The retrospective has Italy in its focus and features what curators Margherita Guccione and Woody Yao describe as her most iconic and meaningful Italian designs: projects and works created through dedicated research and experimentation.
Zaha Hadid's Italian projects play a decisive role in the evolution of the studio’s formal and representative language, and constitute some significant junctures in the development of her design thinking. Starting with the Centre for Contemporary Arts (MAXXI) in Rome completed in 2009, the project exhibits ideas played out in the Vitra Fire Station. It is also an important project from the perspective of the studio’s development: it’s the first project they used digital animation and the last one where a deconstructivist painting was produced.
'Zaha Hadid in Italy' presents projects and works through the studio’s various instruments of representation. Highlights include the Maritime Terminal Salerno, Its fluid form echoing the wavy motion of the marine seascape; the monumental Messner Museum at Plan de Corones in the Dolomites that crystallises in a rocky pinnacle; and the studio’s conceptual design development in Italy – product designs that demonstrate a pioneering effort for investigation and include the Moon System developed over several years in collaboration with B&B Italia.
In 2007 B&B Italia started a collaboration with Zaha Hadid. Its R&D division began by experimenting with Zaha Hadid’s research into the complexity of curved geometries and the theme of the seat was developed into a combination of futuristic sculptural volumes seen in Zaha Hadid’s architectural forms. In its most traditional sense, the sofa was radically challenged by creating a fluid, curved and highly dynamic shape that appears, like many of Zaha’s buildings, to be sculpted from one material.
For a company with a history of research and innovation that continually pushes contemporary culture, the project is an important part of the B&B Italia legacy. Not only does a project like this provide the group the opportunity to further develop its R&D department, it also deepens the group’s cultural collaborations through the support of the most influential and visionary architects of our times.
In 2010 the Moon System was chosen by Studio Zaha Hadid Architects for the opening of the MAXXI and the collaboration behind its development features in 'Zaha Hadid in Italy’ – the exhibition runs until 14 January 2018.