Zaha Hadid


It had been my intention to include a piece on the architect Zaha Hadid in my blog as I remember being completely blown away by her when I discovered her work.Sadly she passed away last week at the age of 65, so it seems fitting to acknowledge her greatness at this time.

I remember seeing the Serpentine Pavillion when I was young(ish) from a distance in 2000 and thinking that it looked like the future. It was an actualised structure in the year 2000 of concepts I had read about in prophetic literature from decades before.

Perhaps I was a little naive in thinking that but I visited Kensington Gardens and the Serpentine Gallery regularly so seeing this kind of solidified white canopy when it hadn't been there before really struck me. It made me acknowledge architecture if that makes sense and once inside the Pavillion I remember being so aware of the actual internal space. It's really difficult to describe but from that point I was so aware of her name that I took an interest in every other project she created.

And boy did she do some amazing stuff.  Unfortunately, I haven't managed to visit many more of her buildings but when I see images of places like the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan or the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany I actually find it hard to comprehend how these structures can even exist.

Talk about futuristic, Zaha Hadid's buildings look like they've just landed from another planet and I love that.  She had been highly criticised throughout her career for making impractical, egotistical and extortionately expensive buildings.  But how admirable to take a concept, that looks like it defies gravity and even current technology, and make it real.

I, for one, am in awe of her designs and am so glad they exist. It's just a shame, not just to the world of design and architecture, but to the entire world, that a genius of our time will create no more-but what an incredible legacy to leave.

If you are unfamiliar with Zaha Hadid's work then I've seen this book by Thames &Hudson which will bring you up to speed.