Zaha Hadid is one of the most acclaimed architects of our time. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, she moved to London and her career took off. She was invited to read lectures in such universities as Yale and Harvard, Columbia, and University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She also become the first female architect to receive Pritzker Architecture Prize.
She and her company “Zaha Hadid Architects” have been working together with many patrons from all over the world, creating astonishing pieces for public and private needs. Post-soviet territories also have some of her beautiful buildings.
Heydar Aliyev Center (Baku, Azerbaijan)
This building, located in the very heart of the capital of Azerbaijan, plays an integral part in the cultural life of the city. A multi-purpose space nowadays houses museum, conference space, library, concert venues and a gallery hall.
The architect herself admitted on many occasions, that this centre was an incredible achievement for her. And it is, indeed, a breathtaking sight with it’s bold configuration, soft but expressive curves and modern materials. It’s interior is made in clean white and it’s space is filled with light because of the glass panels installed in the place of one of the walls.
The architect and the team that worked on this ambitious project, drew their inspiration from the vibrant Azeri culture. They interpreted the organic flow of the native architecture, the floral and herbal patterns in their decorations. The Heydar Aliyev Center became the Design of the Year according to the Design Museum’s annual award.
Capital Hill Residence (Moscow suburbs, Russia)
The residence was commissioned by a businessman Vladislav Doronin, who was an admirer of Hadid’s art. It is located in luxurious neighborhood Barvikha, near a forest full of majestic pine trees. It is a modern oasis in the middle of an idle landscape.
The building itself can be visually divided in two main parts: the spread out levels with all the necessary living areas, and a tower. The first part of the structure has various rooms and areas along with swimming pool, a Japanese garden, gym, and a nightclub. It is mostly located beneath the ground level. The highest point of the house is the tower. The room right on top of it is a master bedroom, created because of a personal request of Doronin, who wanted to wake up to the calming view over the treetops.
Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum (Vilnius, Lithuania)
In the April of 2008, Zaha Hadid became the winner of the international competition with her project for Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum and soon enough she began bringing this plan to life.
The building stands in a little green area between the old and the contemporary centers of the city, right next to the waters of Neris River. Because of it’s shape and the way it stands on the artificially crated strips of ground, the whole structure appears to be hanging in the air, above the water.
Once again, Hadid employs large amounts of glass to let the natural light in and to create the feeling of interlacing of the inside space with the outside world. We also see already familiar liquid shapes, smooth dynamic lines and the velocity of her architectural form.
Dominion Tower (Moscow, Russia)
The first publicly announced project of Zaha Hadid in Russia was this business centre near Dubrovka Subway Station. The process of it’s construction wasn’t going very smoothly because of the economical crisis of 2008. The work was put on hold for several years. Later, when the construction was to be resumed again, it was decided to give the project to another architect – Nikolay Lutomskiy. The owners of the property wanted to save the money and create a simpler version of the initial building that would cost them less.
Probably the most perplexing and fascinating is it’s interior with high-tech looking glistening materials. The complex geometry of the stairs and the contrast of black and white fits well with the initial purpose of the centre that houses IT companies.