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Hadid completes American first in Cincinnati

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Zaha Hadid Architects has completed this $20.2 million (£12.4 million) new building for the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in Cincinnati.

The 8,700m 2Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center - Zaha Hadid's first American commission - will provide 1,700m 2of new gallery space, a 150-capacity performance space and a new education facility.

The six-storey design, which also includes a coffee shop, bookshop and administration space, aims to make 'the experience of viewing art at the center distinct from viewing the same art at any other venue'.

The building's glass facade is designed to invite views into the center, together with concrete flooring in the lobby that mirrors the pavement outside to draw in passers-by.

Concrete, glass and metal blocks sit above this 'light-filled and transparent lobby', making the upper floors appear weightless 'with a graceful sculptural quality'.

The center's galleries connect and interlock like a jigsaw made up of structural elements and spaces, with varying sizes and ceilingheights that will accommodate the different shapes, scale and media of contemporary art.

CAC director Charles Desmarais said Hadid's building will make a real difference for the center, allowing it to 'significantly strengthen the ability to make contemporary art available to the broadest spectrum of Cincinnati residents'.

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