Commissioned by Karl Lagerfeld in 2007, Chanel’s Mobile Art Pavilion – designed by Iraqi starchitect, Zaha Hadid – toured the world with a series of fashion/art exhibitions, wowing its adoring public with the 2004 Pritzker Prize laureate’s trademark futurist design. Now in its permanent home at Paris’ Institut du Monde Arabe – the French fashion giant donated it earlier this year – the pavilion has opened with a fitting tribute to its inspirational designer, an engaging exhibition (running until October 30th 2011) that explores a series of research agendas conducted by Zaha Hadid Architects in recent years.
As with the majority of Hadid’s work, the exhibition is high on brain-twisting concepts and, dare we say it? Low on substance – the architect’s sublime visions are rarely realised in the real world. Nonetheless, even the most casual admirer of architecture should now be counting this breathtaking structure as a new Parisian ‘must-see’.