London 2066

London, United Kingdom

London 2066 (1991) is a painting commissioned from Zaha Hadid to celebrate 75 years of British Vogue. The brief was to imagine London, another 75 years in the future. The work was published alongside another commission by Nigel Coates, her friend and colleague from the AA School . Her painting explores the theme of urban congestion, which was central to Hadid’s early work, merging an aerial view (from the left) with a ground level view (from the right) of the city’s past, present and future.

Hadid envisaged a ‘radical shake-up of the metropolis’ as the city is pulled eastwards. A series of preparatory sketches show the many threads of urban fabric – including roads, rail lines, flight paths and estuaries– which are overlaid in the final painting. Hadid imagined this urban hyper-density would demand not only high-rise, but also subterranean expansion: ‘there won’t be much land left to spread sideways and, since satellites and flight paths restrict air space, the city will have to cut into the earth’s core’.