Zaha Hadid Had a Busier Week Than You Did

A posh homeware line, a math-inspired museum wing, and a blossom-shaped apartment building

A design for the London Science Museum's new mathematics wing

The Baghdad-born architect Zaha Hadid has pretty much every architectural award sitting on her fireplace mantel and building credits from Singapore to London to Saudi Arabia. Her neofuturistic designs tend to make a splash, though her style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Still, she’s far from hurting for work; on any given day, she has her hands in more than a dozen projects at once. This week, the 63-year old made the news not for one, not for two, but three projects attached to her namesake architecture firm.

The latest announcement comes from Harrod’s, the London-based luxury goods department store where Hadid will be launching ZHD, a homeware collection evoking her signature architectural style. If her forays into fashion and furniture design are any indication, we’re in for some far-out coffee mugs.

Like her buildings, even these small items remain firmly in the realm of aspirational upper-class lifestyles: her collection includes a serving platter priced at £9,999. According to the ZHD website, the platter’s design was inspired by “the undulating wave of the London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Centre…[and] conveys the fluid rhythms of water in motion.” For a platter, the price is mind-boggling, but for a little piece of a newly iconic building, maybe it makes more sense. Maybe.

A candle from the new Zaha Hadid-designed line at Harrod's

If you’re really desperate to have a Zaha Hadid design sitting on your kitchen table, you might be able to afford these scented candles, crafted in a fine bone china container and priced at £99 or these cups, “inspired by the intersection of nature and the built environment” and priced at £43.

More affordable is admission to the London Science Museum, where Hadid unveiled her designs (see above) for their new mathematics wing. The sleek concepts are not just visually stunning but functional, too. According to the woman herself, “The design explores the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives, transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience for visitors of all ages.”

These towers are slated to bloom in Brisbane

And just because she was bored and it was easy, Hadid revealed more designs this week for residential towers to be built in Brisbane, Australia. The tapered designs are meant to evoke the image of a flower in bloom.

Hadid is also weathering controversy surrounding one of her most eye-popping creations yet, the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar, which some say closely resembles a giant vagina. It’s not the reference to female sex organs that have drawn the most serious scrutiny, but comments (which Hadid claims were taken out of context) that made the high-end architect seem unconcerned about the many migrant workers who have died working on Qatar’s World Cup-related projects.

This building has become controversial in more ways than one

A New York Review of Books critic first linked Hadid’s comments to the stadium, though they were made two months before site work began. The writer has since apologized for not being more clear that the structure, which won’t begin construction until 2015, has not caused any deaths.

The controversy clearly hasn’t slowed Hadid down. Can anything?


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