Often getting out of the office allows for some time to reflect on the work we are doing and breathe a little. There isn't a better way to spend an office team bonding weekend away than to visit architecture on top of a mountain range! Unfortunately the only way there in the winter was to ski...

Fig.1 On the road.

Fig.1 On the road.

Fig. 2 Group Photo.

Fig. 2 Group Photo.

Fig. 3 Messner Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects

Fig. 3 Messner Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects

There is much controversy around Zaha Hadid's style of architecture. That will always happen with iconic buildings and with architects who attempt to do something radical. Personally, I've probably fallen into the category of judging and dismissing her iconic buildings, which I only see in magazines or on dezeen. This, perhaps, is down to personal taste and a different approach in the design process. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer quality of the constuction at the Messner Museum. It had obviously been executed by very talented architects and builders (and it is located at the top of a mountain!).

One of the staff members said the budget was £3.5million. An extremely low figure considering the immaculately detailed design. Almost every panel or piece of furniture was bespoke and seamless. The windows frame stunning views. The finish of the concrete, insitu and precast, was smooth and consistent.

It goes to show what one can achieve with a small(ish) budget. The site visit has given me a fresh perspective on ZHA's work.

by Sam.