Zaha Hadid is a world-renowned architect who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and became the first and youngest woman to win the prize. She is the architect behind the New National Stadium currently under construction, that will serve as the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hadid has many fans from around the world for her unique designs conceived from her attention to detail.

This month, Hadid opened her first large scale solo exhibit in Japan at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. The exhibit showcases the architect’s early to current works, which include projects that go down in the history of modern architecture.

The exhibit space is divided into four main zones. Zone 1 introduces Hadid’s works from the 80s. At the time, Hadid was known as the “Queen of the Unbuilt” and spent most of her time researching the characteristics and topographies of big cities and creating drawings, paintings and models based on her findings.

One the highlights of this zone is a sofa that Hadid designed for the restaurant “Moonsoon” located in Sapporo, Japan. Her project to design the interior of this restaurant was her first completed work, and the sofa was specially recreated for the exhibit. The sofa with curves is displayed with a movable table.

Zone 2 displays works from the 90s to 00s. The invention of 3D analysis and progress in construction techniques made it possible for Hadid’s projects to be realized. In this zone, models and videos of such works are presented.

In Zone 3, product designs, models and videos are exhibited. Hadid focuses on the movement and shape when designing architecture. She comes up with innovative designs and continues to challenge the status quo. Hadid selected her work “Field of Jewels” for this zone.

Aside from architectural products, Hadid has displayed her talents in designing flower vases, lighting, tables, shoes, accessories and more for famous brands such as Donna Karan, United Nude, Melissa and Lacoste.

Zone 4 provides an explanation of the design concept for the New National Stadium through perspectives and models. Through this zone, one gets an idea of Tokyo’s near future and how it will change with the arrival of the New National Stadium.

The layout of the exhibit was handled by Zaha Hadid Architects, and graphic design by Hideki Nakajima.

Hadid spent two years in preparation for this exhibit, which provides us with an opportunity to discover design and modern architecture.

【Exhibit Information】
Venue: Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
Address: 3-20-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Dates: Oct 18 to Dec 23
Time: 11 am to 7 pm (until 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays / entry until 30 min prior to close)
Closed: Mondays (open on Dec 22)
Admission: general 1,200 yen / high school and university students 1,000 yen