I really believe in the idea of the future.
– Zaha HadidThe representation of tomorrows skyline consists of futuristic buildings with inspiring features. The technological advances of slim sized computers, smartphones and hybrid cars, have shown us new heights of innovation.The architectural influences on society have come to realisation. Imaginary art and crafts, based on functional space of the past have come into actuality, and have been represented in its rarest platonic solid and geometric construction. The world is coming to terms with a positive attitude towards the growth of new technology and high development futures. This piece of writing aims to explore how futurism and the works of Sant’ Elia, De Stijl are reflected within today’s architecture, particularly looking at Zaha Hadid Architects Antwerp Port House.
The late architect Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, who was globally recognised, for her intense de-constructivist designs and neo-modernist approach within the industry. Her designs consist of forms of morph, shape-changing geometries with the intention of breaking the rules of space. Furthermore, the designs incorporate cutting-edge re-shaped surfaces to appear as a deform prism or crystal-like debris. The Antwerp Port house, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects has signified the battle between past and present. Similarly through the concept of futurism, and its rejection towards traditional conventions, by producing art from first principles that are in accordance with the industrial and mechanical world that revolves around it. The disused 20th-century fire station represents the past whilst the present is shown through the multifaceted shape of the extension seeking to undermine the original host building through subversion, as well as ignoring and seeking no acknowledgement whatsoever. Never, inside nor outside, is the building misunderstood when it comes to understanding what is new and old, with the exception, perhaps, of the short movement between the panoramic lift leaving the former fire station and entering the first floor of the office building.
The extension seeks to glorify the technological advances of the dynamic modern world, similarly communicated by Marinetti a futurist who grasped the possibility of communicating his ideas of intervention through mass media. Futurism, a short-lived avant-garde movement of the 20th century, formerly constructed in Italy, just before the First World War. A movement seeking to oppress the weight of past cultures and lifestyles, instead encouraging to celebrate the modern world of industry and technology. The work of futurists used elements of neo-impressionism and cubism to create compositions that expressed the idea of the dynamism, the energy and movement of modern life. The Works of Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, Umberto Boccioni, showcase these ideologies throughout their work, such as the abstract speed and sound painting of 1913, the 1912, Dancer at Pigalle, oil painting sequins on sculpted gesso on an artist’s canvas board, a 1914 spiral expansion of muscles in action sculpture, have not only influenced its expression through art but through the way we live today.
The influence of generations of architects to see a city in a more radicalised manner, a site of speed and constant change based on the possibilities of ever advancing technologies. The belief of imagining the impossible.