Anthea Streeter: Dame Zaha Hadid

Monday 1 April 2019

Before her untimely death in 2016, Dame Zaha Hadid was one of the most distinguished architects in the world. She was also a talented designer.

Zaha Hadid’s work is exciting because she developed a new form of architecture: she set architecture free by rejecting 90-degree angles. Her early abstract paintings are of particular interest because in them she began to create her visionary world where there is no definition, lines converge, and gravity disappears – all conceived before the advent of advanced computer software. From her early sharp-angled buildings she developed a fluid architecture, where floors, ceilings, walls – and even furniture – all form part of the overall design. Thus, many of her later structures are extruded to the most extreme organic shapes in what she called a “seemless fluidity”.  We move around the world to look at some of her completed works, including her most famous building in the UK, the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics in 2012, as well as unexecuted designs. Members who have a keen interest in cutting-edge design will be mesmerised by the daring yet brilliant structures of Dame Zaha Hadid.