Comparison between the Architecture of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry
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The art of modern, postmodern, and deconstructivism confuses many critics because it is hard to categorize these types of art within a defined framework. However, it provided an opportunity for architects to create innovative projects, adopt a constructive approach, and become more creative in design thinking and implementation. Nevertheless, the buildings that Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry designed have not only an unusual aesthetic image but also a high level of functionality.
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They both worked in different manners and applied diverse materials. Hadid’s art involves smoother lines composed of triangles, squares, and ovals with frequent use of glass. Gehry is more assertive in his preferences for steel and monumental, irrational forms with frequent use of inexpensive materials. The paper provides a comparative analysis of architectural matters, proving that Hadid, with her postmodern approach, holds a superior position compared to Gehry’s deconstructivism.
Observations and Analysis of Zaha Hadids Artistic Style
Zaha Hadid was an outstanding architect who, in 2004, became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize (the Nobel equivalent in this field). The buildings her bureau projected are unique and it is hard not to guess whose style it is. Through the harmony and plasticity of organic forms (these architectural elements are crucial to her in this context), Hadid’s works notably envision the future of humanity, materializing it. As an architect, she already has more than 950 successful projects implemented in 44 countries.
In her artistic style, Hadid always tried to challenge established canons and expand the framework of traditional space by injecting a powerful dynamic impulse. With the purpose of elevation of inner movement and deformation, the architect neglects traditional geometry and uses spoiled perspective with deformed lines and sharp corners. She employs proper planning with the help of a team of architects, designers, and IT specialists who analyze not only from an engineering perspective but also in terms of ecological impact.
One can notice that Hadid prefers very detailed planning in her complex constructions. Thus, they look very integrated and not spontaneous. Some innovations in her technologies (for example, permanent green zones cleaning the air around and creating fascinating designs) along with delicate use of plastic, metal, and glass (because of this, sometimes, the buildings look like platinum) provide a futuristic view. Except clearly architectural work with monumental forms, Hadid passionately experiments in the genre of installation. She creates theatre decorations, exhibitions and stage spaces, interior, shoes, pictures, and paintings. In such prospection, she establishes new forms in conditions of absolute compositional freedom or vice versa harsh framework. The frequent geometric forms remind space shuttles with monotonous coloristic variations, mostly black and white. However, Zaha Hadid has no limits in final purpose of her buildings: it can vary from private property to sports complexes and stadiums. Stylistically, she left behind popular engineering style and square forms and started to work with postmodern usage of constructivism and early modern (later it turned into origami style transforming into ovals and spirals). As a theoretic constructivist, Hadid searched for single and scientific canons of beauty, proportions, and rhythm. She successfully worked in individual art-style, which has obvious commonwealth with yugendstyle and secession.
There is another tendency, which one can mark in Hadids creativity: accurate fracture forms, which were very popular in cultural design of 1960s 1970s. There was frequent usage of spherical triangles and their combinations, and, consequently, the forms became faceted. Nowadays, her architecture works have two tendencies: 1) the one based on triangles and its combinations with squares and trapezes; 2) an oval and spiral one.
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The first method includes the technical language of geometry, and here the progression goes from simple flat forms to spatial and sophisticated combinations. The architect dedicates the second one to natural (biological) forms. Looking on Hadids creations, there is feeling that she maintained not clear modern but rather anti-modern. That is why in her obvious transfer from geometrical forms to biomorphic ones, Hadid followed her own style, which was the formation of two-synthetized shaping clusters. Her experiments turned around three geometrical figures that are also maintained in furniture and art interiors of shops or restaurants. Sometimes, the surprise is in undefined difference between interior and exterior.
Architected Peculiarities of the Artistic Style of Frank Gehry
From usage of harsh, unfinished materials and overlaying of simple, even primitive abstract forms know the architects Frank Gehry. However, the spontaneity of his works is just an illusion because actually, it is well-planned and formulated. Despite critics mostly recognize Gehry as postmodernist, to personal opinion, it is hard to award it with clear style simply because on the edge between deconstructivism and postmodernism, there are no constant frameworks.
The topics of Gehrys architect art are mostly urbanistic and industrial. One can recognize that Gehrys leitmotif contains shape and mobility of the fish as a hint of traditional Jewish mother’s dish gefilte fish. As the architect frequently visited Israel and actively participated in cultural life of the capital, there is obvious connection with this country, and especially, it is notable in Gehrys later works.
In opposition to Hadid, critics mostly associate Gehry with an artist of curved, distorted faces, and the imposition of simple geometric shapes. He uses a lot of metal anodized zinc, corrugated aluminum, and titanium masonry but this innovation has a high rate of impracticality. Gehrys projected buildings capture the imagination and as an artist-sculptor, he achieves exceptional expressiveness. Simultaneously, he stays an architect who carefully organizes space and solves all the problems related to functionality of his buildings despite the frequent experts opinion of opposite.
Specifically, Gehry decides to work with heavy materials that become synonymous with cheapness and untidiness. At first, the secret of the aesthetic transmutation is simple because, there is only one step between sketch and implementation. Surprisingly, he uses crepe-paper seats and chairs that looks almost defiantly but it acquires a unique natural charm. In reality, all forms are carefully planned and perfected, and their relative slenderness is the result of special treatment of the cardboard. However, one processes the material but it is not ennobled enough and appears in unpresentable texture. Gehry seeks voluntary self-isolation, uses blurt form and, which is very important, consciously makes his art not deconstructive but destructive. Hence, this term most appropriately explains his leitmotifs, artistic habits, and preferences along with the materials he uses and sophisticated approach Gehry maintains.
