Event features 50 projects that have never seen light of day

Fifty unrealised projects by Zaha Hadid Architects are the main focus of a new exhibition in the Czech Republic that will also include live appearances from practice principal Patrik Schumacher and other colleagues.

The “ZHA: Unbuilt” exhibition forms part of the Prague Experimental Architecture Biennial event, which opened last week and runs until October 27.

It uses virtual reality and 3D printing to give visitors the opportunity to experience some of the selected projects, which are grouped into clusters of structure type, such as towers, stadiums, shells and masterplans.

The event, at Prague’s Jaroslav Fragner Gallery, draws to a close with a penultimate-day symposium featuring Schumacher, with colleagues Shajay Bhooshan and Jakub Klaska. It follows a similar exhibition in London earlier this year.

Organisers said the event would showcase ZHA’s “ambitious and expanding repertoire” and investigate the studio’s “iterative design methods that are reinforced by systemic knowledge transfer and a willingness to test new ideas across multiple scales and typologies”.

Much of Hadid’s early career involved lecturing and the creation of concept designs that remained unbuilt, the Peak Leisure Club project in Hong Kong and a scheme for Cardiff Opera House that won a mid-1990s design competition but was subsequently rejected in favour of a cheaper but less ambitious option, are just two examples.

The same fate befell her designs for a new Japanese National Stadium in Tokyo, that were junked by the Japanese government in 2015, the year before the architect’s death.

ZHA Tokyo stadium

Design for a new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo