The Peak

Hong Kong, China

Winning the 1983 competition for The Peak (1982-1983), an unbuilt club overlooking the congested city of Hong Kong, China, propelled Zaha Hadid’s reputation as an avant-garde architect. Upon reviewing the exhibition Zaha Hadid: Planetary Architecture II, shown in the autumn of 1983 at the Architectural Association in London, UK, Kenneth Frampton wrote, ‘[The Peak] can be seen as a piling-up of geological plates, which through their mutual displacement serve, at one and the same time, both to excavate and to reconstruct the original body of the mountain.’  

The Peak has several times been described as a ‘Suprematist geology’. In the painting Blue Slabs (1983), Hong Kong has been abstracted into pure geometric shapes, illustrating the continuity between the modernist cityscape, the geology of the site and Hadid’s design concept for the building.