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Contemporary Arts Center
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center
for Contemporary Art
44 E. 6th Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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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.

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