Zaha Hadid’s recent death at age 65 was sad on many levels. One of those is that she won’t get a chance to see the Contemporary Arts Center’s brilliant use of her building for its current installation, Do Ho Suh’s Passage.
Hadid died of a heart attack on March 31 while being treated in a Miami hospital for bronchitis. Renowned internationally as a visionary architect, the Iraqi-born Britain-based Hadid first attracted acclaim in the U.S. for designing the CAC in 2003.
It’s a wonderfully radical building, its exterior referencing Minimalism and Modernism with its clinging sections of precast concrete and windows above a glass-enclosed first floor.
Yet it’s also different in its newness. Inside, the building is startling yet never shrieking, from its concrete “urban carpet” of a main floor to its floating black stairway leading up to galleries, which contain surprising rooms and labyrinthine passageways — some large and open, some smaller and cloistered.