Visited two Zaha Hadid construction sites this afternoon with the charming Satoshi Ohashi, their chief designer. They're both commercial projects for the property developer, Soho, and needless to say both are massive and amazing. We're hoping to involve ZH in the UK Now festival - exhibition, talks, or as venues for other events.
Soho Galaxy in Chaoyangmen on the 2nd Ring Road is the more central of the two and has about a year to go. It's got five ring-like buildings interconnected by skywalks and is a hive of activity. We walked around the construction site dodging welders' sparks and an army of workmen pushing breezeblock-laden wheelbarrows. At peak time there are over 5,000 workers on site.
Soho Wanjing is further out near 798 in the north-east and is just getting started. But they've got a fabulously sleek showroom which acts as an office for the Soho people to sell the units (three years in advance, 70,000RMB / £7,000 per square metre, most already gone) and a mock-up for ZH to test materials etc. Great to get out of the office and be inspired by some quality architecture.