This post is dedicated to Dame Zaha Hadid (1950-2016), one of Britain’s foremost architects and the woman behind the rise of futuristic architecture in the last decade.
Iraqi-British, Zaha Hadid is known for her futuristic and beautifully curved architecture. Fighting her way through a man’s world, she left a mark behind with her use of curving façades, sharp angles, and hardcore materials such as concrete and steel.
Born in Baghad, she studied Math at the American University of Beirut before starting her career at the Architectural Association in London. And in 1979, she opened her own architectural firm – Zaha Hadid Architects. Over the years she started a revolution in the way one looks at architecture and buildings, with some of her most famous projects breaking norms and creating a visual treat.
Out of all her award-winning designs, our favourite projects are:
London Aquatics Centre, Stratford
The striking London Acquatics Centre in Stratford resembles a wave and features two 50-metre pools and a diving pool. After being used for the Olympics and Paralympics it was opened to the public in 2014.
Guangzhou Opera House, China
Designed to blend in perfectly with its riverside setting, the Opera House boasts of a folded, flowing glass structure that lets light flood in. The interior of the main auditorium is lined with gypsum panels and lit with thousands of tiny lights that resemble stars in the night sky.
Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion, Spain
Built in 2008, the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion is also a pedestrian bridge that spans across the Ebro River in Zaragoza, Spain. The building’s exterior, comprising 29,000 triangles, is composed of fiberglass-reinforced concrete.
Heydar Aliyev Centre, Azerbaijan
Made out of reinforced concrete and polyester, the 619,000-square-foot Centre in is known for its swooping façade. The softly folded roof shelters a museum, an auditorium and a multi-purpose hall.
Just in the last decade, her designs have been recognised by a long list of awards.
- 2004 – First woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize
- 2010 & 2011 – Received the Stirling Prize, a British decoration for excellence in architecture
- 2014 – Won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award for the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre
- 2015 – First woman to win the RIBA Gold Medal
An extraordinary human being and revolutionary architect, her projects turned architectural convention on its head. She was not only one of Britain’s greatest architects, but one of the world’s great architects in the 21st Century and latter half of the 20th Century. She will be sorely missed and her ideas forever toasted!
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