Though she died over a year ago, Zaha Hadid remains an extremely important figure in architecture. With this in mind, Google has decided to honor her with one of its Doodles, which provides an opportunity to reflect on some of her amazing achievements.
On this day back in 2004, Hadid was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize – arguably the most prestigious prize in architecture – and she was also the first woman to be given the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), shortly before her death.
For an Iraqi-born Muslim woman to be lauded like this is no small feat in an industry largely dominated by men.
As we've already explored in greater depth, Hadid's career was not without its missteps, but few would argue her place as one of the most important architects of her generation. She was always at her best designing big, showy public buildings and high-points include Rome's MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts, the London Aquatics Center, and the Guangzhou Opera House, all of which showcase the architect's distinctive futuristic curving style.
The Google Doodle itself depicts what is, in our opinion, Hadid's greatest work, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Featuring a complex space frame system that supports the building's sweeping form and open interior, it represents a stunning break from Azerbaijan's impressive Soviet-era architecture.
Looking to the future, the Zaha Hadid brand looks unlikely to die with its owner. Her firm Zaha Hadid Architects continues to announce new projects regularly while led by partner Patrik Schumacher. Of course, fashion houses like Gucci have continued after the death of the founder and went on to even greater financial success but whether ZHA can do the same remains to be seen.