59 Eaton Place

London, United Kingdom

59 Eaton Place (1981-1982) is one of Zaha Hadid’s most radical shake-ups of British traditionalism, transforming the uniformity of a nineteenth-century townhouse in an orderly Belgravia street in London, UK. Taking an explosion at the nearby Italian Consulate as her starting point, Hadid violently altered the layout of the house, reimagining its three horizontal levels as towers depicted in the painting, named ‘the Flamboyant’, ‘the Suprematist’ and ‘the Clinical’. The painting likewise disrupts the representational conventions of architectural drawing, showing an exploded view of the building’s structure and interior scheme, with fragmentary elements suspended in multiple perspectives.  

Three Towers: The Flamboyant, the Suprematist, the Clinical (1981-1982) shows clear references to twentieth-century avant-garde art through its inclusion of abstract elements liberated from the orderly scheme of the building, which plays with classical proportions and the modernist grid alike. Its use of a dynamic tower scheme harks back to Hadid’s work with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and their interest in skyscrapers and the energy of the metropolis. Such connections were recognized when it was shown at the landmark 1985 postmodernist exhibition Les Immatériaux held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, alongside OMA, De Stijl and Suprematist works, including an ‘arkhitekton’ by Kazimir Malevich.