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Humans Are Awesome

The Architect Behind London 2012 Aquatics Centre Leaves £67m Fortune

The British-Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid, left a fortune worth £67 million, after she suddenly died in March 2016. The architect behind Guangzhou opera house, London Olympics aquatics center and buildings all around the world including Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, left to her business partner Patrik Schumacher a sum of £500,000. She also made her four nieces and nephews richer by £1.7 million and her brother Haytham Hadid by £500,000. Zaha Hadid didn’t have a husband and she didn’t have any children. In 2012 she was made a dame.

Hadid’s mathematically inspired curving buildings made her one of the most famous architects in the world. She was on a holiday in Miami when she had a heart failure and died. She was 65 years old at that time. The Architect Journal showed, as stated in Hadid’s will, the net value of her estate was £67,249,458.

Hadid’s London-based practice has been taken over by the German architect Patrik Schumacher. In November last year, he made a provocative speech that advocated abandoning the closure of art schools, building over the Hyde Park and social housing. By doing that, Schumacher angered other executors of Hadid’s will. the architect’s niece Rana Hadid, the artist Brian Clarke and the property developer Peter Palumbo were other executors of the will and they judged Schumacher in a public statement saying:”Zaha Hadid would have been totally opposed to these views”.

Executors were given the power, by Hadid, to distribute the income from some of her businesses to a wide range of parties. Office holders of the companies and the future, present and past employees are included, but also the Zaha Hadid Foundation. The Foundation was made to promote exhibitions of Hadid’s work and architectural education. Charities and family members are the others who could benefit from it.

One of the things that was stated in the will is that the trustees, “for the moment” are her executors Brian Clarke, Peter Palumbo, Rana Hadid and Patrik Schumacher.

Hadid’s birth town is Baghdad and she was born in 1950. Even though she had many struggles for many years to win the commissions in the UK, she became a revolutionary force in British architecture. Before her rich architectural career was launched at the Architectural Association in London, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut.

Zaha Hadid Architects is the practice that she established in 1979 by herself in London. Kurfürstendamm 70 in Berlin (1986), the Peak in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay opera house in Wales (1994) were her fascinating theoretical works that gave her a reputation all over the world. A fire station in Weil em Rhein in Germany called the Vitra, was Hadid’s first major build commission that gave her a well deserved international recognition. That was in 1993. At that time, she also had the scheme to build the Cardiff opera house. Unfortunately, that idea wasn’t a success and actually the first major building in the UK that she produced was the Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow. It was completed in 2011.

Hadid won the RIBA Stirling prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, twice and in 2004, she became the first female winner of the Pritzker architecture prize.

The British-Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid, left a fortune worth £67 million, after she suddenly died in March 2016. The architect behind Guangzhou opera house, London Olympics aquatics center and buildings all around the world including Azerbaijan, Saudi...

Uncategorized

Similarity Between Baroque and Christmas

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.

The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed in Britain by Queen Charlotte in 1800. Illustrated London News put on their cover the Victorian Christmas image of the Prince Consort and the Queen standing with their children around their tree. This came out in December 1848 and launched the German-invented Christmas tree and its decorations into English popular culture.

But, the fairies, lights, gold and silver, flamboyance and spectacle of modern decorations, actually began with art style that existed long before the Victorian age, exactly two centuries before that, and it was called the Baroque. It was made of spectacular architecture, painting and sculptures. Europe’s churches, pyramidal ornaments, city squares with giant cherubs, lashings of gold and opulent baubles, were really shining. This was somewhere between 17th and 18th century.

If you ever saw the Throne of St Peter, created in the middle of 17th century in St Peter’s basilica by Gianlorenzo Bernini, your Christmas tree will not seem that gracefully anymore. The Throne of St Peter is made of many angels that swarm in a molten cloud of gold which cascades upward. Instead of fairy lights, that obviously did not exist back in 1648, there was a heavenly host from which were emerging golden rays of light with a luminous window in the middle.

Baroque and Christmas decorations could remind us of each other, because they both have something so beautifully gratuitous about them. Hundreds and thousands of lights are placed all across our city streets and trees in public squares at this time of the year.

