You see news and articles all over the place about the Zaha Hadid buildings that are shaping modern architecture, but have you wondered who’s the architecture studio that makes them and the person behind that studio?
Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect born in 1950 who in her lifetime left an unmistakable mark on architecture. Her untimely death in 2016 robbed the world of their beloved queen of the curve.
Striking Zaha Hadid structures grace many skylines of huge metropolitan cities while Zaha Hadid art and product designs including shoes, lighting, and furniture as well as extraordinary yachts are in many homes and seas worldwide.
Architect Zaha Hadid is certainly the most famous of all time as a world-class boundary-pushing designer. She received various prestigious awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011 as well as the Museum design of the Year in 2014 for the Heyar Aliyev Cultural Center. She also received the RIBA Gold medal in 2015.
If you had to answer a question, who is Zaha Hadid, the answer would encompass much more than award-winning architect. When she started a London-based practice in 1980 she started with drawing and painting, many of which are part of museum collections.
Zaha Hadid architecture continuously pushed the boundaries of urban design and architecture. It spanned across buildings to furniture and interiors.
Zaha Hadid architecture became internationally recognized when she won a competition designing the recreational center, The Peak in Hong Kong in 1983.
Here she showed her aggressive geometric design which was characterized by a sense of movement, instability, and fragmentation.
Even though the building never realized, the futuristic building’s drawings which were often in detailed colored paintings are part of major artwork in top museums.
Here are several Zaha Hadid finished buildings that art lovers and architecture fundies would love, including Zaha Hadid most famous buildings:
Must-See Zaha Hadid buildings
Vitra Fire Station, Germany
The Iraqi female architect, Zaha Hadid first building completed in 1993 was the Vitra Fire Station. The project started in 1989 in Weil am Rhein, Germany. The structure is resembling a bird n flight and composed of sharply angled planes. With the Fire Station, she brought her abstract paintings and drawings to life in an astonishing physical form. With her first building, the world got a glimpse into Zaha Hadid style and here she garnered international acclaim.
The Riverside Museum, Scotland
The Riverside Museum has a zinc-clad, zig-zagging roof. It is an astonishing building with a 36-meter-high glass front that overlooks the River Clyde. It is one of the Zaha Hadid buildings that are derived from its context.
Her brilliance shows in the way that she allowed her design flows from the river to the city. It symbolizes the dynamic relationship with the museum connecting the river and city with the smooth transitioning from one to the other. With its openings at both ends, the Museum has a tunnel-type configuration between the Clyde and the city of Glasgow.
MAXXI (Museum of XXI Century Arts), Rome
Construction on the museum started in 1998 and was completed in 2010 in the Flaminio neighborhood in Rome. It is Italy’s national art museum and one of Hadid’s finest works that earned her the Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2010.
The Stirling prize is to honor architecture designed in the UK but built in Europe. This extraordinary design has smooth curved walls that are combined with neo-classical symmetrical facades. The entire building comprises of two museums, galleries for educational activities, exhibitions, restaurant and bar, cafeteria, bookshop, library, and auditorium.
Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg
The Phaeno Science Centre is in the Wolfsburg city center and in Saha Hadid’s own words the most complete and ambitious statement of her quest for fluid, dynamic and complex spaces flowing into one masterpiece.
Anyone that enters the science center is struck by strangeness and complexity which dominates science, and this is what the building reflects as well. The design is based on very unusual volumetric structural logic. The floors cannot be seen as a single volume and are neither plied above each other. There are few people that would be able to take glass, steel, and concrete and turn it into hypnotic architecture like the Zaha Hadid structures.
Olympics Aquatics Center, London
In her adoptive country, the Zaha Hadid architecture style can be seen with the 2012 Olympics Aquatic Center. With a size of 15, 950 square meters it is a masterpiece that is inspired by sea life creatures and sea life, water and waves.
It adopts the unusual Hadid style of varying heights with its main detailing and elements dynamic and contemporary. It continues with smooth concrete interiors and magnificently curved diving platforms of varying heights.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge
In 2011 Zaha Hadid completed the flowing 842-meter-long Sheik Zayed Bridge between the mainland and Abu Dhabi Island. It supports a four-lane highway and comprises arching waves of reinforced concrete.
This bridge is much more than a connection point from one place to another but a catalyst in the urban growth and a destination in itself in Abu Dhabi. It rises 60 meters above water level and more than two thirds the height of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is nearby. The design of the bridge is of immense strength and can withstand 160 km per hour winds.
Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, Michigan
Other unbelievable Zaha Hadid structures include the Michigan Broad Art Museum with its outer skin echoing different orientations and directions that gives the building an appearance of continuous changing in appearance.
It presents a directed, sharp exterior of directional pleats that reflect the circulatory and topographic characteristics of the landscape surrounding it. It is located at the Michigan State University’s Northern campus and influenced by its area. Its striking design also changes its color which depends on the angle of the sun, the time of day and the weather.
Port House, Antwerp, Belgium
Only one government building was ever designed and completed by Zaha Hadid and this is the 2016 Belgium Port House. It was a derelict fire station and Hadid design delivered Europe’s second largest shipping port with 12 km of docks.
The government required a future-proof and sustainable place to house 500 employees. The only request was that the original building is preserved and Zaha Hadid surprised with the brilliance of design on top of the original building. The combination of old and new was extraordinary.
