Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Experiences: Leicester Square, 1990

Serpentine Galleries

A radical conceptual project for the renovation of one of London's most famous public spaces

Zaha Hadid: Virtual Reality Experience, Leicester Square, 1990 - Blue and Green Scrapers, 1990
© Zaha Hadid Foundation 2016

Leicester Square, 1990
The proposal for the renovation of London’s Leicester Square turns the traditional typology of the public square on its head. ‘The idea of designing new fountains to decorate public spaces is redundant. Shoot the square; it’s dead’, commented Hadid. ‘We would rather see Leicester Square as a public room, habitable and submerged beneath the surface, a heart that beats within the city. We would not propose to fill the square with buildings or sprouts of water: we would turn such structures upside down and sink them into the ground. Solid and transparent skyscrapers slicing into the earth could contain accommodation, and water could cascade down these inverted canyons as a cooling mechanism for an overworked heart. Bridges and passages would traverse the voids and solids of the new subterranean fabric, while light slits would remind the visitor of the city’s familiar fabric hovering above’.

"We would rather see Leicester Square as a public room, habitable and submerged beneath the surface, a heart that beats within the city" - Zaha Hadid

"Solid and transparent skyscrapers slicing into the earth could contain accommodation, and water could cascade down these inverted canyons as a cooling mechanism for an overworked heart." - Zaha Hadid

Credits: Story

Blue and Green Scrapers
1990
Acrylic on black cartridge
paper
111.5 x 230.5 x 5 cm

From the project:
Leicester Square, 1990

© Zaha Hadid Foundation 2016

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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