Remembering the 'Queen of the Curve' Zaha Hadid

Remembering the 'Queen of the Curve' Zaha Hadid

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Exactly one year ago, today, on the 31st of March, 2017, one of the pillars of modern architecture, Dame Zaha Hadid, passed away. In honor of her artistic genius and top-tier architecture, we look back on many of the works that have catapulted Zaha Hadid on top of the built environment ladder. From innovating the traditions of many cities around the world to the clever use of construction materials and to keeping the architectural race going, this is a special homage to one of the most significant people in architecture and engineering.

[Image source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Inspiring many generations

The world has seen many architectural periods since the Egyptians, Byzantines, Greeks, Romans, Gothic through to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. And in our current generation, Zaha Hadid's architectural style can easily take a category of its own. Many artists, architects, design enthusiasts, modernists and even engineers of various generations have a profound respect for Zaha Hadid and all of her works. When some of Hadid's early works started to appear in the European scene and they already stood out from the rest as her designs back then were a couple of generations ahead. Some of these are the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, the Bergisel Ski Jump in Austria and the Ordrupgaard Museum in Denmark from the period of 1990 until 2005.

Vitra Fire Station [Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

The important ingredient to Zaha Hadid's architectural success is her vision. Even in the early design of the Vitra Fire Station (1990-1993), it can be clearly seen that this structure's architecture was unprecedented. It's unique and courageous. It makes a statement that her ideas and creativity are ready to take on the world and indeed that was the case as she has produced waves of unique designs throughout the following decades.

The Aquatics Center (London, UK)

Built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Aquatic Centre boasts a beautiful roof span which was "inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion" said Hadid. The most amazing feature of this Olympic pool house is the enormous roof structure. A series of steel trusses spanning in the long direction and supported only on three points made it possible for the roof to effortlessly rest above the substructure. It's not simply an art statement, it's also an engineering feat.

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Heydar Aliyev Centre (Baku, Azerbaijan)

A structure built to house the cultural activities of Baku, the Heydar Aliyev Centre was designed to break free from the "rigid and often monumental Soviet architecture that is prevalent in Baku" explains Hadid. This is truly a transformation that used the city's past in order to look ahead to the future.

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Broad Art Museum (Michigan, USA)

According to Zaha Hadid, "Echoing and extending the many circulatory and visual connections that define its surrounding topography" is an expression of the city's profile. A transformation that is both concealing and explorative.

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Co-existing with the old

Riverside Museum (Glasgow, Scotland)

Glasgow, Scotland is considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world and was also one of Europe's largest shipbuilding industry. Zaha Hadid has managed to combine modernism and the city's old industrial past to create this stunning display of architecture and engineering. Hadid's idea indeed "flows from city to waterfront, symbolizing the dynamic relationship between Glasgow and the shipbuilding, seafaring and industrial legacy of the river Clyde".

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Galaxy SOHO (Beijing, China)

This traditional city stayed true to its roots by "re-inventing the classical Chinese courtyard which generates an immersive, enveloping experience at the heart of Beijing" said Hadid. Looks like a city in outer space if you ask me.

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Zaha Hadid's intelligent use of materials

The architect was not only focused on the artistry and design but was also conscious of the critical ingredient of any building, the materials. Zaha Hadid has used many innovative construction materials such as Glass-Fibre Reinforced Concrete in the Heydar Aliyev Centre, Glass-Fibre Textile used in Serpentine Sackler and a combination of aluminum and stone cladding for the Galaxy Soho.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London [Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Zaha Hadid's artistry and sustainability

Hadid's buildings are also sensitive to the environment thus, she deeply considered sustainability at the early stages of her designs. The Port House in Antwerp, Belgium is an example of one of Zaha Hadid's sustainable structures as it received a BREEAM evaluation of 'Very Good'. BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure, and buildings. The main focus of BREEAM is on sustainable value and efficiency of buildings and Hadid has definitely demonstrated these attributes through her conscientious work.

[Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Product design and fashion

Apart from her architect extraordinaire status, Zaha Hadid has also made an impact in the product design and fashion industry through giving everyday objects an avant-garde touch. Some of those products are targeted for interior use such as the Avilion Triflow Taps, the Belu Bench in London and a somewhat bowling pin looking wine bottle called the Iconic Hill.

Iconic Hill wine bottle [Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Zaha Hadid has also designed a number of jewelry and shoe pieces that caused a stir in the fashion world. Take a look at the Glace Collection designed for Swarovski, the Celeste Necklace and Cuff or perhaps you fancy a unique handbag? Check out Hadid's Louis Vuitton Icone Bag displayed in Paris, France. The footwear brand United Nude has commissioned a Hadid design in the exotic looking pair of 3D printed heels called Flames.

Flames by Hadid [Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

The legacy lives on

Even after her passing, Zaha Hadid's iconic designs continue to be erected around the world by means of her architecture firm named after her, Zaha Hadid Architects. The Al Wakhra Stadium is intended to be built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will be held in Qatar. Although still in the design phase, I'm quietly hoping for the success of this structure.

Al Wakrah Stadium [Image Source: Zaha Hadid Architects]

Explore more of Zaha Hadid's works by visiting Zaha Hadid Architects.


Watch the video: House for Zaha Hadid


  1. Roswald

    Oooh ... I'm lying under the chair !!!!

  2. Tilian

    Thanks for the article, it turned out to be very helpful.

  3. Chavatangakwunua

    This - is nonsense.

  4. Faruq

    You are mistaken. I suggest it to discuss.

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