Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its contentious ‘conceptual proposals’ for a new Civic Centre in the City of Elk Grove, California, a fast-growing suburb of Sacramento
However, although the practice won the commission in 2006 following an international competition, it is unclear whether Hadid will continue working on the scheme with a further contest for the ‘specific building design and construction’ set to be launched later this year.
A spokesman for the practice said: ‘The main objective of the Elk Grove Civic Centre Design Study was to explore a wealth of possible ides for programmatic distribution; incorporating the city’s requirement for initial ‘visioning’ proposals that identify all the project components while keeping the opportunities for flexibility.’
‘The city commissioned AECOM to provide ZHA a brief for the 76ha site consisting of 3 main aspects: Civic, Commercial and Recreational. The civic aspect includes a library, children’s discovery centre, community and performance centres. The commercial aspect included a hotel, retail and conference centre, while the recreational aspect include gym, tournament fields, park and a wetland.’
The currents proposals see the centre split into two zones - a northern ‘urban hub’ and the southern ‘sports hub’ - connected by a ‘development housing all the civic elements of the programme’.
The designs have been variously described in the US press as like a ‘squid, octopus and starfish’ (see New York Times article 31.03.2011).