Contemporary Arts Center : ZAHA HADID

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So to mix things up, we’re going to attack this blog post as a conversation/discussion.

Sharon Rubin: One thing that I wondered about before coming to CAC was how on earth the lighting would work. In images, the whole building seemed encased with concrete. When visiting, I loved the light well/stair well feature. The light well created this interesting gradient where you begin to enter a gallery space with natural light and as you go deeper and further into the gallery, the natural light faded into artificial lighting.

Marcos Gonzalez-Bode: I loved the lighting as well but what was most intriguing about Zaha Hadid’s Center for Contemporary Art were the inconspicuous details that changed ordinary experiences into memorable ones. In the lobby, for example, the skewed underground staircase made  a simple floor change interesting and drew attention to plain old vertical circulation. Likewise, the quarter ramp drew ones eyes towards the vertical space that interconnected upper galleries and the exterior facade.

Chris Chan: Yea Marcos, I agree. The visually ramps lead people up and down the stairwell, provoking them to explore the building along the vertical dimension. I also loved how such a dynamic architectural work didn’t take away from the art at all. Each floor is very different in plan and there are several multi-story spaces that connect the floors together. The intricate stairwell opens up to large display spaces that gradually trickles throughout the rest of the building through smaller more intimate display spaces.


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