Zaha Hadid, Architecture Portfolio in Pictures

01
of 14

Zaha Hadid at Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland

Zaha Hadid stands in front of the new Riverside Museum, jagged roof, reflective glass facade
Architect Zaha Hadid at the June 2011 opening of her Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images News / Getty Images (cropped)

Pritzker laureate of 2004, Zaha Hadid has designed a variety of projects all around the world, but none more interesting or important than Great Britain's Riverside Museum of Transport. The Scottish museum traditionally displays automobiles, ships, and trains, so Hadid's new building required a great mass of open space. By the time of this museum design, parametricism was firmly established at her firm. Hadid's buildings took on a variety of forms, with only imagination forming the boundaries of that interior space.

About Zaha Hadid's Riverside Museum:

Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Opened: 2011
Size: 121,632 square feet (11,300 square meters)
Prize: winner of the 2012 Micheletti Award
Description: Open at both ends, the Museum of Transport is described as a "wave." Column-free exhibition space curves back from the river Clyde to the city of Glasgow in Scotland. Aerial views recall the shape of corrugated steel, melted and wavy, like the marks of a rake in a Japanese sand garden.

Learn More:

  • "Zaha Hadid's Riverside Museum: All aboard!" by Jonathan Glancey, The Guardian Online, June 2011
  • The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings - Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan

Source: Riverside Museum Project Summary (PDF) and Zaha Hadid Architects website. Accessed November 13, 2012.

02
of 14

Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Zaha Hadid's angular Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany, Built 1990 – 1993
Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany, Built 1990 – 1993. Photo by H & D Zielske/LOOK Collection/Getty Images

The Vitra Fire Station is significant as Zaha Hadid's first major built architectural work. At less than a thousand square feet, the German structure proves that many successful and famous architects start out small.

About Zaha Hadid's Vitra Fire Station:

Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Opened: 1993
Size: 9172 square feet (852 square meters)
Construction Materials: exposed, reinforced in situ concrete
Location: Basel, Switzerland is the nearest city to the German Vitra Campus

"The whole building is movement, frozen. It expresses the tension of being on the alert; and the potential to explode into action at any moment."

Source: Vitra Fire Station Project Summary, Zaha Hadid Architects website (PDF). Accessed November 13, 2012.

03
of 14

Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza, Spain

People entering a pyramid attached to an enclosed pedestrian bridge
People entering Zaha Hadid's pedestrian bridge across the River Ebre, Zaragoza, Spain. Photo © Esch Collection, Getty Images

Hadid's Bridge Pavilion was constructed for Expo 2008 in Zaragoza. "By intersecting the trusses/pods, they brace each other and loads are distributed across the four trusses instead of a singular main element, resulting in a reduction in size of loadbearing members."

About Zaha Hadid's Zaragoza Bridge:

Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Opened: 2008
Size: 69,050 square feet (6415 square meters), bridge and four "pods" used as exhibition areas
Length: 919 feet (280 meters) diagonally over the Ebro River
Composition: asymmetrical geometric diamonds; shark scale skin motif
Construction: prefabricated steel assembled on site; 225 foot (68.5 meter) foundation piles

Source: Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion Project Summary, Zaha Hadid Architects website (PDF) Accessed November 13, 2012.

04
of 14

Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Highway bridge with cantilevered road decks suspended from symmetrical steel arches
Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, 1997 – 2010. Photo ©Iain Masterton, Getty Images

Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's bridge connects the city of Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland—"...the bridge's fluid silhouette makes it a destination point in its own right."

About Zaha Hadid's Zayed Bridge:

Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Built: 1997 – 2010
Size: 2762 feet long (842 meters); 200 feet wide (61 meters); 210 feet high (64 meters)
Construction Materials: steel arches; concrete piers

Source: Sheikh Zayed Bridge Information, Zaha Hadid Architects website, accessed November 14, 2012.

05
of 14

Bergisel Mountain Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck ski jump attached to glass-facade cafe atop a concrete pedestal.
Hadid-designed Bergisel Ski Jump, 2002, Bergisel Mountain, Innsbruck, Austria. Photo by IngolfBLN, flickr.com, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One might think that an Olympic ski jump is only for the highly athletic, yet a mere 455 steps separate the person on the ground from the Café im Turm and viewing area atop this modern, mountain structure, which overlooks the city of Innsbruck.

