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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zaha Hadid's "Aura" in Palladio's Villa Foscari

Text & Photo's by Dezeen

Aura” is an experiment in translating Villa Foscari’s Palladian design, which relies on a definite set of harmonic proportions, into a contemporary space whose elegance and dynamism is generated through a process defined by a non-linear set of rules elicited from Palladio’s theories.

Since the Renaissance architects tried to embed in their compositions the musical concept of harmony and the mathematical relations that underlie notes, intervals and chords while producing a sound. Palladio used this concept of Harmonic proportion to link his villa’s rooms, aiming for a global system of harmony.

I have been to Villa Foscari by Palladio while on tour with Colin Rowe author of Mathmatics of the Ideal Villa, and it is truly stunning with most of the adornment done only in 2 dimensional frescos. Zaha adds an entirely new dimension picking up fantastic curves from these decorative paintings. In essence the structure itself is almost Modern in nature. Her latest venture into curvalinear furniture cum abstract sculpture emphasizes her passion for the sensual forms of organic asymmetrical form.

Zaha has achieved the impossible - finding the one fabricator in Italy capable of manufacturing these exquisite pieces of weightless art, she has executed her fantasies in a flawless exhibition of mans mastery of materials and form. Not since Michaelangelo's David has sculpture seemed so fluid and transcendent. The gloss and reflection of light in the polypropelene resin only further delineates the artists true abilities as an editor of forms and a self-critical creator.

Both indulgent and inspiringly disciplined these "benches" take the idea of furniture to an entirely new realm worthy of close inspection and praise. - Inson Wood