The London-based firm, Zaha Hadid Architects is a dynamic and complex representation of current design. It is known for creating mesmerizing products on an urban, architectural, and interior scale, as well as furnishings. Two of its most renowned names, Patrik Schumacher and Kar-Hwa Ho, have an impressive academic and professional background, having studied in some of the most prestigious schools around the world, such as the University of Klagenfurt and the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, respectively, and having also worked on internationally acclaimed projects. They will always carry on Zaha’s spirit through organic and ambitious designs.
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Kar-Hwa Ho was a student of Zaha Hadid at the Architectural Association in London. Their work together commenced in 1985. In the early 2000’s, Kar left the company for a while, and in 2014, returned as head of interiors. Patrik Schumacher was a student in London, and he first encountered Hadid in a Tate conference on deconstructivism, and he joined the firm twenty-eight years ago.
Kar viewed Hadid’s educational method as an analogy to a studio environment. She didn’t create a barrier between being the teacher, the friend or the mentor. According to the designer, she taught in a collaborative sort of way.
Schumacher elucidates that Zaha Hadid Architects grew gradually, but it was in the late 90’s that it became an established firm with multiple projects. Developing as partners, Patrik and Zaha created a professional organization that at the present counts with 400 endowed individuals. What attracted Patrik the most to the work was Zaha’s very shocking yet liberating approach towards architecture, however he explains that, “It took a long time to develop that freshness and magic into a reality through many competitions and going with small buildings, exhibitions, installations, furniture, and into medium size buildings, so that was something that matured over twenty years.”
Patrik describes the Maxxi Museum in Rome as the firm’s finest breakthrough. Subsequently, he refers to the Guangzhou Opera House, the Heydar Aliyev centre in Baku, and the Dongdaemun Design in Seoul as other astonishing achievements. In order to create these buildings’ interiors, Kar believes that “it is just this whole idea of research, pushing these boundaries, and there is no divide between the inside and the outside because quite often the geometry of one informs the other and the space of the outside flows into the inside. It is like one immersive space.”
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The partners’ biggest philosophy is not to distinguish architecture and interior design. They resist to this typecast, and even opened an interior architecture department to demonstrate that this sort of proficiency is authentic, and with a bit of research and investment, it is possible to coherently unite the exterior and the interior.
It was imperative that their most recent homeware product line pushed en route for an idea of space, quality, and crystallize small objects, for instance, by being able to hold a piece, one can create a more effective emotional attachment. On a side note, the collection is available in the Harrods, various brand partners, such as Lane Crawford, and more importantly, you can easily locate it online.
Zaha Hadid Architects has many ongoing ventures. They submitted for an extension of a national gallery in Berlin. They usually engage in major cultural projects, they are developing an airport in Beijing, and also several residential projects in South Africa and Australia.
In a final statement, Schumacher adds, “It is this spirit of fluidity, adaptiveness to context, to situations, but always with a sense of beauty and perfection. I think that Zaha’s vision is our vision to make the world more beautiful.”
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