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9 Stunning Buildings Designed By Award Winning Architect Zaha Hadid

World renowned visionary architect Zaha Hadid passed away last night at the age of 65 from a heart attack. The Iraq-born British queen of contemporary architecture was a leader in so-called “conceptual, neo-futuristic building design” and was known for her limitless imagination and boundary-pushing creativity. She was also the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker prize – architecture’s highest honor – in 2004, in what’s considered a predominantly man’s world.

From London to Beijing, her buildings have become emblems of cities worldwide. Her work also extended well beyond buildings: she collaborated with the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton, created art installations, as well as designs for Georg Jensen and others.

While many of her buildings couldn’t be realised due to funding or logistical problems (the stadium at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, for example) we can’t wait to check into the much-talked about ME Dubai hotel in Dubai’s tallest building, set to open later this year. Until then, associate editor Lucy Rees picks out her favourite buildings.

#1: Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, USA (2003)
Her first building in the USA, the exterior is made up of stacked blocks and empty spaces that float above the lobby. Inside, heavy black stairs (which were apparently made by a roller coaster constructor) zig zag through the space. Photo: Center for Contemporary Art. #2: Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany (2005)
Raised above the ground on a series of concrete cones and jutting protrusions, the building located in a small town in Wolfsburg, Germany has been described as an “architectural adventure playground.” Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects. #3: Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza, Spain (2008)
Hadid’s first completed bridge is made up of 280 metres of fibre-glass. Part pedestrian walkway, part exhibition area, the ultra-modern structure was built using an interlocking system that connects three elongated steel “pods”. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Fernando Guerra. #4: Chanel's mobile art exhibition, Hong Kong (2008)
A nomadic, UFO-shaped art pavilion, the creation was assembled in Hong Kong on the first leg of a two-year global contemporary art tour. Hadid felt that temporary or mobile pieces could be an interesting way of regenerating the city. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © John Linden. #5: MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy (2009)
Hadid wanted to design the museum not as an “object container” but rather “a campus for art” where pathways would flow, overlap and connect organically. Other iconic features are concrete curved walls, suspended black staircases, and open ceilings that catch the natural light. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan. #6: Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China (2010)
Designed to blend in with its riverside setting, Hadid described the £130 million (S$251 million) building as being “like pebbles in a stream smoothed by erosion.” Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan. #7: Heydar Aliyev cultural center, Baku (2012)
Found in the capital of Azerbaijan, it won the London Design Museum award in 2014 with one judge reportedly describing it as “pure and sexy as Marilyn’s blown skirt.” The gently folded roof houses a museum, auditorium and a multi-purpose hall. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan. #8: Galaxy Soho, Beijing (2012)
An unlikely fusion between space age forms and traditional Chinese architecture, this 18-storey retail, office and entertainment space in Beijing is comprised of four domed structures linked by bridges and platforms. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan. #9: The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2012)
Made up of a series of horizontal steel pleats, the structure changes in appearance as the visitor walks through it. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects © Paul Warchol. Like this? Check out the stylish homes of these fashion designers.