The soaring architectural sets featured in the blockbuster Black Panther were inspired in large part by the sensuous designs of Zaha Hadid, according to the film’s production designer Hannah Beachler.
According to Beachler, the curvature of Hadid’s buildings and the modern material choices create an intimate experience within extremely cavernous spaces. “You understand the texture,” she told Dezeen,“You connect with it more than if it were just a glass wall.”
While researching for the film, Beachler visited buildings by the late Iraqi-British architect, including the DDP Building in Seoul (shown below), completed in 2013, and the Wangjing SOHO in Beijing, completed in 2015.
“That’s what I wanted people to feel for the modern architecture in Black Panther,” Beachler said. “Very voluptuous, very curvy, [with] no hard edges and the spaces feel both very large and intimate at the same time.”
The fictional world of Wakanda, where the movie is set, was further inspired by Afrofuturism, a cultural movement that combines African and African-American culture with technology and science fiction elements. Exterior scenes for the movie were shot in Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and South Korea.
According to Beachler, “You can look to Arofuturism for the aesthetic [of Black Panther]. It was really about blending things that were existing in a lot of different African cultures and then creating them as if they had evolved over time and inserting that into our fictional nation.”
Combining Hadid-style curves with southern African architectural references created fluid and curved structures, writ in earth tones and natural materials in Wakanda’s Golden City capital. Would Dame Hadid approve?