Thursday, April 18, 2024

Integration Of Sustainable Design Features, Practices In Zaha Hadid’s Buildings

Born October 31, 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, to an upper-class Iraqi family, she once mentioned in an interview how her early childhood trips to the ancient Sumerian cities in southern Iraq sparked her interest in architecture.

Her architectural innovations led to her nickname, “the Queen of the Curve,” one of many high praises she earned throughout her nearly three-decade career.

Today on, let’s Explore Contemporary House Designs, case study of Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid’s designs.

Zaha Hadid was an architect known for her radical deconstructivist designs. She was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004.

Zaha was an Iraqi-British architect, artist and designer, recognized as a major figure in architecture of the late-20th and early-21st centuries.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Hadid studied mathematics as an undergraduate and then enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1972.

Join us as we explore the innovative concepts, sleek aesthetics, and sustainable features that make modern homes a true embodiment of 21st-century living.”

So, we started with the story of Zaha Hadid and her beautiful and stunning architecture. ON THIS EPISODE, we’re taking you on a journey through some of her most stunning designs.

Legendary architect Zaha Hadid is widely recognized for her futuristic buildings, which are known for their impressive curves and geometric shapes, with materials such as steel, concrete, and glass.

In 2016, Hadid was the first woman to win the RIBA Gold Medal, which recognizes an individual’s substantial contributions to international architecture on behalf of the British monarch.

Let’s look at some of her designs and possibly explain them to you.

Shenzhen Women & Children’s Center / MVRDV

Situated in Shenzhen’s Futian district, the design comprises a mixed-use tower featuring an array of public functions.

The adaptive reuse project repurposes the building by bringing in color, greenery, and a new layer of public spaces.

The building also features community-oriented facilities, such as a library, a children’s theater and “discovery hall,” an exhibition space, and a family service hall, while the tower houses offices and a hotel.

The entirety of the mixed-use tower is to provide facilities for the welfare of women and children.

MVRDV’s Shenzhen Women &Children Center renovation is now completed and open to the public.

Jinghe New City Culture & Art Centre

In 2022, Zaha Hadid Architects won the design competition for the arts and cultural centre to be built in the Jinghe Bay science and technology innovation district in China’s Shaanxi province.

The complex, consisting of a series of fluid volumes, planes and surfaces interconnected by courtyards and landscapes, will provide a range of both indoor and outdoor cultural spaces for the community.

According to Zaha Hadid Architects, Jinghe New City was selected as the site for the project as it is a growing a hub for the energy, materials, artificial intelligence and aerospace industries.

Jinghe New City Culture & Art Centre, which will span eight lanes of traffic on Jinghe Avenue, will form part of a masterplan for redeveloping the area.

The building will also help connect the city’s commercial and residential districts to the north with to parkland to the south.

Inside will be a multimedia library and flexible performing arts theatre, alongside multifunctional halls, studios and exhibition galleries.

BEEAH Group Sharjah, UAE

BEEAH Group’s new headquarters in Sharjah, UAE, was opened on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

BEEAH Group began its journey as a Sharjah-based public-private partnership company, primarily concerned with environmental and waste management.

Powered by its solar array and equipped with next-generation technologies for operations at LEED Platinum standards, the new headquarters was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to achieve net-zero emissions and will be the group’s management and administrative centre that sets a new benchmark for future workplaces.

With their twin-pillared strategy of sustainability and digitalisation, BEEAH Group works across six key industries that include waste management and recycling, clean energy, environmental consulting, education and green mobility.

With their new headquarters, BEEAH demonstrates how technology can scale sustainable impact and ultimately serve as a blueprint for tomorrow’s smart, sustainable cities.

The 9,000 sq. m Headquarters has sustainability at its core with a high percentage of locally procured materials.

Glass reinforced fibre panels reduce solar gain while slab and glass cooling regulate interior temperatures for optimum comfort.

The employee experience includes contactless pathways, a virtual doorman, smart meeting rooms and a companion app that automates day-to-day tasks.

The building’s smart management system automatically adjusts lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and time of day.

The rooms are also equipped for remote and hybrid work scenarios with powerful collaboration tools.

