Zaha Hadid, a pioneer whose name has shone across all corners of the globe. She continued to dazzle the world with her work until her passing in March 2016. The Iraqi-born, who was one of the most prominent Arab architects, took the architectural world by storm with her innovative designs, becoming one of the best architects of both the 20th and 21st centuries.
Hadid designed 950 projects in 44 countries, developing the arts of parametricism and neo-futurism. Every one of her designs was uniquely imaginative and creative, relying on chaotic fluid forms rather than rigid geometry. Her ability to create fluid shapes out of steel was beyond measure.
In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Award, likened to the Nobel. She was also the first woman to be awarded the Gold Medal Architectural Design. Hadid won the Stirling Prize two years in a row, in 2010 and 2011. Time magazine named her as an influential thinker and Forbes placed her 69th on their list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.
Hadid was born and raised in Iraq then relocated to study Mathematics at the American University in Beirut. She moved to London to pursue her education at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. Her work left a mark in major cities across Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Today we look at some of Hadid’s genius designs that changed modern architecture.
- Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This structure, with its flowing diagonal attitude, is a masterpiece that boldly defies traditional architecture.
- London Aquatics Center, London, United Kingdom
Following the purpose for which it was constructed, this aquatic center takes the shape of a wave traveling along. Inside is one of the largest pools in the city and diving boards that are softly reminiscent of the building’s outer shell.
- Jockey Club Innovation Tower, Hong Kong
Layers of glass piled up against classic tower design to create a leaning image of perfection. The walls and ceiling seem to melt into one another as two conjoined blocks form smooth curves and gaps across the structure.
- Dubai Opera House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The desert with its mountains and sand hills was the muse behind this spectacular project. The Opera House gently rises until it reaches its peak, and then smoothly comes down. It almost resembles a pyramid in shape, however, just like the sand surrounding it, it comes with no rough edges.
- Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria
This ski jump extends 90 meters long and stands 50 meters high. It was perfectly constructed to complement the ground on which it stands and the mountains surrounding it.
- BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany
This design is a monument of technological and architectural finesse. Despite its seemingly simple appearance, it is a testimony of Hadid’s unrelenting ability to create mesmerizing designs. It received the RIBA European Award in 2005.
- Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania
The swiftness and smoothness of the glittering exterior resemble a futuristic pod; like it was resting on the soft green banks of the river.
- Capital Hill Residence, Moscow, Russia
Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin wanted a unique, bizarre, and modern home, and who better than Zaha Hadid to deliver. Some have seen it as a spaceship, others as a tower lurking above the trees. Either way, there is an undeniable ingenuity to it that none other could achieve.
- National Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
The stadium should be completed in 2018. With its futuristic streaks and curving lines, it is bound to be yet another Zaha Hadid treasure.
- Strasbourg Tram Station, Strasbourg, Germany
The design behind the station was derived from the simple idea of ditching other modes of transport and using the tram. Various lines representing cars, metro, bikes, and pedestrians come together to form the Strasbourg Tram Station.