ZAHA HADID’S ONLY HOUSE FINALLY COMPLETES IN RUSSIAN FOREST
New photographs and a movie reveal Zaha Hadid’s only completed private residence – a house in the Barvikha Forest near Moscow, for a man she called the “Russian James Bond”.
The late Iraqi-British architect designed Capital Hill Residence for businessman and philanthropist Vladislav Doronin, who runs property companies Capital Group and OKO Group, and is also the owner of luxury hotel and resort brand Aman.
The house’s defining feature is a master suite set atop a slender concrete stalk that raises it high above the tree canopy.
Set 22 metres above the ground, this element of the design offers Doronin complete seclusion. Glazed walls, tucked back from the edge of the floor to create two balconies, afford views out over the tree tops.
A stripe of gridded glazing runs the length of the suite’s supporting column, which houses a glass lift and staircase that allows Doronin to enjoy the view on his ascent and descent.
“I told her: ‘I want to wake up in the morning and I want to just see blue sky. I don’t want to see any neighbors and I want to feel free,” recalls Doronin in a new video discussing the project.
“She told me: ‘Do you realise you have to be above the trees?’ and she just took a napkin and drew the sketch. I looked and I said I liked [it] and this is how we started [the] Capital Hill project.”
Three generous floors partially embedded in the sloping terrain below feature angled glass facades facing into the forest. Broad roofs with irregularly stepped edges overhang the glass walls of each floor.
The lowest level contains leisure facilities, while a lounge, living room and kitchen are set alongside entertaining spaces and a swimming pool on the ground floor. The entrance, guest and children’s bedrooms, and a library are set across the first floor.
The concept for the project was first conceived over a decade ago, when the pair met in London and Hadid sketched a design out on a napkin.
Visuals of the project were first unveiled in 2008 and initial photographs of the project emerged in 2011, well ahead of Hadid’s death. But these images mark the full completion of the residence.
“For me she is an architect of a different league,” says Doronin.
“It was very interesting to talk to her, she didn’t talk too much but she was very sharp. She was always to the point, she was very sarcastic, she was very intellectual, smart and sharp woman,” he continues. “It was very tragic what happened, we lost one of the greatest architects of this century.”
Hadid’s former business partner Patrik Schumacher, who took over the helm of the company following her death in 2016, describes the project as a dream commission.
“It’s a dream house. No architect would refuse such a commission,” he says in the video. “Zaha knew Vladislav – a very stylish man – she always compared him to the Russian James Bond who had taste, wealth to create something extraordinary.”
“This project is an absolute testament to Zaha’s genius – Vladislav’s genius if you like – of somebody who develops new levels of enjoying life on this planet,” he continues.
“This is a masterpiece. It has Zaha’s signature features of organic intricacy, complexity of spatial arrangement, a lot of surprises, and a lot of craftiness and beauty.”
British architect Norman Foster praised the “extraordinary” project in a Dezeen movie paying tribute to Hadid.
Foster recalls Doronin proudly showing photographs of his completed home at a dinner party, and feeling “tremendous disappointment” that he would never be able to share the compliment with Hadid.
THE SEKFORDE – HISTORIC PUB BUILDING RESTORATION
The brief for the works at The Sekforde centred around two elements 1)The historic pub building which required a detailed restoration 2)The creation of a new build which would occupy the disused, street facing, service yard. It was clear from the outset that the client, from a law background, had a passion for sensitively restoring the historic building where he would become the final live in landlord to the restored pub.
The initial Consent allowed for minimal works to the façade of the Historic Building. During a visit to site, while repair work was underway, CDA discovered that the original bricks beneath a layer of cement based render appeared of decent quality. An archive photograph lead to a second application and the restoration of the original façade with exposed brickwork and wood grain shopfront at street level.
Internally the timber panelling, fireplace and bar at ground floor level have been carefully restored. The former cellar at basement level now contains a restaurant with fully restored brickwork walls. The first floor contains a ballroom, in which Georgian timber panelling, mouldings and covings have been carefully detailed, with the colour scheme taking influence from the Yellow Room at the John Soane Museum.
A map dating from 1872 showed the derelict pub yard was once occupied and was utilised in our application to establish a new 3 storey mixed use building. Constructed of reclaimed London stock bricks, this new build uses traditional decorative brick features such as tuck pointed gauged brick arches and recesses, along with a contemporary interpretation of Georgian proportions. Situated between the historic and new build we created a glazed link, forming a clear separation between old and new.
The integration of a complex heat recovery system and ground source heat pump and the use of reclaimed materials gives the project a further environmental sensitivity. The development is an example of successful collaboration across many disciplines, including the project manager on site, lighting specialists, M&E and the local council’s conservation department.
PLANNING EXHIBITION HALL IN CHINA
The Lanzhou Planning Exhibition Hall is located in the cross of East Bei Bin He Road and People Road. Develop along the mother river of Chinese – Yellow River，Lanzhou is a key city of western China. The building site is on the north bank of Yellow River and developed along east-west direction.