The Hungerburg Funicular opened in 2007 and set new standards for extraordinary architecture due to its outworldish station’s designs. Zaha Hadid shared her design inspiration afterward and said it was a combination of the region’s snow and ice landscapes. This resulted in each one of the four stations resembling icy glaciers.
They give the impression that the mountains nearby is in the heart of the city. The outstanding contrast of the firmly anchored concrete bases and arched shaped roofs give them a magical sense of weightlessness and no other stations in the world are quite as unique.
Ordrupgaard Extension, Copenhagen
One of the top Zaha Hadid finished buildings was completed in 2005, which is an extension of the Ordrupgaard. The design demonstrates a perception of shape and space as a borderless progression and movement.
As with all her architectural designs she decodes and interprets the area and surroundings with professional perception and before she starts, she studies the terrain and her designs are always kind of a continuation of the landscapes.
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria
From 1999 until 2002 the construction of the Bergisel Ski Jump was in the works. It is situated on a major landmark that overlooks downtown Innsbruck, the Bergisel Mountain.
This magnificent architectural masterpiece is a combination of a bridge and a tower with a height of close to 50 meters and a length of 90 meters. It comprises of two elevators that take visitors to a café that is 40 meters over the Bergisel Mountain peak.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is the perfect example of the relationship between engineering, spatial organization, and design comes together in the 3D formation used. It is a major landmark of the city with its distinct Hadid style of lines of light and flowing form.
You have zero corners or sharp angles to look at, but smooth soft curves with a building that lights up at night like a beacon.
The Maritime Terminal is located on a public quay extending into the marina and working harbor of Salerno. The new terminal continues the relationship between sea, city and new links.
It appears like a budding oyster with an asymmetrical hard shell that is designed to protect the soft elements within it. It is a combination of three interlocking components, a terminal for local ferries, international cruise ships and ferries and administration buildings.
Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion
The Bridge Pavilion in Spain is yet another extraordinary Zaha Hadid architecture style that is a hybrid exhibition pavilion and pedestrian footbridge. It is an enclosed interactive space that flows across the River Ebro.
It is a gateway to the 2008 Zaragoza Expo with four structural elements. Each one embraces and intersect with each other. It is a dynamic, fluid design that embraces the theme of the expo which is sustainable development and water.
Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou
In unifying the cultural building with the international finance in the Guangzhou new town the Opera House is perfectly harmonious. Its riverside location is a 1, 800 seat auditorium that houses the best acoustic technology while the smaller multifunction hall can take 400 people.
The design as with all the Zaha Hadid design evolved from the fascinating interplay between nature and architecture. The design is particularly influenced by the flowing river valleys and how erosion transformed them. It defines zones and territories within the Opera House with cafes, lobbies, and auditoriums in a seamless and fluid design.
Dominion office building
In Dubrovka Russia is the Dominion office building from architect Zaha Hadid. It was completed a year before the death of the renowned architect. It can be conceived as a series of vertically stacked plates.
Every level is connected with a central atrium that rises throughout every level with curved elements that allows natural light to flow seamlessly throughout the building. Each level has balconies projecting into the atrium while it boasts a ground-floor restaurant, outdoor terrace, and snack areas as well as relaxation zones.
BMW administration building
The BMW administration building is a dynamic focal point which connects the complex with the rest of the building branching out from there. This building is in Leipzig, Germany and its interior is one of cascading floors and levels which are enclosed by tilting concrete beams while the roof with its steel beams is in H form.
Galaxy SOHO, Beijing, China
The Galaxy which is in Beijing central is a 330 000m2 entertainment, retail and office complex which is a major landmark in Soho. The architecture is a combination of five flowing, continuous volumes that are linked and set apart by flowing and stretching bridges. Each one adapts to the other in every direction to generate a panoramic architecture that contains no abrupt transition or corner that could potentially break its fluidity.
It took ten years to complete and it opened in 2012 in Montpellier. The Pierresvives is a three-unification architecture that houses a sports department, library, and archive. These form a building in Hadid style that when viewed from a distance would be a single building, however, the closer you get, the easier it is to notice that one becomes three.
The Morpheus is in Cotai, Macao with fluid futuristic form and flow that combines generous guest rooms and dramatic public spaces. It has is unlike any design or architecture with a rectangular footprint and a vertical extrusion with a series of voids carved throughout the center of the hotel. This creates a window that connects the interior communal spaces with the city.
Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan
The Zaha Hadid signature style continues with one of her best-ever that also won her the 2014 Museum Design of the Year. Azerbaijan required modernization and in developing the Baku architecture and infrastructure commissioned the brilliance and contemporary modernization that only Zaha Hadid buildings can offer
King Abdullah Petroleum studies and research center
The KAPSARC as it is known is a honeycomb of hexagonal pods interlocking in an ultra-modern design. It is another piece of Zaha Hadid art in a massive building that provides research facilities to the oil-rich country. The design and layout significantly reduce energy consumption in the desert climate.
Evelyn Grace Academy, London
The Evelyn Grace Academy is in Brixton and one of the best Zaha Hadid buildings London is proud to have. The academy is a welcoming, transparent and open building with a strong urban identity and character.
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