Baroque art is even more expressed trough today’s modern Christmas decorations and that can be very beautiful. Christmas tree is one thing that can especially remind us of baroque style. It is like some kind of a sculpture, and the shape of its fir makes it naturally pyramidal, pointing towards the top. Favorite form of baroque public art is exactly this. Christmas tree-like decorations in the streets of Naples, are made of marble and they stretch up in the sky. These wonderful decorations were built for a reason. They are made to celebrate the end of an epidemic of the plague. They proudly taper upwards, just like Christmas trees, and are also beautifully decorated.

Another Christmas decoration that brings baroque age to life, are cherubs. Plastic cherubs can be hung on our Christmas trees. The good example for this is the baroque architectural masterpiece made by Sir Christopher Wren. Gigantic cherubic faces are floating among fruit and foliage very nicely carved from stone, and because of that, the exterior of St Paul’s cathedral in London looks absolutely magnificent. They can be seen throughout the whole year in London because they are the greatest Christmas decorations in this city.

The energy and ecstasy of baroque art can be better understood by the help of our own love of fairy lights and sparkles at Christmas. The bright lights of Christmas can be, at the same time, profound and ridiculous. The big urge to decorate is something very spiritual and beautiful, but in some ways, it could also be truly merry and manic. We usually get that strange sense of wonder. Ceiling paintings and fountains of Europe’s baroque share that same sense of wonder. Don’t you agree?

Baroque makes a comeback at this time of the year. Everything is decorated, from our houses, to whole streets and city squares. Garlands and angels are everywhere.
The idea of Christmas decorations comes from 19th century. The first Christmas tree was placed...

Nature & Tech

350th anniversary of Great Fire of London

After the hot and dry weather which affected the parks and trees, the people of London may be shocked to see huge flames rising in the center of the city this weekend, which will be reflected in the Thames and licking at the dome of St Paul’s. But this time, these flames are the creations of artists who celebrate 350th anniversary of the most devastating fire in the history of London.  The flames that seemed to devour the cathedral, whose dome is designed by Sir Christopher Wren, were rising above the scorched town after this medieval original was destroyed by the Great Fire, will be shown as projections, made by the artist Martin Firrell. The baker’s shop in Pudding Lane was the spot where the Great Fire began in early hours of September 1666.

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 This London’s Burning festival, which is commissioned by the arts charity Artichoke, includes a huge amount of carefully planned and monitored real flames. It also includes a big fire garden made by the French company Carabosse, which is supposed to light up the lawn outside Tate Modern museum from dusk each evening during the festival. Probably the most eye-grabbing event will be shown on Sunday night, when a 37-metre floating sculpture of a 17th century street of wooden houses. It is designed by American artist David Best, built on to barges by hundreds of unemployed young people and schoolchildren. It will be all torched. The fire will also start at 8.30 in the evening on Sunday on the river Thames, between Waterloo bridges and Blackfriars. Organizers expect thousands of people to come and watch it from the safety of the South Bank.

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The director of Artichoke, Helen Marriage said that this festival would not only serve as memorial to the fire, but also explore challenges and issues in cities in this modern age. There will be an six-hour performance by the American based Early Morning Opera, which presents the reminder that the rise of sea level and flooding are a huge concern and certainly greater than fire. She said: “The festival is an artistic response that addresses the impact of the Great Fire of London on the city, its inhabitants and buildings, and how it emerged from the ashes and evolved to the resilient world city it is today.”

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Daylight festival events include a big version of a domino topple on Saturday, with 23000 breeze blocks which trace the course of the fire through several miles of London. Even if the fire was an usual hazard in medieval cities, the Great Fire of 1666 made the largest damage since Boudicca torched the Roman city. Only the Blitz did more damage since 1666.

Only a small number of people actually died in the fire, no more than 5, including the servant in the bakery who didn’t have courage to climb from a window upstairs. This event made thousands of people homeless, and tallies for other significant historical events, can be only measured out in grains of rice in an installation in Middle Temple.

 

Image source: theguardian.com

After the hot and dry weather which affected the parks and trees, the people of London may be shocked to see huge flames rising in the center of the city this weekend, which will be reflected in the Thames and licking at the dome of St Paul’s. But this...