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Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)

A traveling art pavilion designed by ZHA for Chanel.

This video is part of a series by Zaha Hadid shown at Visions, the 2009 Beyond Media festival in Florence. "The View Master" series included videos from some of the most outstanding architectural studios that used film as part of their investigation. The MVRDV’s View Master is also available on The Architecture Player.

Appointed by the French luxury maison Chanel, Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a pavilion, meant to travel all over the world, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, to its final stop at L'Institut du Monde Arab in Paris.

The work brings together the aesthetic of ZHA and Chanel’s: as ZHA wrote, “The Chanel Pavilion is a celebration of the icon work of Chanel, unmistakable for its smooth layering of exquisite details that together create, and an elegant, cohesive whole”. Constructed in fiber reinforced plastic, the roof PVC, ETFE roof lights, the primary structure was created from 74t steel and has over 1752 different steel connections, and the secondary structure consists of aluminum extrusions.

The resulting structure is very much tied to the original inspiration - elegant, functional, and versatile both in its overall structure and detail. The architectural structure of the Pavilion is a series of continuous arch-shaped elements, with a courtyard in its central space.

The 65 sqm central courtyard has large transparent openings to the sky above and is designed to host events as well as provide an area for reflection after visiting the exhibition. The courtyard serves as an intermediate space between the exhibition and the public area of the Pavilion. In light of the extensive shipping between cities, the steel structure has been designed to be built in under one week, which is essential for an ephemeral pavilion. With a direct visual connection to the courtyard, the 128 sqm terrace continues the dialogue between the Pavilion’s exterior and interior. During an event, the two spaces can be linked to become one large event zone.

The glazed ceiling also allows to adjust to the particular climate condition of each venue city. It is interesting in this light to see how the video for this project was shot: it is a digital animation, much as most of the videos created by and for ZHA, and thus enhance its fluidity, its aesthetic and futuristic value - as if it was a spaceship from the outer space - without being tied to any specific landscape/setting. This is not just because this is a traveling pavilion, a structure made to adjust, but because of the structural ZHA’s concept of architecture, which is very form-focused, keen of the curves and the idealistic value of the design.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Produced by: A.P. Komen and Karen Murphy
Mentioned project: Mobile Art Chabel Contemporary Art Container (2008-2010)
Project location: Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Paris

United Kingdom 2008
Duration: 1'05"