Zaha Hadid, Roca Gallery, London

On my arrival at Zaha Hadid’s new gallery for Roca, Ariel appears in her contemporary apparel of black pencil skirt and tailored white blouse. She speaks to me of the watery world I have now entered, where the amorphous spaces have been imagined from the formation of water molecules, and ambient rushes, squirts, drip-drops and sloshes fill my sound sense. After this encounter with the nymph, I wonder if I should kick off my shoes and swim through the gallery, darting around the shiny white rocks of Siza, Moneo and Chipperfield, like an angel fish looking for safety in the cover of the reefs.

But then it occurs to me that I am as dry as a bone. And besides, what is the shape of water anyway? This space could look like a jam jar and the analogy would still be intact.

In my search for water, and to console myself, I retire to the customer toilet which reveals the only truly functional example of Roca’s work that is on evidence here. I am reminded of my own lack of weightlessness when the cantilevered bowl groans and creaks from my presence.


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