Zaha Hadid. The Peak Project, Hong Kong, China (Exterior perspective). 1991

Zaha Hadid

The Peak Project, Hong Kong, China (Exterior perspective)


Synthetic polymer on paper mounted on canvas
51 x 72" (129.5 x 182.9 cm)
David Rockefeller, Jr. Fund
Object number
© 2017 Zaha Hadid
Architecture and Design
This work is on view on Floor 5, in a Collection Gallery, with 19 other works online.
Zaha Hadid has 21 works online.
There are 2,805 architecture works online.
There are 14,715 drawings online.

Although primarily known as an architect, Hadid pursued painting as a related practice, deploying her ideas for buildings for visionary ends. With this work, Hadid revisited her Peak Project, the winning design—though never realized—for a private health club in the hills of Kowloon, overlooking Hong Kong. Hadid proposed transforming the site by excavating the rocky hills in order to build artificial cliffs. In her painting she reimagines the topography by interjecting cantilevered beams and shard-like fragments that seem to splinter the structure into its myriad parts, as if it had been subjected to some powerful destabilizing force. In dissecting landscape and structure into geometric forms and suggesting multiple viewpoints at once, Hadid reveals her interest in Russian Constructivism and Cubism, while the composition of fractured geometries demonstrates an approach known as "deconstructivist architecture."

Gallery label from 2017

This project by Hadid, whose work has been called "deconstructivist," was the winning design in a competition for a private club to be located in the hills of Kowloon, overlooking Hong Kong. Hadid proposed a transformation of the site itself by excavating the hills and using the excavated rock to build artificial cliffs. Into this new topography, she interjected cantilevered beams, shardlike fragments, and other elements that seemed to splinter the structure into its myriad constituent parts, as if it had been subjected to some powerful de–stabilizing force.

Seemingly defiant of gravity, the forms of Hadid's project hover and float, animated by the same visionary power that marked the ground–breaking Constructivist structures that Vladimir Tatlin, El Lissitzky, and Moisei Ginzburg imagined would arise in a new, postrevolutionary Soviet society. That seeming instability, which can also be found in the works of a number of other architects active in the 1980s, has been related to the literary movement of deconstruction, whose principal interpreter, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, has become a familiar figure within contemporary debates on architectural theory.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York:The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 322

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