Comparison Between the Style and Artistic Preferences of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry
Theoretically, the design principles include characteristics of the harmony, balance, proportion, dominance, and contrast. The art of Zaha Hadid combines postmodernism, which transfers to the stage of modern, so, the unity is not always visible.
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Hadids style, sometimes, is similar to Frank Gehrys one, especially in free combining of constructivism and functionalism along with frequent using of super graphics in architecture (stairs, windows, for instance). Both architects are on the same way of not limited visual art with the elements of futurism and particular monumental deconstruction. Despite sometimes their styles look not harmonized, actually, it is a research, intellectualized and experimental. In opposition to Hadid, Gehrys art reminds more deconstructivism and abstraction from reality since for him the aesthetic architectural form is not so important. Despite all the achievements, his approach to planning and constructing is less reliable and sometimes not profitable, thus, in opposition to Hadid whose projects are more financially successful, Gehry fails more frequently.
The architectural forms of Gehry remind of rather large geometric disproportional elements, a large volume, and different shapes: the dominant is square and triangle but there are fewer ovals, so, the corners are very sharp. In other words, it is synthesis of the combination circle/square/triangle and oval/spatial-triangle/spiral. Consequently, the image of balance and proportion is obviously broken in opposition to Hadid whose works are more delicate (as much as modern allows). The architects use complicated models with unusual additions, which can be large or small (depending on the purpose of the building). In the material aspect, Frank Gehry is able to create collages from waste building materials and architectural pieces. n this context, there is an artistic collision between him and Hadid, who frequently uses glass, which Gehry neglects. He simultaneously creates functional sculptures, and his furniture consists of corrugated cardboard. Thus, it is a tectonically striking structure. The colors, which both of architects use, are monotonous with the domination of metallic and white ones; rarely, the buildings are dark. The implanted illumination and glass in Hadids constructions cause an effect of imaging different colors such as dark blue at night, golden with evening lights, and white during the daytime.
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One can find examples of constructivism in the multifunctional complex of Sky SOHO (see fig.1) located in Shanghai, China. It contains four metal and glass towers of smooth form, which green divine bridges connect between each other. It presents an innovative trade and business complex. The recreational space at every point is large, and the city view is fascinating, which additionally makes the complex resemble an alien world from fantasy films. The subway and roadmap have good security system, thus, the lines of transportation are all in safe distance. Hadid placed the elements of permanent culture on the green area that provides ecological self-cultivation and self-survival of plants.
The project design of Gehrys works shows that the proceedings above (and in materials matter mentioned later) are objective. TheBeekman Tower (see fig. 2) is a residential building of 76 floors reaching a height of over 265 meters. Its bearing frame consists of iron and concrete, and the facades are of stainless steel. In this tower, Gehry also projected a school, an outdoor pool, an art studio, and a library. Smooth wave complicates the strict dorm making an illusion of swimming walls.
The Performing Arts Center (see fig. 3) in Abu Dhabi, which Hadid projected, is a 10-floor building, and the project also includes six theatres (one of them is opera), music hall, and concert space. Bionic by its nature structure, the Performing Arts Center is quite dynamic. It reminds a branch extending to the sea and consisting of complicated system of roads. The blue and white colors contrasting with water add solidity to the style.
Another building, which Gehry projected in his typical manner, is the Walt Disney Concert Hall (see fig. 4), which immediately became one of the main attractions of Los Angeles. The unusual design consists of smoothly curved volumes lined with sheets of stainless steel, which playfully shine under the California sun, highlighting the beauty of the building’s form. Impressing by its size, the concert hall has decorations consisting of fine wood. One designed it for 2265 seats. In addition, the building contains a restaurant, cafe, bookstore, and souvenir shops.
Walt Disney Concert Hall (Montgomery). Returning to Hadids practice, the Museum of XXI Century Arts (see fig. 5) in Italy, Rome, neglects traditional idea of museum projecting and only particularly completes a balance with the artistic examples exhibited inside. The walls convert smooth and dynamical flow of the interior into external space of the building with classical black and white tones. The form is strict but the illumination and logic of proportions do not make it primitive
Among Gehrys works, there is Peter B. Lewis Building (see fig. 6) designed in a way due to which the visitors can easily communicate and interact. It contains the book depository, atriums, and classrooms where one holds workshops and lectures. The audiences have a complicated volume as well as undefined shape and do not repeat each other. The building consists of hard metal materials reminding foil and making view of closed space with no natural elements. There is no proportion and balance: the central part seems smaller, and there are many sharp corners.
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Hence, comparing buildings, there is clear evidence that, in contrast to Gehry, Hadid is more modernistic and constructive. Her works evoke perspectives of the future of humanity, while Gehry’s buildings evoke a parallel future. Consequently, Hadids forms are superior because, obviously, she takes more seriously the matter of forms, and, in the paragraphs below, one can notice that she also leads special planning and innovative technologies. As a historical style, modern closes cycle of preindustrial architecture, and the constructivism opens new formational style. This differentiates constructivism from modernism because the latter promotes unique sense of hand made and puts an accent on I . Constructivism concentrates mainly on technics, industry, and concrete; it requires frequently giant buildings, thus, the accent is on Us.
In conclusion, the art of late modern and postmodern slowly becoming deconstructivism is an interesting phenomenon with an innovative approach to the concept of beauty. One of the main qualities of this period, which continues until nowadays, is the freedom of style and a willingness to destroy any frameworks. The works of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are similar only from the first view. Nevertheless, there are differences in lines, materials, and attitude to forms. For Hadid, form is more important, thus, she prefers the smooth ones while Gehry looks harsher in this aspect. Hadids planning and technology predict functionality and usage of light and glass, which is only particularly similar to Gehry. He uses steel and iron that makes his works look monumental. Hadid has the superior form due to its innovative and attractive design and materials that include appliance to ecology and functionality.
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