is a hybrid funicular railway. Each of the four stations on the line were designed by Zaha Hadid. The Hungerburg station in particular is glorious. Half sprouting fungus, half enameled icicle, its mountainside location is the perfect site for a cloud-like work of architecture. There is something ephemeral, yet solid about this building. It’s dynamic curving form along with the glossy white surface are a gift to the world of architecture. It is soft, yet it is hard; it is swaying and static; it is transient and timeless – so many juxtapositions, so beautifully assembled. Azerbaijan Stamp | © Azermarka/Courtesy of WikiCommons
One of Hadid’s most renowned works, the Heydar Aliyev Center
is 619,000 square feet of architectural brilliance. With a large conference hall at its heart and a gallery and museum as well, this building is an embracing and comfortable site that unites all these aspects together. In 2012, this curvaceous center rose to fame when it was featured on stamps, becoming a symbol of Azerbaijan and winning the Design Museum of the Year award in 2014. MAXXI Natoinal Museum of the 21st Century Arts
is a multifaceted space dedicated “to experimentation and innovation in the arts and architecture.” In 2010, this building of overlapping tubular forms won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture. Since then the Guardian
has declared it “Hadid’s finest work built to date.” The curling tunnels, wide interior avenues, and intersecting walk ways give the building an aesthetic rhythm rarely seen in architecture today.
This powerful, curving structure is now a major landmark in Seoul, South Korea. An embodiment of Neo-Futurism, in many ways this is a sister to Glasgow’s Riverside Museum. Both take on flowing forms with dynamic lines of light and a distinct Hadid style. In contrast to Riverside, there are no sharp angles in Dongdaemun Design Plaza
– soft, smooth curves only. At night, the building is lit up like Hokusai’s Great Wave, sparkling with pixelated light.
A building that unifies the archive, library, and sports department has to fulfill three identities in one work of architecture. This accomplishment is one of Hadid’s great triumphs. The concrete and geometric qualities of Pierresvives are reassuring aspects for archives and libraries, but the lunging, projecting forms embody the sports aspect. This is a building that brings together these disparate purposes and creates a single architectural force establishing itself in the canon of architecture. Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack on Thursday, 31 March, 2016, aged 65.