By Adam Williams
Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid has won the London Design Museum’s Design of the Year award for her Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan. The architect beat over 70 other designs in the categories of Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport.
Previous winners in the competition’s seven-year history include the London 2012 Olympic Torch, the Plumen lightbulb, and the British government’s GOV.UK website.
Hadid drew deserved, if rather gushing praise from the judges. “An intoxicatingly beautiful building by the most brilliant architect at the height of her office’s powers,” said Piers Gough of CZWG Architects. “It is as pure and sexy as Marilyn’s blown skirt. Without an ounce of awkward argumentative modernism in its bones. It rather reads like a sweet love letter to Zaha’s homelands.”
Completed in 2012, the The Heydar Aliyev Centre sees Hadid’s trademark flowing curves used to great effect. The centre comprises an auditorium, gallery hall, and museum, over a total floorspace of 57,506 m2.
The architect implemented a space frame system in order to achieve the building’s sweeping shape and large interior fluid spaces without requiring large structural columns, and its angle-shy form stands out even in a city renowned for its excellent architecture.
Sources: Zaha Hadid Architects, Designs of the Year
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