With a name more likely to be wrongly associated with the world’s current dilemma between east and west, than as one of the great architects of her time. Dame Zaha Hadid, was an Iraqi-British architect. Zaha received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, the first woman to do so. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she died on the 31st March 2016. Zaha designed the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, the London Aquatics Centre, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and Serpentine Galleries in London.
Zaha Hadid Architects: A Look At The World Leaders
Described as “iconic experimentalists” in a report about a recent Melbourne showcase: Zaha Hadid Architects: Reimagining Architecture, it boasts 40 years of ground-breaking design. This travelling exhibition represents the work as metallic-coated scale models, plus, a collection of photographs in timeline format to contextualise the buildings. Zaha Hadid Architects are involved in a residential project on St Kilda Road in Melbourne; which helped secure the exhibition for the city. Something is cooking in the kitchen, for the city by the Yarra and Port Phillip Bay.
Their buildings are hotly awaited by architectural industry insiders and creative folk all over the globe. Professional businesses like to open outlets in their buildings. People are asking, when are they coming to Sydney? The old rivalry between Australia’s two major cities is particularly fierce over things like architectural design. The southern city seems to have it all over the brash Harbour city, when it comes to innovative architectural design. The Sydney Opera House stands out so much, because it has nothing to compare with it in the city. A Zaha Hadid designed building could reinvigorate the tired Sydney skyline.
When one thinks about the recent experiences of Baghdad and the Iraqi people, it is in stark contrast to the career of this supremely talented expat architect. We could all hang our heads in shame, all of us who have been involved in the desecration of this once great city and the land that surrounds it. Politics and religion are like the guttering embers in a bomb blast site, reeking destruction wherever they cast their lot. Zaha Hadid instead created and contributed to the building of inspiring structures, designed to lift the spirits of the human beings around them. It is always useful in this life to ask yourself, “am I a creator or a destroyer?”
People live in big cities for a multitude of reasons, with economic ones usually the most important. Cities grew up around industrialisation; and now that manufacturing is being outsourced offshore for cheaper labour costs, the need to live in big cities in the west is changing. Technologies are affording a move away from high density living, but the move is slow, because of family and cultural ties to places. Thus, cities are still under enormous population pressures, when it comes to waste management and other environmental issues. Landfills are filling up from Beijing to Brisbane.
Recycling Buildings: Rebuilding Our Cities
Could there be a solution in reconfiguring our cities by making everything recyclable from the micro to the macro? Already, we are seeing energy generating plants using solid waste matter as fuel in cities around Europe. Now, there is serious talk about using waste material as a recycled building material. Imagine tall buildings created out of compacted trash using outsized 3-D printers. Life as we know it would change, as we would live amongst our rubbish, instead of polluting the environment with it. Landfills would become a thing of the past; and rubbish removal a link in the chain of production.
Imagine a kitchen business, building new kitchens from suitable recyclable materials. A new urban groovy look, which would leave stainless steel in the shade. The business growth in the city would be unprecedented, with restaurants and food outlets built out of what was previously considered trash. We would use technology to hygienically seal these recyclables into shapes and materials capable of building all sorts of structures. We would use our waste constructively and, finally, take responsibility for our footprint on this planet. ‘Pie in the sky’, I hear you say, but it is closer to happening than you might think.
There are already bridge building projects happening in Europe, which involve giant 3-D printers manufacturing steel girders. Refabricated waste is on the drawing board of a number of environmental design firms globally. Smart refuse is becoming an industry buzz word, as we speak. Envision a city built from trash, but which looks amazing, the texture of these materials will be like nothing ever seen or felt before. Ecological and biological research studies are experimenting with new blends of living and non-living matter. Scientists are literally growing new building materials out of petri dishes in their laboratories, before they are then manufactured by computer driven processes in production factories. Spiderman web-like materials are already being investigated for their flexibility and strength, as potential building materials.