The building is considered as a stone washed by river water for months and years. By means of cutting and peeling, it looks like an unprocessed jade within stone surface that indicate the cultural accumulation of the historical city.
Embracing the astonishing view of Yellow River, the building allows the riverside landscape extends to its site as well as its outdoor stepped terraces naturally insert into the pebbles and reeds on the unexploited bank. To merge itself with the environment, the building creates a waterfront urban space for citizens.
To enhance the cutting effects, the south façade is broken by several horizontal glass strips. They are also the viewing windows to catch the riverscape from interior. The exhibition route is placed around the huge city planning model in the center of first floor.
All of the boundary walls are cast on site to produce an impressive texture and echo the natural form of the building. The horizontal grooves arrayed with different spacing give the facades more richness, while some pebbles embedded in the walls present a local identity. The exposed concrete surface also extendes into the public area of inner space.
PEEK THROUGH THE “EYE” OF THIS NEW BUSINESS CENTER FACADE
The contemporary work environment is evolving. This new office building from Cloud Architects captures the essence of this evolution through multiple green terraces, a large atrium, and elegant materiality. The U219 Business Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, provides 15,000 square meters of rentable area into two horizontal volumes.
The main facade is dominated by a horizontal oval that acts as an “eye letting those inside look out and feel the activity and movement occurring in the street.” Through the same glass “eye”, the interior atrium presents itself to passers-by on the street invoking intrigue into the overall environment of the building. Open-access workspaces are also available on each floor where people can choose enclosed offices, open-plan workstations or even a workspace located within the open atrium.
The aim of the building to create “a more productive, healthy and comfortable working environment” is evident in the incorporation of greenery both on the interior and exterior. Common spaces in the building provide a connection with nature through the arrangement of greenery and seating made of various stone forms. “Green leisure areas” feature a wide variety of aromas and colors providing a “refreshing space” to everyone: employees, visitors, and guests.
The Business Center will be built along one of the “fastest-growing areas of Vilnius”, Ukmergės Street, close to the city center. There is already a breadth of commercial development near the planned site for the office building, and transportation routes to and from the city center.
THE ART OF BURNING MAN IS EXPLORED IN WASHINGTON DC EXHIBITION
The impressive temporary structures built during the annual Burning Man festival are the subject of an exhibition in the US capital.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man opened 30 March 2018 at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington DC.
Taking over the entire building and expanding beyond its walls into the surrounding neighbourhood, the exhibition will highlight the creativity and craft of the community that travels to the Nevada desert for the event each year.
“The scale, the communal effort and the technical challenges inherent in creating works for the desert are part of what sets Burning Man apart from other art experiences,” said Smithsonian American Art Museum director Stephanie Stebich.
“It is an amazingly creative laboratory where innovators go to play and to push the boundaries of their craft.”
Annually, Burning Man attendees construct projects ranging from small-scale artworks to colossal pavilions – some of which are ceremonially burned down at the end of the festival.
Several designs first built in the desert have been recreated inside the museum, including a giant female figure assuming a ballet-style stance.
In one room is a set of huge mushroom-like forms, created from pleated surfaces and illuminated in a rainbow of colours, while polygonal spheres comprising perforated panels cast geometric shadows across another space.
No Spectators also features original commissions that demonstrate other aspects of the event. Artist and frequent Burning Man participant David Best has installed his version of the Temple, built each year at the festival to a different design.
Complete with ornately carved walls, ceiling fixtures and an altar, the hall is atmospherically lit.
Also on show are some of the elaborate costumes and jewellery worn by Burners, along with videos and photography captured over the years.
“Through this ambitious exhibition, more people will have a chance to engage with Burning Man’s ethos, which has given rise to a thriving year-round culture spurred by a growing global community of participants,” said Burning Man Project CEO, Marian Goodell.
Burning Man was founded by Larry Harvey on a San Francisco beach in 1986, but now takes place in the Black Rock desert for a week during late summer each year, when 75,000 revellers set up camp and create what is known as Black Rock City.
In a 2015 interview with Dezeen, Harvey spoke about the need for urban planning for an event of this scale. Photographers that have returned each year to document the festival and its artworks include NK Guy, and participants often share images of the best structures via Instagram.
Installations are the 2017 edition included an artificial tree that illuminated with “light flocks” in response to visitors’ movements, heart beats and brain activity; and the temple – designed to highlight the problem of America’s dying forests.
No Spectators is organised by Renwick Gallery curator of craft Nora Atkinson and the nonprofit Burning Man Project. The exhibition will close in two phases: the first-floor portion on 16 September 2018, then the second floor on 21 January 2019.
Accompanying artworks scattered across the surrounding neighbourhood in downtown DC will remain on show through December 2018. This year’s Burning Man will take place 26 August to 3 September 2018.