With the passing of Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE, the architectural world lost one of its most creative, original and inspirational thinkers.
Her ability to repeatedly craft buildings with the power to take your breath away with beguiling lines and unorthodox shapes was in a league of its own. Despite two of her designs never looking the same, you always knew when it was one of her creations that you were looking at – usually twisting into the sky like an artistic impossibility from a sci-fi movie.
In memory of Zaha Hadid, we’ve compiled a short list of our favourite buildings that she lent her unique and experimental talents to.
MAXXI Museum of Art
Zaha Hadid won her first RIBA Stirling Prize for Rome’s MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome, built in 2009. Beating 273 candidates to win the project, her design was lauded for the way in which the curving walls and intersections of levels created a spatially dynamic interior through which visitors can move in ever different and unexpected routes.
London Olympic Aquatic Centre
An icon of the London 2012 Olympics, Zaha Hadid’s aquatic centre provided a suitably stunning backdrop to the city’s once-in-a-generation sports show. The fluid geometry of water in motion inspired the building’s concept, with the undulating roof reflecting a wave encompassing the pools inside.
Guangzhou Opera House
A regular addition to most peoples’ list of Zaha Hadid favourites (and for good reason) the Guangzhou Opera House’s stark exterior seamlessly blends glass with water and belies the complex, shifting lines inside. Completed in 2010, this building joins the ranks of great opera houses around the world that theatrically embodies the drama and musicality it was intended to house.
Port House Antwerp
Scheduled to be completed later this year, the new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority looks set to shoot to the top of our favourite Zaha Hadid projects. The glass and aluminium extension protrudes above the city’s former fire station, supported asymmetrically on three concrete pillars so that it overlooks the city and the port.
This construction in the Spanish city of Zaragoza makes the list in large part due to the odd combination of purposes it fulfils, as it is both a pedestrian bridge over the Ebro River as well as its own exhibition pavilion. Built for the Zaragoza Expo 2008, the fluid nature of the venue was designed to evoke the event’s theme of water and sustainability.