Zaha Hadid through some of her main buildings

An avant-garde architect who was ahead of her time, Zaha Hadid and her conceptual buildings, which always teetered on the verge of what was actually buildable, defined a key moment in architecture. The only woman to win the Pritzker Prize (2004), she died on 31 March at the age of 65. Here we look back at five of her most outstanding works:

The Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan:


The cultural centre, which hosts a large number of artistic activities in Baku, is one of the artist’s most momentous works. The undulating white edifice contrasts sharply with the Soviet-style buildings that dominate the capital of Azerbaijan.

MAXXI Museum in Rome:



Conceived as a dynamic, interactive space, the main objective of the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is to ensure the utmost flexibility of use. The huge black suspended staircase, the curved concrete walls and the light-absorbing atrium are some of the identifying features of Hadid’s creation.

Galaxy Soho in Beijing:


An office, retail and entertainment complex, this building of over 33,000 m2 seeks to reflect certain elements of traditional Chinese architecture, with the interior courtyards as key features.


The Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion:

One of the architect’s few works in Spain, the pavilion was one of the landmark buildings of Expo Zaragoza 2008. Its construction entailed numerous technical challenges due to its position spanning the River Ebro.

Vitra fire station in Germany:

Built in 1994, this was the architect’s first completed project. A dynamic work of concrete and steel and perforated walls that incline quite amazingly to perform their function.



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