’re reading The Architect’s Newspaper right now, there’s a very good chance you’re an architect. If that’s true, then dressing up as an architect on Halloween would be a pretty lame costume idea. That is, unless you went as one of The Greatsâ€”we’re not saying you’re not one of them…but, you know what we mean.
During last week’sÂ London Design Festival, Zaha Hadid introduced a collection of housewares and tabletop items created exclusively for the posh Harrods department store. No stranger to merchandising opportunitiesâ€”the architect has produced a bevy of brand extensions, including furniture, swimsuits, wine bottles, jewelry, and shoesâ€”this latest venture is described as a “luxury homeware line.”
Despite coming in 3rd place in a design competition for a new Iraqi parliament center, Iraqi-British architectÂ Zaha HadidÂ signed a deal last month with the Iraqi embassy to design aÂ new parliament complex in Baghdad. According to Building Design,Â London firm Assemblage has confirmed they received the prize money of $250,000 for coming in first place, but will lose out on the billion dollar commission. Hadid was recently in Iraq to officially sign aÂ contract for the project.
Speaking of controversy, Zaha Hadid canâ€™t catch a break! Since her stadium design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was unveiled, complaints have arisen about the scale and height of the project. Then two of Japanâ€™s biggest architectsâ€”Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Makiâ€”signed on to a petition calling for a revised design. As of press time more than 26,500 people have signed on to protest the design. Is someoneâ€™s star beginning to dim?
The Los Angeles Philharmonic has a thing for star architects. As part of a trilogy of Mozart operas directed by Gustavo Dudamel (himself a global celebrity), in 2012 Â Frank Gehry designed the set for Don Giovanni, inÂ 2013Â Jean Nouvel designed oneÂ for The Marriage of Figaro, andÂ this monthÂ Zaha Hadid Architects hasÂ designedÂ the backdrop forÂ CosÃ¬ fan tutee, the trilogy’s finale.
While much of the workÂ introduced at Milan this year played it safeâ€”distinctly conservativeÂ colors, forms familiar from the 1950s, cautious use of materialsâ€”some architects’ designs took, shall we say, a bolder stance. But: Was it a better one? You, ever-opinionatedÂ reader, shall and no doubt will be the judge of that.Â Among the boldest of the bold designs this year were four pieces presented byÂ Zaha Hadid.