Have you ever been to The Peak Club? It’s an infamous architectural masterpiece, never built, but designed by the incredibly talented Zaha Hadid, who passed away last month. Its design was created by Hadid when she was just a student, as part of a competition to design a health and leisure club on our Hong Kong’s most famous peak. Although the design never made it into bricks and mortar, Hadid still left her mark upon me and our little corner of the world.
There is so much to admire about Zaha Hadid – her innovation, tenacity, heritage and legacy. But for me, it’s mostly the fact that she was a huge game changer: she openly spoke about her struggles as a female in a very male-dominated business, and how she was able to overcome these barriers to enjoy such success particularly strikes a chord with me. As you may know, I am an active member of the JLL diversity committee, and I’m a strong believer that diversity and inclusion within the workplace leads to a richer environment. So here’s a bit of a celebration of Hadid’s work in Hong Kong.
Designing this mobile art exhibition hall was Hadid’s first return to the city that helped elevate her work globally. In this exquisite design, Hadid really showed why she was known as “Queen of the Curve”. After stopping in Hong Kong for two years, the Chanel exhibition space also visited Paris, Tokyo, New York, London and Moscow.
You should head to Shatin to see the Wirl for yourself on a bright day, whilst also taking some time to bike around this more peaceful part of HK. Take a seat on this sculptural masterpiece which was designed to convey the intensity of a hyper-acceleratory force.
The Jockey Club Innovation Tower really is Hadid’s lasting legacy in Hong Kong. This is a building that will still be here in years to come, and one that I will always enjoy visiting.
I’m going to sign off with some wise words, spoken by Zaha, which I think we can all relate to:
“I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about a very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.”
Of course, we don’t all live in exciting, modern and gravity-defying geometric structures designed by Hadid. But we should all be able live in a ‘shelter’ that can excite us, calm us and give us space to think. That is what a home is all about.