“Misunderstood” Hadid rejects self indulgent design claims

Zaha Hadid has rejected claims that her design philosophy is self-indulgent saying that she is “widely misunderstood” by the mainstream profession.

“Architecture is not a medium of personal expression for me,” she said before receiving her Royal Gold Medal for achievements in architecture.

“To interpret it as striving for individual expression is to misunderstand it. This misunderstanding is often linked to the dismissal of my work as self-indulgent or wilful.

“However, for me there was never any doubt that architecture must contribute to society’s progress.”

Hadid was speaking at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London and said the aim of projects such as the Heydar Aliyev Center, in Baku, Azerbaijan (pictured), is to address contemporary issues.

“I have always believed in progress and in creativity’s role in progress,” she said. “That’s why I remain critical of any traditionalism.

“[Architecture] performs and facilitates everyday life. This is very different from art’s role of contemplation, expression or provocation.

“Buildings and programmes need to break open and embrace each other, even interpenetrate. This requires the spatial complexity and openness.”