Source: 520 Wests 28th

Looking Back at the Architectural Legacy of Zaha Hadid, Dead at 65

One of the world’s most famous and impactful architects leaves behind a collection of wondrous, futuristic structures around the globe. Here are some of her highlights.

Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, died on Thursday in Miami at the age of 65. The Iraqi-born, London-based architect designed technically challenging, visually arresting buildings around the globe.

Hadid was best known for her public and institutional projects. To the many countries and cities that commissioned her sinuous, futuristic buildings, they became beacons of progress and culture. The massive Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, for instance, is more than 600,000 square feet and appears in state-sponsored promotional material for the city; her low-slung, kinetic Guangzhou Opera House in China was completed in 2010 and almost immediately became an icon of the city’s cultural resurgence.

Hadid’s career wasn’t without controversy. Most recently, her design for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic stadium—originally approved by the government—was shelved and ultimately scrapped after a public furor over its $2 billion cost. Cost overruns also plagued other buildings, including the Maxxi museum in Rome and a parking garage in Miami whose construction was eventually canceled.

Her career has flourished in the past decade. Currently, two major residential works are being constructed in the U.S. that will likely help define their respective neighborhoods: a building along the High Line, at 520 W. 28th St. in New York City (seen above), and a massive, 60-story building in Miami.

The architect was known for her colorful personality and innovative use of materials and technology. “I’m not necessarily a minimalist,” she said in a 2015 interview with Bloomberg News. “But I think you have to make sure you use all of the elements that are actually available. Everyone’s idea of comfort is different.”

  1. Zaha Hadid
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    Zaha Hadid

    The Iraqi architect in her London office, circa 1985.

    Photographer: Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images

  2. The Maxxi, Rome
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    The Maxxi, Rome

    The National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, known as the Maxxi museum, was completed in 2010.

    Photographer: Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images

  3. Galaxy Soho Building, Beijing
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    Galaxy Soho Building, Beijing

    Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, a 330,000-square-foot retail office and entertainment building in Beijing.

    Photographer: zhuyongming/Getty Images/Moment RM

  4. Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku
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    Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku

    The Heydar Aliyev Center, a 619,000-square-foot multiuse cultural center in Azerbaijan, was completed in 2013.

    Photographer: Tom Pennington

  5. Guangzhou Opera House, China
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    Guangzhou Opera House, China

    The now iconic opera house seats 1,800 people.

    Photographer: Jimmy Tsang/Getty Images/Flickr RF

  6. Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza
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    Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza

    A 919-foot-long coverage bridge in Zaragoza, Spain, completed in 2008.

    Photographer: View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images

  7. Pierres Vives Building, Montpellier
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    Pierres Vives Building, Montpellier

    The governmental Pierres Vives building in Montpellier, France, which houses a library, archive, and sports department, was completed in 2012.

    Photographer: Sarah Martinet/Getty Images/Moment RM

  8. Messner Mountain Museum, Corones
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    Messner Mountain Museum, Corones

    Set atop a mountain in South Tyrol, Italy, MMM Corones is the sixth outpost of Reinhold Messner’s mountain aeries. The building was completed in 2015.
    Photographer: Wist Haler
  9. BMW Plant, Leipzig
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    BMW Plant, Leipzig

    The so-called nerve center of BMW’s complex in Leipzig, Germany, was designed by Hadid and completed in 2005.

    Photographer: Jochen Eckel/Bloomberg News

  10.  London Aquatics Centre
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    London Aquatics Centre

    The Aquatics Centre in London was designed by Hadid for the city’s 2012 Summer Olympics.

    Photographer: Clive Rose/Getty Images

  11. CMA CGM Office Tower, Marseille
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    CMA CGM Office Tower, Marseille

    Hadid’s office tower for the shipping company CMA CGM was completed in 2011.

    Photographer: View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images