Zaha Hadid Studio

Mission Statement Every significant design begins with an exploration of boundaries. Before beginning to work on a design, one first has to systematically examine the resources and restrictions which, on the one hand, make every design project possible and, on the other hand, define and delimit it. Knowing these limitations enables us to explore a system’s boundaries and at the same time to venture beyond those boundaries. Studio Hadid’s projects thus emerge as a critical reflection on the discipline of architecture, in its essence, on fundamental concepts, their general form, and their underlying media and processes.

The studio’s goal is to master, develop and expand the variety of forms of the architectural repertoire, thus contributing to the contemporary architectural discourse. The design process focuses on three areas: concept – form – medium. These terms indicate three semi-autonomous registers of an architectonic toolbox, three aspects of every design strategy, that correspond to three different levels of abstraction in the development of a design. The effects that these levels have on one other, for instance the way in which a medium can suggest a concept or even become a formal catalyst, or the way in which conceptual restrictions can also determine formal entities, etc. are explored in our studio.

The studio’s teaching programme is based on an unusually broad conception of the design medium. Every medium opens up or delimits a whole field of possibilities. One premise of the studio work is that formal and conceptual potential is inherent in every medium.

The intense involvement with new and constantly changing techniques and technologies (such as script based design strategies) at every level of architectural research allows for continuous development of the studio’s architectural language.

For the last years the studio’s agenda has been to investigate into the field of Parametricism. New ways of digitally generating intensive and extensive qualities and establishing intricate relationships within architectural systems and subsystems were explored, in order to form complex and coherent spatial arrangements.

Parametric design strategies have been applied at different scales, ranging from large urban projects, to skyscraper fields and buildings to the ergonomic scale of components, elements, design object and interior spaces.

Most recently the semiological capacities of parametrically generated architectural forms were investigated.

Within this scope last year‘s research focused especially on shell structures and their manifold potentials, calling for the research and development of innovative spatial models for sport venues and their related auxiliary program for the Olympic Park Rio de Janeiro 2016. Following up this research agenda, students have developed systematic catalogues of urban and architectural prototypes with regard to their semiological readability and in respect to the urban, spatial, programmatic or social parameters deducted from the specific program. The design of the proto-architectural elements is based on the thorough research of different shell structures and their formal, spatial, technological and structural properties and their multiple potentials for parametric differentiation.

Studio Directors: Prof. Zaha Hadid with Mario Gasser, Christian Kronaus, Jens Mehlan, Robert R. Neumayr, Patrik Schumacher, Hannes Traupmann and Mascha Veech.

Administration: Susanne John.│http://www1.uni-ak.ac.at/architektur/