You may not have heard of her, but it is impossible that you’ve missed any one of the marvelous 21st century architectural goliath, she helped design and build. Be it the National Museum of Arts of the 21st Century (MAXXI) in Italy, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabhi or the Guangzhou Opera House in China, Zaha Hadid has transformed the way we view modern architecture.
A visionary of her time, Hadid is hailed as the “Queen of the curve”, breaking the mold with her futuristic designs and award-winning work. With sharp angles, steep curves and the use of concrete and steel materials, her structures are truly a work of art.
Hadid breathed her last in March of 2016. But despite that, her legacy continues to live on in her work that is found all over the world. One of her most famous projects includes the London Aquatics Centre used in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. This structure features a concrete roof with unique cut outs that filters in natural light which cascades over the pool’s water.
The Guangzhou Opera House in China’s Guangdong province is another breathtaking piece of architecture by Hadid. This building was made to resemble two pebbles found on the bank of the Pearl River. The interior of the main auditorium is full of shimmering lights made to resemble a starry night sky.
The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan is another award-winning masterpiece. This structure won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award for its fluid shape and innovative design. She also participated in the design of the Al Wakrah Stadium, home of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Hadid received a lot of praise as one of the world’s top female architects, but she didn’t view herself that way. In an interview with Icon magazine, she said: “I can never use the issue about being a woman architect, but if it helps younger people to know they can break through the glass ceiling, I don’t mind that.”
In May 2004, Hadid was named the first female winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and received the Stirling Prize, UK’s most prestigious architectural award. She was also the first woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal in 2016 by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
There are a few exciting projects underway for Hadid’s team, Zaha Hadid Architects. On June 2, the team announced they would be working on the CREATIF smart fabric research project, a fusion of intuitive design tools and advanced printing technologies. The idea behind this project is to allow users to convert fabrics into interactive surfaces using touch sensors and lighting in conjunction with images and graphic designs.
Zaha Hadid Design is their home décor line which features a wide selection of architecturally inspired pieces including homeware, jewellery, furniture, installations and more.
Aileen Ormoc | The Edge Blog