As if Zaha Hadid actually turned even a spade of dirt.
I never understood why "colorization" of old B&W films was assumed — and I think is under the law — a matter for the sole discretion of the director. (The analogy might be that no one could ever paint a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright a clor different than Wright had specified.) As if there was no one else involved in making a movie, such as maybe a cameraman or editor or maybe even a scriptwriter etc etc. Just like a movie, a building is above all a team effort. Oh I guess except if you are a genius, marketing or otherwise. Read yet another article on Ms. Hadid:
"Zaha looks at the screen, and notices some pictures hung on the wall behind the Ice Storm. Turning to another of her staff, Woody Yao, she wanted to know what this 'rubbish' was doing on the wall. Within seconds she was suggesting he should 'get on a flight' and remove them at once. As for any thought that she might be hard to contact, 'What do you think you have a mobile phone for?'
This was all pretty excruciating. I found myself looking at the carpet (pitch black, of course) and wondering how long it would be before Schumacher and Yao threw up their hands in horror and headed for the door. But it soon emerges that all this is completely normal. The point is confirmed by colleagues. Zaha may indeed rage and storm, but you can't make great buildings, let alone the 'new architecture' that is increasingly claimed for Hadid, out of nice smiles and polite consensus."
Oh, the old "genius" excuse for poor manners. Here applied to the "architect auteur." Hadid is now the "architect du jour." How these fashions come and go. Mind you, I think I even like this Hadid design of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. But to speak of its designer as some cartoon out of an Ayn Rand novel is curious.
I'm wondering if the fascination with star architecture is simply because the public, and even some architecture critics, simply don't know what to say about buildings. I wonder how many of them have experience (besides as a user, and not to diminish that) in building them. Any role would do to add unique insight: architect, structural engineer, land use attorney, municipal zoning official, etc. etc. Maybe even general contractor.
I remember reading a Paul Goldberger piece in which he spent half the article describing who "went to school" with whom and who was wearing what color shirt (and tie) before he got to the building itself. It was as much People gossip as serious crit. But maybe that's what the readers want because it is too difficult to comprehend a building. Of course that's what critics are supposed to do: help their readers to comprehend. So, too, The Guardian desn't overlook the obligatory clothing review:
Clad in a great swirl of black designer wear, she's wearing a ring you probably couldn't board a plane with nowadays and seriously high-heeled shoes, secured, as the Cincinnati Enquirer duly notes on its front page, with "lime green Day-Glo straps".