Zaha Hadid Architects to present its first retrospective in China

Internationally recognized architectural firm Zaha Hadid Architects will present its first retrospective exhibition in mainland China, showcasing a display of works dating across the last four decades. The ZHA Close Up exhibition will be held at Shanghai’s Modern Art Museum (MAM) this June, showcasing award-winning architectural projects in addition to a sneak preview of the studio’s projects currently in development across six continents.

MAM Shanghai is a state-of-the-art contemporary museum, measuring over 7,000 square meters (75,347 sq ft) and known for presenting contemporary art with a global and multidisciplinary approach.

In such style, the ZHA Close Up exhibition will display Zaha Hadid Architects’ pioneering research and approach to architecture, with the realization of numerous projects around the globe. The unique showcase will also take a deeper look at the technical innovations adopted by the firm, which have sculpted the way the studio imagines, designs and creates each constructed environment.

Heydar Aliyev Centre Baku by ZHA (2012)


“With this show we aim to present who we are close up, our depth of experience, our current preoccupations, and our aspirations for the future,” says Patrik Schumacher, Principal at Zaha Hadid Architects.

The late Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (in 2004) and remained an important figure in the world of architecture her entire career. The Iraqi-born architect spent the first years of her career travelling the world, including spending a significant amount time in China, absorbing the ancient methods of architecture that are embedded in China’s historic architecture and vast natural landscapes.

Following a timeline of Zaha Hadid Architects’ influential projects in China, the exhibition examines the evolution of the studio’s works from 1982 until today. Projects such as the award-winning Peak Club in Hong Kong (1982-1983), the Guangzhou Opera House (2010) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (2019) are prime examples of how Hadid sublimely integrates a harmonious relationship between a building and its natural surroundings, both interior and exterior.

Inside the Beijing Daxing International airport by ZHA (2019)
Inside the Beijing Daxing International airport by ZHA (2019)


“I am excited to include, as part of our interdisciplinary and immersive approach at MAM, this important exhibition, celebrating Zaha Hadid’s ingenuity,” says Shai Baitel, Artistic Director of MAM Shanghai. “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.”

The ZHA Close Up exhibition will run from June 26 to August 29.

Source: MAM Shanghai

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