Before we continue with designs, let’s hear from ZAHA HADID herself. She says it’s all about Ideas, Innovation, technology and materials. This video was made in 2018.


Features of Contemporary Architecture

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans create a sense of unity between spaces in a structure.

They allow more natural light and give the appearance of a larger space.

Furthermore, their flexibility means that your space can transform into anything you want.

Geometric Simplicity

Contemporary architecture, including contemporary homes, often have a clean, non-fussy aesthetic.

Exterior details, molding and decorative trim tend to be sparse, but unique materials can be used.

The simplicity helps to cultivate a luxurious, tranquil atmosphere. Visual monotony can be broken with curved facades

Unconventional Materials

By its nature, contemporary architecture is inventive and unexpected. Hence, it often features unconventional building materials.

For example, it may use concrete, metal, or exposed brick in a residential or domestic space.

This minimalism can add warmth or coolness depending on how it is done and how the space is furnished.

Harmony with Nature

Large glass walls, overhanging roofs, clerestory windows, large windows and skylights all help to create a sense of harmony and unity between structures and their environment.

The light and openness also gives the impression of being more connected with nature.

Bright, Airy Interiors

Multiple openings, panoramic views, larger windows, and uncommon positioning make full use of natural light.

This is not just for lighting purposes, but also passive solar heating.

The direction of the sunset and sunrise might influence placement of solar panels and how external spaces are used for recreational purposes.

Flat Roofs

Flat, overhanging roofs are not just a visual choice, but also serve a function.

They provide shade while protecting a building from the elements.

Overhanging roofs also extend the architecture into the surrounding environment, creating a more cohesive look.

Environmental Considerations

Sustainable design architecture has become increasingly popular, and is here to stay.

It aims to use materials and processes that minimize damage to our natural environment.

For example, one may use reclaimed wood, metal or concrete.

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies And Research Centre

Let’s continue with some of Zaha’s designs. King Abdullah Petroleum Studies And Research Centre.

The architectural vision and design for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) acknowledges its technical and environmental objectives, but simultaneously endeavors to move beyond functional limitations to create a living, organic structure.

For the Research Center by Zaha Hadid Architects, the team set out to create a building tied to global energy research and the local site conditions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The center is inherently forward-looking; its architecture also looks to the future, embracing a formal language capable of continual expansions or transformation with no compromise in visual integrity.

The center emerges from the desert landscape as a cellular structure of crystalline forms, shifting and evolving in response to environmental conditions and functional requirements.

Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

Next is Heydar Aliyev Center is a 57,500 m2 (619,000 sq ft) building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by this show’s focus, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles.

The center is named after Heydar Aliyev, the first secretary of Soviet Azerbaijan from 1969 to 1982, and president of Azerbaijan Republic from October 1993 to October 2003.

The design of the Heydar Aliyev Center establishes a continuous, fluid relationship between its surrounding plaza and the building’s interior.

The plaza, as the ground surface; accessible to all as part of Baku’s urban fabric, rises to envelop an equally public interior space and define a sequence of event spaces dedicated to the collective celebration of contemporary and traditional Azeri culture.

Elaborate formations such as undulations, bifurcations, folds, and inflections modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions: welcoming, embracing, and directing visitors through different levels of the interior.

Fluidity in architecture is not new to this region.

Zaha Hadid’s intention was to relate to a historical understanding of architecture, not through the use of mimicry or a limiting adherence to the iconography of the past, but rather by developing a firmly contemporary interpretation, reflecting a more refined understanding.

On 31 March 2016, Hadid died of a heart attack at the age of 65 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis.

In her will she left 67m pounds, bequeathing various amounts to her business partner and family members. Her international design businesses, which accounted for the bulk of her wealth, were left in trust.


The architectural style of Hadid is not easily categorised, and she did not describe herself as a follower of any one style or school.

Nonetheless, before she had built a single major building, she was categorised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a major figure in architectural De-constructivism.

At the time when technology was integrating into design, Zaha accepted the use of technology but still continued to hand-draw her buildings and make models of the designs. This was because she did not want to limit herself and her designs to only to what the computer could do.

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