There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?”
World-renowned architect Zaha Hadid said these words and honestly, there is no better statement that reflects the late innovator’s unique design philosophy. Defying the norms of rigid lines and structural limitations, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid always sought to push boundaries. Her distinct style soon earned her the nickname ‘Queen of curve’. And with each awe-inspiring project, Zaha Hadid changed what we thought could be accomplished with concrete, steel and glass. With a focus on philosophy, compassion and nature, Zaha Hadid’s sensitivities as an architect are always at the forefront of her designs.
Zaha Hadid was honoured throughout her life for notable contributions in the field of modern architecture. She is the only woman to have received the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize. Her most notable accolades include ‘Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ granted by the Queen in 2012 and the Royal Gold Medal in 2016.
The celebrated architect, who made a place for women in a predominantly ‘male’ profession, still remains an iconic figure. Her designs stand tall and proud around the world. And not only are they beautiful but also boast sheer magnetism that inevitably earns them a ‘must-see landmark’ status.
Famous Projects By Zaha Hadid
Honoring one of the greatest innovators of our time, we give you some notable works by architect Zaha Hadid from all around the world.
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan (2012)
The distinctive design of this building quickly made it a must-see tourist attraction in Baku. This Zaha Hadid design is famous for its flowy, curved design that reflects the folding topography of the region. This brilliantly-designed landmark won Zaha Hadid the London Design Museum’s Design of the Year award in 2014.
Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China (2010)
Zaha Hadid’s vision to combine modern architecture with nature was once again seen in the Guangzhou Opera House. Seamlessly integrating its location by the river, the exterior and interior of this iconic structure resemble natural elements such as river valleys and “pebbles in a stream smoothed by erosion”. This is also seen in the materials used for construction – a combination of steel, granite and glass.
Hungerburgbahn, Innsbruck, Austria (2007)
The Hungerburgbahn is a funicular railway in Austria, with four stations designed by Zaha Hadid. In her signature style, the celebrated architect seamlessly fuses the surrounding topography in her design resulting in stunning curvilinear geometry that has made it an integral part of Innsbruck’s cityscape. The glacial-inspired stations mimic natural ice formations from the surroundings and effortlessly integrate within the environment. At the time, these structures were the largest in the world to make use of double-curved glass.
Zaha Hadid Projects in the UAE
The architect’s outstanding designs earned her a covetable reputation in the Arab world as well, and pretty soon the late visionary Zaha Hadid made her mark on the UAE’s cityscape.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi (2010)
One of the first Zaha Hadid projects in the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge is 842 metres long with several arching waves designed to look like desert sand dunes. The grand landmark once again reflects the natural topography of its home country. Its fluid silhouette is a sight to behold, especially at night as the dynamic lighting system comes on, illuminating its symmetrical arches in different hues. Connecting Abu Dhabi mainland to Saadiyat Island, Sheikh Zayed Bridge is said to be one of the most complex bridges ever built. The bridge also won Best Bridge at Travel & Leisure Design Awards 2012.
The Opus by Zaha Hadid, Dubai (2018)
Her first and the only creation in Dubai, Omniyat’s ‘The Opus By Zaha Hadid’ is already one of the most sought-after properties in Dubai. The distinct design of the building, with a void in the centre, provides uninterrupted views of the surrounding skyscrapers. Again, realising the significance of the building’s location and its close proximity to the world’s tallest tower, Zaha Hadid brilliantly fuses her futuristic vision with Dubai’s staggering cityscape. The unmistakably unique building will open later this year, housing the first ‘ME by Melia’ hotel in the Middle East. The Opus by Zaha Hadid is one of the most notable Zaha Hadid projects in the UAE. It was also awarded the Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year at The Middle East Architect Awards 2017.
Bee’ah Headquarter, Sharjah (2018)
Also set to open this year is the headquarter of Bee’ah, an environmental agency, deep in Sharjah’s desert. The late architect and her team designed the masterpiece back in 2013. In true Zaha Hadid style, the design of Bee’ah Headquarter in Sharjah reflects its surrounding desert dunes. The project also uses environment-friendly techniques such as the use of renewable energy and recycled materials salvaged from local construction and demolition sites.
The famous architect may not be with us anymore, but her creations continue to inspire and evoke a sense of being in the presence of something truly great. Zaha Hadid’s architecture firm continues her work, retaining as much of the admired architect’s distinct style as they possibly can.
Which one of these is your favourite Zaha Hadid design? Tell us in the comments section below!
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