Aura and Lotus to land at Venice Biennale

Niki May Young
Tuesday 12 Aug 2008

Zaha Hadid will use the event to showcase her sculptural works in six different locations

Zaha Hadid will feature two bespoke projects at the Venice Biennale this September but the architects work will be prominent throughout the event further cementing her importance on the world stage. Her involvement will filter into six different locations, here is what you can expect...

Corderie dell’Arsenale will host ‘Lotus’: a room designed by Hadid and Schumacher purposely for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2008. Lotus is conceived as a fragmented enclosure that can be compressed and expanded into areas for resting, sitting, storage, and browsing. Furniture and Architecture become integrated and mobile as the various parts are released from their compact configuration to reveal a mobile desk with encased chair, bed, shelving, a wardrobe rail/room divider, and end table.

Villa Foscari in Malcontenta di Mira near Venice will house “Aura”, the site specific installation created to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of influencial architect, Palladio’s birth. Aura is a 2.5m high structure, 6m in length and 3m in width built in PU-Foam and coated with a layer of Fiberglas, painted in a glossy reflecting finish.

The concept behind this piece, a combined effort between Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, is an extremely carefully constructed experiment. The design aims to translate Villa Foscari ’s Palladian design, which relies on a definite set of harmonic proportions, into a contemporary space whose elegance and dynamism is generated through a process defined by a non-linear set of rules elicited from Palladio’s theories. The process of generating Aura’s form brings these linear proportions into their musical meaning. Each of them corresponds to a musical harmonic that in turn can be described as a frequency wave: a half is an octave interval, four thirds is a fourth and so on. By overlapping all the frequency curves generated from Villa Malcontenta’s proportional system and progressively changing them with mathematical algorithms it is possible to define a genotypic elementary space whose form contains in its DNA the whole Palladian set of rules. The visitors of Villa Foscari will be able to explore “Aura” by walking through and by circulating around it.

The Italian Pavilion will host an exhibition entitled “Experimentation within a Long Wave of Innovation” featuring sketches and designs by Zaha Hadid spanning her 30 years long career.

The Russian Pavilion will showcase projects by leading Russian and foreign architects working in Russia, including models and sketches of The Capital Hill Residence penned by ZHA.

The French Pavilion will present “Générocité: Le Généreux vs le Générique” an exhibition responding to the Biennale’s theme “Out There. Architecture Beyond Building”, bringing together fifty architects who represent what architecture can give to the city and its inhabitants. Zaha Hadid’s completed plans and designs for the Hoenheim Nord Tram Terminus in Strasbourg will be included.

In the Arsenale Artiglierie the “Next Gene20 Exhibition” will focus on presenting twenty invited architects (amongst which ZHA) realizing villas in Taiwan in addition to showing the works of students from the National Chiao Tung University.

The 11th Venice Architecture Biennale will open its doors on Sunday the 14th of September and run through to the 23rd of November 2008. This year’s edition will be directed by Aaron Betsky, Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum and eminent architect, professor and writer.

Laura Salmi

Key Facts:


Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team