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Middle East Centre, Oxford, United Kingdom 
Tuesday 22 Dec 2009
 
Zaha's Oxford connection 
 
Zaha Hadid Architects 
 
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No. of Comments: 5

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07/01/10 U11 architects, Rüdesheim
As far as I can see, the concret building in front of Zaha´s Middle East Centre is out of scale and size. She (or her fellow architecs) took the hight of the neighborhood and formed a new shape without beeing stylish or screeming "here I am". I hope that the wooden interior is not only a facia, it should be a transporter of the construction, hopefully a wooden one as well. Congratulations to Hadid Architecs.
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07/01/10 o'jelliven, london
There are ways of inserting contemporary buildings into traditional environments and this is not one. This is all about ME - arrogant - enough said. This is probably worse than the dreaded pastiche ( so favoured by so many planners, uninformed critics, Prince Charles etc. and produced by so many journeymen architects ) because it is used by such people as justification for traditional and backward looking approaches to design. As for the planners it seems heads are easily turned by starchitects but not by good contemporary contextual design by less known or unknown architects. More shame on the Planning System which more than ever needs a radical overhaul to ensure that we can start creating a contemporary sustainable environment for future generations without resort to outmoded traditional methods - all good architecture has always been forward thinking otherwise we would still be living in caves.
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06/01/10 peterpeterh, Lesotho
Out of sOuit of scale and out of character with the adjacent Victorian buildings.
05/01/10 farhad, minsk
unbelievebly!!!!! ....the interiors like two water drops alike to finnish sauna on the Abramovitch's yacht..... probably she saw it...)))
when i see such table lamps design and so on in the library i think: what for the books exists at all?....
seems to me that zaha should be better be car or yaht designer.....
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05/01/10 Brian Hierlihy, Spencerville
This building is a bit of an affront to the neighbours. More like an statement by the the architect that 'it's all about me', don't you think?

In fact, in an established community like Oxford, this type of structure represents a failure of the architect to understand some really basic stuff about both building and town design.

Fashionistas (aka stylists and starchitects) should not be confused with competent professionals, in my opinion. This building is a mistake.
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Designs revealed for Hadid’s Middle East Centre 

Designs have been released for Zaha Hadid’s Middle East Centre, part of St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford. The structure will open up new public spaces and reconnect the Middle East Centre, the university’s centre for interdisciplinary study of the Modern Middle East, with the south boundary of the College through a new organised quad link.

Plans for the building divided local residents, with some suggesting that the building would look out of place next to its Victorian counterparts. However, it was finally given full planning permission in March this year after issues with a redwood tree on the site were resolved.

The 1,200 sq m funnel-shaped addition will separate 68 and 66-64 Woodstock Road and house a reading room, library, storage space and a lecture hall. The shell of the suspended structure will be linked to an open area by a central staircase that leads to the new library and archive. The contrast in scale and depth will be highlighted by the concave/convex nature of the main reading spaces. The sweeping form of the bridging shell is mirrored horizontally in the forecourt access area, where a curved concave/convex frameless glass façade reveals the public plateau and frames the main access point.

The design is expected to go out to tender next year, with groundbreaking planned for 2011.

Key Facts

Status Planning approved
Value Undisclosed(m€)
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Zaha Hadid Architects
www.zaha-hadid.com

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