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Zaha Hadid: Pierres Vives


This book documents the ten-year creation of this imposing new public building by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The 28,500-square-metre stone monolith brings Hadid’s signature boundary-pushing spatial concepts to urban planning on a grand scale, and continues her success of such award-winning buildings as Vitra Fire Station in Germany and the Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati. Francois Rabelais inspired the name of Pierres Vives, or “living stones,” with his great humanist statement: “I built as living stones, are men” in his Third Book. Filling the needs of a growing population in Montpellier, this experimental spatial concepts explored in this new building were designed to revitalize a city center. Conceptualized as a “tree of knowledge” by Zaha Hadid as early as 2002, the structure combines three government functions–archives, a library, and a sports center–into one building. This monumental city center opens to the public in 2012. The book will be the definitive source of images throughout the construction process, and will explore the architect’s design choices on a micro and macro-level, allowing a deep understanding of the work and thought behind the design.

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