Top 5 Zaha Hadid Buildings
Yesterday marked the passing of world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. At just 65 years old, Hadid was famed for pushing boundaries of creativity and led the way for female architects around the world in what is still a heavily male-dominated industry.
Last year, she became the first female to receive the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a recognition of her extensive and mesmerising work. She also won the RIBA Stirling Prize on two separate occasions. To celebrate her life, here are our five favourite works of Zaha Hadid.
Galaxy Soho, Beijing (2012)
Dubbed ‘The Queen of Curve’, the Iraqi-British architect was notorious for her lack of lineage. Nothing illustrates this more than the space-age-looking Galaxy Soho in Beijing. The mega-mall was constructed from predominantly white aluminium and glass, and consists of four domed structures linked together by an array of bridges and platforms. The buildings are each 18-stories high and play host to mix of retail outlets, offices and restaurants.
Aquatics Centre, London (2012)
It what has been called the “most jaw-dropping municipal swimming pool in the world”, the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford was the real star of the London Olympics constructions in 2012. At a cost of £269m, the cathedral-like centre has space for two 50-metre pools and seating for 2,500 Joes and Janes. The signature wave-like roof is supported by just three concrete supports, and the gigantic windows were strategically placed to enable light to flood into the auditorium.
Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza (2008)
Inspired by the local Gladiolus flower and the waterway beneath it, the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza was the first bridge in Hadid’s extensive portfolio. The 280 metres long bridge is located on the river Ebro and is made from fibre-glass reinforced concrete. While the bridge does act as a pedestrian walkway (linking the La Almozara neighbourhood to the site of the 2008 Zaragoza Expo), it doubles up an exhibition centre for Spanish art and culture.
Opera House, Guangzhou (2010)
Another one of Hadid’s Chinese projects, she described the Opera House in Guangzhou as “like pebbles in a stream smoothed by erosion.” The building cost £130m to make, and was designed to sit perfectly against its riverside setting. The striking opera house boasts a folded, flowing glass structure that allows copious amounts of light to flood in. The structure was opened by the first ever performance of Puccini’s Turandot in China, a controversial opera in the country due to its perceived portrayal of the Chinese.
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku (2012)
Saving the best until last, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, was opened in 2012 and features Hadid’s signature curves. Costing a reported £175m, the flowing space is 619,000-square-foot in size and was the design which won Hadid the London Design Museum award in 2014. The softly folded roof hosts a museum, an auditorium and a multi-purpose hall. The building is named after the leader of Azerbaijan from 1969-1982, and president of Azerbaijan from 1993-2003.