Zaha Hadid’s Chanel Art Pod, in the (Fiber-Reinforced Plastic) Flesh

(Victor Fraile for Reuters).jpg

One can’t help but wish that Coco Chanel were alive to issue one of her succinct pronouncements about the new nomadic pod filled with contemporary art inspired by her creations. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the Chanel Mobile Art pavilion is now welcoming visitors to its first port of call, the roof of a Hong Kong parking lot beside Victoria Harbor. Hadid was determined to create “an entire landscape for the artwork, rather than just an exhibition space,” she told us. “We are concerned with constructing buildings that evoke original experiences, a kind of strangeness and newness that is comparable to the experience of going to a new country – or visiting a fascinating district of a city, an area that you’ve never had the chance to explore.”

And that strangeness and novelty comes through in the built structure, a modified torus shape inspired by the swirls of seashells. Seen from above, the plastic-skinned steel pavilion resembles the aerodynamic guitar pick of a giant. From another angle, it looks like a glimmering white reptile curled up for a nap in the shadow of skyscrapers. (More photos after the jump.)

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid).jpg