It’s safe to say that Zaha Hadid, who sadly passed away on 31 March 2016, was the greatest female architect of her time. The Iraqi-born dame didn’t just keep up with new developments in the world of form and structures; she redefined what was possible in the industry with her commitment to lead from the front and venture where few others dared.
Dubbed the ‘queen of the curve’, she had an inherent gift for fluidity and for creating buildings that are at-once organic and other-worldy. Although she is most well-known for her architecture, Zaha was also a gifted product designer and has conceptualised everything from boats and footwear to tables and jewellery.
Below we pay tribute to this revolutionary woman by looking back at some of the Zaha Hadid projects that really won our hearts.
1. the vitra fire station in germany
Zaha’s first major built commission, this incredible structure shows her early focus on spikey architectural forms (something she later moved completely away from) and was ultimately responsible for launching her international career.
2. art borders wallpaper
Zaha’s deep appreciation for technical innovation and fluid forms is present in the four wallpaper designs that her studio conceptualised for German-based wallcoverings company Marburg.
3. maxxi museum of xxi century arts in rome
This magnificent structure, with its flowing, merging lines, won Zaha the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2010. As her website says, it’s ‘a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation’.
4. volu dining pavilion
The clam-like dining pavilion that Zaha designed in collaboration with Patrik Schumacher and unveiled at Design Miami 2015 is a singly curved work of futuristic design genius.
5. unique circle superyachts
The family of sculptural, avant-garde yachts that Zaha designed for German shipyard Blohm + Voss are as remarkable as her later architectural works, with their organic forms and lattice-like patterns.
6. heydar aliyev centre in baku
This phenomenal cultural centre has to be one of the greatest examples of Zaha’s love for curves and ability to create the almost impossible. Sir Peter Cook said the following of the building: ‘Those of us lucky enough to see the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku in the flesh can surely never have been in such a dream-like space, with its totality, its enormous internal ramp and dart-like lights seeming to have come from a vocabulary that lies so far beyond the normal architecture that we assess or rationalize.’
7. nova shoe for united nude
The limited edition haute couture shoe that Zaha designed in collaboration with United Nude is quintessentially her in that it ignores all the normal rules of form and combines revolutionary ergonomics with a dynamic sense of movement.
8. sterling silver jewellery for georg jensen
The sterling silver rings and cuff bangles that Zaha created for Georg Jensen are sculptural architectural forms that you can actually wear.
9. messner mountain museum corones
This majestic modern creation is embedded within the summit of Mount Kronplatz in South Tyrol, Italy and is surely the most beautiful tribute to mountaineering that there is.