The Post-Pritzker Prize Stretch

Zaha Hadid made Miami’s design district look like Candy Land. Actually, many of the design objects on the four floors of the Foster Building looked as if they were produced in Willy Wonka’s factory, so the fact that Hadid’s site-specific installation, “Elastika,” looks like a system of frozen marshmallow slides stretching diagonally across the atrium is appropriate. The sleek yet soft white steel structures—Hadid likens them to chewing gum—visually connect the floors of furniture, but don’t overwhelm the space. The links stretch into the existing, empty atrium space in the building’s center, and melt into the rectangular platforms placed between the columns on each mezzanine. It’s like the Pritzker Prize-winning architect stepped in her aforementioned gum and flew side-to-side—“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” style—with the gum on her shoe sticking to each surface. But love or hate them, Hadid’s forms are approaching the same kind of iconic status as Frank Gehry’s titanium waves.

While Hadid’s claim that the piece helps the viewer understand complex geometry seems a bit of a stretch, it does provide an excellent example of how architects can utilize geometric software technology. For this temporary installation that premiered December 1st at design.05 Miami, an exhibition of contemporary design organized with Art Basel Miami Beach, Hadid utilized Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling to manufacture the structure.

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