A Visionary Has Become a Builder
As a pure virtuoso of design, she has no living rival.
Much of the show's impact comes from seeing it in Rome, whose Baroque facades are still sparkling from Jubilee Year polish. The magnificent landmark buildings are surpassed by the collective spectacle of the city's manifold geometries. The coffers in the Pantheon's great gray dome; the broken pediments of the Baroque; the patterns of balconies on the modern housing blocks; the fascistically strict rectilinearity of EUR, Mussolini's dream of the Third Rome; the echo of umbrella pines in the distant hills: Rome unfolds as an endlessly voluptuous labyrinth of form.
So does Hadid's mind. The show includes a selection of the large-scale paintings with which she develops the formal vocabulary for each project. Kivi Sotamaa, an architect from Finland, likened the paintings to streams of consciousness. "She thinks in geometry," Sotamaa said.