The installation Crest by Zaha Hadid Architects looks like a simple gesture, something that you could almost draw in the air with an arm movement. It shows “how little” it can take to an architectural object to be a communicative presence: in fact, it approximates a single curved surface reflecting natural light. Its challenge was to look like an abstract surface with no thickness while being self supporting. This was made possible by an experimental process involving the use of prestressed, eight-millimetre-thick aluminium panels that were assembled in two layers as a flat sheet and then bent in situ into a curved shape, held in tension. Fabricated by Lite Structures, the sculpture exhibited in the V&A's courtyard during the London Design Festival is fully disassemblable, as it needs to be moved to Dubai, where it will be exhibited permanently at the ME Dubai Hotel.
Crest by ZHA in the V&A's courtyard. Photo by Eleonora Nicoletti