Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-born British architect, was known for her dramatic designs frequently incorporating curved glass as a key element.
Thirteen years ago Wednesday, Hadid shattered a metaphorical glass ceiling when she became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture. Known as the “queen of the curve,” Hadid’s major works include the aquatic center for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.
To celebrate Hadid’s contributions to the world of architecture, Google has published a doodle that spotlights one of her more impressive works. Hadid took inspiration for the fluid form of the eight-story Heydar Aliyev Center from the surrounding topography in Baku, Azerbaijan. The gigantic cultural and conference center contains three auditoriums, a library and museum — but not a single straight line.
She transformed her own abstract paintings into dramatic designs for imaginative structures. She once famously told the Guardian of London, “There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?”
Hadid, who died last year at 65, was also the first woman awarded the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects.