Architecture form typically only takes shape in a building. However, in Zaha Hadid Architects’ case, they are reminiscent, Zaha Hadid’s style on carpets for the London Design Festival 2018. The Zaha Hadid Gallery presented the new RE/Form carpet collection which was curated for Royal Thai and consists of 22 different designs across 4 themes.
The 4 themes are: organic cellular shapes, pixelated landscapes, ribbon-like projections, and striated lines. All of the carpets feature the fluidity of Hadid’s design and “signature use of interweaving, layering and play with light and shadow”.
Considering Royal Thai’s design-driven direction, the carpets had custom colours with shades of turquoise, red, and green. All of which translated as “Axminster-loomed and hand-tufted designs, each carpet represents reconfiguration, metaphorical renewal and transformation”.
Before discovering the designs of the carpets and how it has come to its final product, we should come to get to know Zaha Hadid. Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was a British Iraqi architect, widely known in the 20th and early 21st centuries. She initially studied Mathematics in university and subsequently entered the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1972.
The Guardian mentioned her to the “Queen of the curve” which “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity”. Hadid’s renowned designs include the London Aquatics Centre, the Guangzhou Opera House and the MAXXI National Museum of the XXI Century Arts in Rome. Hadid has experimented with the conventions of Modernism and emerged to be the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004.
To add to this, she too received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011 and was named a Dame by Elizabeth II in February 2016. She was also the first woman to be individually awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Soon after this, she passed away due to a heart attack on 31 March 2016 at 65 years old.
Following closely to Zaha Hadid’s skein cuff rendering comes cellular. Cellular is one of four themes of the RE/Form carpet collection. The Skein is a sculptural form that mimics the composition of cellular structures found in mother nature.
Hadid’s skein style was not reserved just for architecture but was made used for rings she designed. ‘Skein’ by Zaha Hadid for Capista features a collection of rings that follows the cellular structure of nature. It sits to be of a bold sculptural and monumental ring. The Skein or in this case cellular design is apparent in Zaha Hadid’s Architects jewellery collection that is reflected in the carpets in this theme.
As for Pixel, her next theme, we can look at Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. It holds a bold expression of continuity and connectivity and features an intriguing façade of glass that transforms into a grid of rhomboid fibre-concrete panels. This gives a solid sculptural appearance to the building’s podium and conference space and adds a dynamic touch to the form that provides daylight for the interior spaces.
The carpet from the pixel theme also strongly resembles 520 W 28th Street, New York City by Zaha Hadid Architects and Ismael Leyva Architects. Its façade has metallic ridges that join continuously across the building and pushed out to form balconies. Such metallic ridges are bent forming curvy edges taken out and onto the carpets.
Thallus, a Greek word for the flora of no distinction between stem and leaf and an experimental project by Zaha Hadid Architects features a design made by automated additive manufacture and of underway research on robotic-assisted design.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computational Design (ZH CoDe) has formed a unique curve within curves design and explores “differential growth methods through expansion and diffusion arising from a single continuous seed curve guided iteratively via simulation parameters while constrained to a reference surface”. Apart from the Thallus, Zaha Hadid Designs Gallery also features the ribbon-like flare that has found its way onto the few showcased carpets.
Lastly, with the striation theme, it follows a series of linear marks and ridges. The carpet designs from this theme can be seen again on 520W 28th Street, New York City. The striation of this design is ever-present with the majority of the building that Zaha Hadid Architects designed and of the carpets within this theme.
Following with Zaha Hadid Architects MAXXI Painting, it too features a series of ridges, curves and dynamic lines all flowing across each other yet portraying it as a seamless piece of art.
All in all, the 22 carpets by Zaha Hadid Architects showcased in London Design Festival 2018 commemorates Zaha Hadid and reminisce the works that have come from her and her team. The way these 22 carpets have translated Zaha Hadid’s ‘Queen of the curves’ and dynamic architectural styles is impressive. Even though Zaha Hadid herself has passed on, her legacy, impact and outstanding style that she has contributed to the architectural world are here to stay.