Zaha Hadid, One Year Later

31. May 2017
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One year after she died unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of only 65, architect Zaha Hadid has been celebrated with a Google Doodle depicting her firm's Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Although the Google Doodle page on today's celebration of Hadid says, "[she] captured the world's attention and shattered glass ceilings (in addition to designing some) by becoming the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize on this day in 2004," it's safe to say Hadid was one of the most influential architects of the 21st century – woman or man. 

Her first major built work – the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Germany – gestured to the surrounding landscape through angular lines; the design made her famous even before its completion in 1993, thanks in part to her amazing paintings. Google Doodle mentions this groundbreaking work, but it opted for the Heydar Aliyev Center, which won the Design Museum's Design of the Year in 2014, in depicting Hadid and her architecture. The building, completed in 2012, illustrates the jump in scale afforded by the architect's fame, but also the fluidity enabled by computers and her partnership with Patrik Schumacher, who has carried Zaha Hadid Architects forward since Hadid's death last year.

Google's celebration of Zaha Hadid today points to a couple places for further exploring her architecture: Google Earth's interactive exhibit, and an online exhibit done in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries.
Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid Architects with DiA Holding (Photo: Hufton+Crow)

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