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Russian Constructivism in Zaha Hadid's Work

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Constructivist architecture, also known as constructivism, is a type of contemporary architecture that developed within the soviet union in the 1920s. It was inspired by the Bauhaus and also the bigger constructivist art movement that emerged from the Russian futurism movement. Constructivist design is defined by a mix of contemporary technology and engineering strategies, and also the socio-political attribute of communism. Despite there only being a few accomplished projects before the movement became obsolete halfway through the 1930s, it had a very unique influence on several future architectural movements.

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The fundamental trait of constructivism was the use of cubism. The style merged straight lines, cylinders, cubes, and rectangles. It also combined components of the modern era such as steel supports, concrete frames, and tension cables. Modern materials were additionally used, for example, steel frames that upheld large areas of glazing, uncovered structure joints, overhangs, and sun decks. This style intended to test the resistance between various structures and the differentiation between various surfaces, specifically between walls and windows, which mostly gave the structures their trademark feeling of scale and presence.

The first, and definitely the more known, project was an unrealized proposition for Tatlin’s Tower, the center of the Comintern in St. Petersburg. Many of the following proposals were not actually built, yet Russia’s fourth biggest city Yekaterinburg is viewed as a Constructivist gallery because there are so many different examples of constructivism around the city.

Born in Iraq in 1950, Zaha Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association School where she received the Diploma Prize in 1977. Her vision reimagined architecture in the 21st century and took hold of imaginations around the world. Every single one of her projects changed the perspective of what can be accomplished with steel, concrete, and glass.

Zaha Hadid’s achievements were even more striking considering she was working in an industry generally commanded by men. Her supporters argued that she was regularly criticized with issues that her male counterparts were definitely not criticized for. Her incredible shapes and structures were regularly mocked, and the cost and size of her commissions were often ridiculed.

In 1992, Zaha Hadid has approached to commission an assortment of artistic creations and drawings for ‘The Great Utopia,’ an exhibition on Russian constructivism being showcased at the Guggenheim. She went on and created her interpretation of Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, as well as exploring different Russian artists such as Kazimir Malevich. Zaha Hadid went on to design “Malevich’s Tektonik, which was a hotel along the Thames river in London based on the work of Malevich. She believed that this project fundamentally drove the architectural outlook she would use for the rest of her life. 

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