Controversial 13,000 Sq. Ft. Home Gets Approved

The San Diego Planning Commission has rubber stamped a massive Zaha Hadid-designed private home. The dramatic architecture has had locals forming "anti-Zaha coalitions."

The four-bedroom, six-bath home features an indoor pool, and is an "introverted sculptural structure," according to Hadid's firm. While sitting on only a half-acre site, the distinctive roof will be seen from a distance:

"Members of the [La Jolla Community Planning Association] claimed that the project violated the local planned district ordinance and worried that the house was, as member Ed Furtek put it at a meeting, 'significantly different from other neighborhood homes.' Another member, Dale Naegle, went further: 'If we approve this we might as well as abandon our La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance It is a beautiful house, but it doesn't fit.'"

Pictures at The Architect's Newspaper.

Full Story: Zaha Takes Flight



Retro Futurism

It is amazing that Zaha Hadid has gotten a reputation for being bold and avant-garde by repeating the modernist gestures of 50 years ago.

This building is a take-off on Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center in New York, which opened in 1962.

Fifty years ago, Saarinen's building represented fresh thinking, and it does make some sense to design an airport terminal that looks like a bird in flight.

Today, Hadid's building represents stale thinking. There is no reason to design a home to look like a bird in flight, except to draw attention to yourself. But more than anything else, it draws attention to the fact that she ignores the building's context and its environmental impact.

To get an idea of how stagnant and stale today's avant-garde is, imagine that Eero Saarinen created a design in 1961 that was a take-off on a design from 1911. That is what Zaha Hadid is doing by creating a design in 2011 that is a take-off on a design from 1961.

Charles Siegel

Modern Futurism

I respectfully disagree with the 'Retro Futurism' comment. Although there is an elegant Saarinen quality to the design, by saying its a 'take-off' from JFK airport is completely missing the point.
The primary beauty of this design is that it IS form over function; you cannot ignore the design of the interior living spaces. The home interacts with the environment from the exterior in a blazing way, but look at the division of space on the inside; have you ever seen such a fluid partition in an airport, JFK or not? How about a house?
The environment is brought in through light and courtyards, and it will probably be a fascinating place to live, every season, all day long.
There are so many important differences between this home and an airport. She is arguable the most famous female architect whose manipulation of space and form are existential and honestly not just 'modern' or 'avant-garde'. I have to give Zaha credit on this one; there is no mold, and the result is a annihilation of traditional living spaces.

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