The Hadid Pavillon was commissioned by the city of Weil am Rhein on the occasion of the state garden festival hosted there in 1999. The multi-functional building, which is located in a large park south of the city centre, was constructed according to plans by architect Zaha Hadid. It serves primarily as an exhibition and information centre and also houses a café and the Tri-national Centre for the Environment. Situated in an open gravel pit that was renaturated for the garden festival, “LF one” – the name given to the project by Hadid as an abbreviation for „landscape formation one” – adapts to the natural setting with great sensitivity.
Its elongated main volume gently emerges from the ground and gradually broadens in a wide curve. It seems to accelerate dynamically in the direction of the park before abruptly ending with a concrete wall that sweeps back down to the ground in a concave curve. The side walls of the pavilion, which begin as low retaining walls, open up with glazed areas as they achieve more height, thus mitigating the solidity of the exposed concrete and offering views into and out of the building.
The leitmotif of Hadid’s design, however, is the passageway. Paths – articulated in the form of ramps, stairs, and bridges – lead along the side of the pavilion, over it and even though it. With its flowing shape, the building seems to approach the visitor, and it subtly channels the movements of pedestrians. A path also determines the interior structure of the pavilion, with technical systems and utilities concealed in its below-grade “roots”. Emphasised by a row of concrete columns and a poured asphalt floor surface interrupted by bands of light, this path naturally divides the well-illuminated, main interior space into two areas.
The southern side, which is occupied by the café, is on a slightly lower level and opens onto a large outdoor terrace. The northern side of the central hall can be used as an exhibition space.
A partially submerged rectangular structure clad with untreated Douglas fir is fitted against the side of the main building and contains the offices and meeting rooms of the Tri-national-Centre.
With “LF One”, her second building in Weil am Rhein, Zaha Hadid has created a striking and singular work appropriate to its location and function, whose significance radiates far beyond the region.