About Zaha Hadid's Bergisel Ski Jump:

Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Opened: 2002
Size: 164 feet high (50 meters); 295 feet long (90 meters)
Construction Materials: steel ramp, steel and glass pod atop a concrete vertical tower enclosing two elevators
Awards: Austrian Architecture Award 2002

Source: Bergisel Ski Jump Project Summary (PDF), Zaha Hadid Architects website, accessed November 14, 2012.

06
of 14

Aquatics Centre, London

Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Photo by Davoud Davies/Moment Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

Architects and builders of the 2012 London Olympic venues were made to adopt elements of sustainability. For construction materials, only timber certified from sustainable forests was allowed to be used. For design, architects who embraced adaptive reuse were commissioned for these high profile venues.

Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Center was built with recycled concrete and sustainable timber—and she designed the structure to be reused. Between 2005 and 2011, the swimming and diving venue included two "wings" of seating (see construction photos) in order to accommodate the volume of Olympic participants and spectators. After the Olympics, the temporary seating was removed to provide a more usable venue for the community at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

07
of 14

MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy

Photo of National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy
MAXXI: National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy. Photo by ho visto nina volare, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0), flickr.com

In Roman numbers, the 21st century is XXI—Italy's first national museum of architecture and art is aptly named MAXXI.

About Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum:

Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Built: 1998 – 2009
Size: 322,917 square feet (30,000 square meters)
Construction Materials: glass, steel and cement

What People Are Saying About MAXXI:

"It is a stunning building, with flowing ramps and dramatic curves cutting through the interior spaces at improbable angles. But it has only one register—loud."—Dr. Cammy Brothers, University of Virginia, 2010 (Michelangelo, Radical Architect) [accessed March 5, 2013]

Source: MAXXI Project Summary (PDF) and Zaha Hadid Architects website. Accessed November 13, 2012.

08
of 14

Guangzhou Opera House, China

Skyline of Canton, China at dusk, with modern opera house reflecting in river
Zaha Hadid Designed Guangzhou Opera House, China. Skyline of Canton © Guy Vanderelst, Getty Images

About Zaha Hadid's Opera House in China:

Design: Zaha Hadid
Built: 2003 – 2010
Size: 75,3474 square feet (70,000 square meters)
Seats: 1,800 seat auditorium; 400 seat hall

"The design evolved from the concepts of a natural landscape and the fascinating interplay between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography. The Guangzhou Opera House design has been particularly influenced by river valleys – and the way in which they are transformed by erosion."

Learn More:

Source: Guangzhou Opera House Project Summary (PDF) and Zaha Hadid Architects website. Accessed November 14, 2012.

09
of 14

CMA CGM Tower, Marseille, France

The CMA CGM Tower skyscraper in Marseille, France
The CMA CGM Tower skyscraper in Marseille, France. Photo by MOIRENC Camille/hemis.fr Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

Headquarters of the the world's third largest container shipping company, the CMA CGM skyscraper is surrounded by an elevated motorway—Hadid's building is located in a median strip.

About Zaha Hadid's CMA CGM Tower:

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Built: 2006 - 2011
Height: 482 feet (147 meters); 33 stories with high ceilings
Size: 1,011,808 square feet (94,000 square meters)

Sources: CMA CGM Tower Project Summary, Zaha Hadid Architects website (PDF); CMA CGM Corporate Website at www.cma-cgm.com/AboutUs/Tower/Default.aspx. Accessed November 13, 2012.

10
of 14

Pierres Vives, Montpellier, France

Layered, horizontal, windowed building by Zaha Hadid, the Pierres Vives in Montpellier, France
Pierres Vives, Montpellier, France, in December 2011 (opened in 2012), designed by Zaha Hadid. Photo ©Jean-Baptiste Maurice on flickr.com, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The challenge of Zaha Hadid's first public building in France was to combine three public functions—the archive, the library, and the sports department—into one building.

About Zaha Hadid's Pierresvives:

Design: Zaha Hadid
Built: 2002 – 2012
Size: 376,737 square feet (35,000 square meters)
Major Materials: concrete and glass

"The building has been developed using functional and economic logic: the resultant design reminiscent of a large tree-trunk that has been laid horizontally. The archive is located at the solid base of the trunk, followed by the slightly more porous library with the sports department and its well-lit offices on far end where the trunk bifurcates and becomes much lighter. 'Branches' project vertically off the main trunk to articulate points of access to the various institutions."

Source: Pierresvives, Zaha Hadid Architects website. Accessed November 13, 2012.

11
of 14

Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany

Horizontal concrete building with angled facing and square windows aligned with the facing.
Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, designed by Zaha Hadid, opened in 2005. Photo by Timothy Brown, Tim Brown Architecture (tbaarch.com), flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

About Zaha Hadid's Phæno Science Center:

Design: Zaha Hadid with Christos Passas
Opened: 2005
Size: 129,167 square feet (12,000 square meters)
Composition and Construction: fluid spaces directing pedestrians—similar to the "Urban Carpet" design of the Rosenthal Center

"Concepts and designs for the building were inspired by the idea of magic box – a object capable of awakening curiosity and the desire for discovery in all who open or enter it."

Learn More:

Sources: Phaeno Science Center Project Summary (PDF) and Zaha Hadid Architects website. Accessed November 13, 2012.

12
of 14

Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, Ohio

Photo of the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, 2003. Photo by Timothy Brown, Tim Brown Architecture (tbaarch.com), flickr.com CC BY 2.0

The New York Times called the Rosenthal Center an "amazing building" when it opened. NYT critic Herbert Muschamp went on to write that "the Rosenthal Center is the most important American building to be completed since the end of the cold war." Others have disagreed.

About Zaha Hadid's Rosenthal Center:

Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Completed: 2003
Size: 91,493 square feet (8500 square meters)
Composition and Construction: "Urban Carpet" design, corner city lot (Sixth and Walnut Streets), concrete and glass

Said to be the first U.S. museum to be designed by a woman, the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was integrated into its city landscape by the London-based Hadid. "Conceived as a dynamic public space, an 'Urban Carpet' leads pedestrians into and through the interior space via a gentle slope, which becomes, in turn, wall, ramp, walkway and even an artificial park space."

Learn More:

Sources: Rosenthal Center Project Summary (PDF) and Zaha Hadid Architects website [accessed November 13, 2012]; Zaha Hadid's Urban Mothership by Herbert Muschamp, The New York Times, June 8, 2003 [accessed October 28, 2015]

13
of 14

Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, Michigan

Grand opening of modern, horizontal, steel and glass art museum at Michigan State, 2012
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, designed by Zaha Hadid. Press photo 2012 by Paul Warchol. Resnicow Schroeder Associates, Inc. (RSA). All Rights Reserved.

About Zaha Hadid's Broad Art Museum

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumache
Completed: 2012
Size: 495,140 square feet (46,000 square meters)
Construction Materials: steel and concrete with pleated stainless steel and glass exterior

On the campus of Michigan State University, the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum can look shark-like when viewed from different angles. "In all our work, we first investigate and research landscape, topography and circulation, to ascertain and understand critical lines of connection. By extending these lines to form our design, the building is truly embedded into its surroundings.

Learn More:

14
of 14

Galaxy SOHO, Beijing, China

Galaxy Soho building designed by architect Zaha Hadid, Beijing, China
Galaxy SOHO building, 2012, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, Beijing, China. Photo of Galaxy SOHO ©2013 Peter Adams, via Getty Images

About Zaha Hadid's Galaxy SOHO:

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Location: East 2nd Ring Road - Hadid's first building in Beijing, China
Completed: 2012
Concept: Parametric Design. Four continuous, flowing, non-edged towers, maximum heights of 220 feet (67 meters), connected in space. "Galaxy Soho reinvents the great interior courts of Chinese antiquity to create an internal world of continuous open spaces."
Related by Location: Guangzhou Opera House, China

Parametric design is described as a "design process in which the parameters are interconnected as a system." When one measurement or property changes, the entire entity is affected. This type of architectural design has become more popular with CAD advancements.

Learn More:

Sources: Galaxy Soho, Zaha Hadid Architects website and Design and Architecture, Galaxy Soho official website. Websites accessed January 18, 2014.