Based in London, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is renowned for pushing the boundaries between art and architecture. Using algorithms and digital modeling, the studio weaves mathematical fluidity with futuristic sustainability. Zaha Hadid served as the company’s head architect for 36 years before passing away in 2016, leaving longtime director Patrik Schumacher at the helm. Today, the studio comprises 450 employees with 60 ongoing projects on six continents. From airports and schools to luxury hotels and stadiums, the firm continues to breathe innovation into the built world.

1. Bee’ah Headquarters

Stage: under construction
Start and end: 2014-2020
Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Specs: 90,000 m2, 18 m high

Designed to resemble dunes, the Bee’ah Headquarters does more than just emulate its environment. Through an operable facade, prevailing winds will be leveraged for ventilation; using photovoltaic cells, renewable energy will be used to power all operations. With the building projected to achieve LEED Platinum certification and zero net energy consumption, it will be a fitting base for a company specializing in waste management.

Bee’ah Headquarters - Sheet1
Bee’ah Headquarters ©Render by MIR
Bee’ah Headquarters - Sheet2
Bee’ah Headquarters ©Render by MIR
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Bee’ah Headquarters ©Render by MIR

2. Beijing Daxing International Airport

Stage: completed
Start and end: 2014-2019
Location: Beijing, China
Specs: 700,000 m2

The Beijing Daxing International Airport is nicknamed “starfish” for its five aircraft piers radiating from a “central courtyard.” By organizing the building’s structure around this area, the airport follows Chinese principles of interconnectedness while also optimizing compactness. As a result, intra-airport traffic is minimized while the number of planes parked at terminals is maximized.

Beijing Daxing International Airport - Sheet1
Beijing Daxing International Airport ©Hufton+Crow
Beijing Daxing International Airport - Sheet2
Beijing Daxing International Airport ©Hufton+Crow
Beijing Daxing International Airport - Sheet3
Beijing Daxing International Airport ©Hufton+Crow

3. Bora Residential Tower

Stage: under construction
Start and end: 2015-2021
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Specs: 200 apartments

Situated in the seismically-active business district of Santa Fe, the Bora Residential Tower is designed to be both sturdy and versatile. At its base, the building tapers outwards to form a stabilizing canopy over several restaurants and shops. As potential buyers include students, young professionals, and families, the tower is separated into six towers with different layouts, the tallest reaching 51 storeys. Along the building’s exterior, triangular balconies are offset from one another to ensure unobstructed views and sunlight.

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Bora Residential Tower ©Visualization by LabTop
Bora Residential Tower - Sheet2
Bora Residential Tower ©Visualization by LabTop
Bora Residential Tower - Sheet3
Bora Residential Tower ©Visualization by LabTop

4. Opus Hotel

Stage: completed
Start and end: 2012-2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Specs: 84,345 m2

The Opus is the only hotel with an interior and exterior designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Standing 21 storeys high, the building resembles a mirrored-glass cube with a portion carved out from the middle. In addition to providing sweeping views from the building’s center, this void compliments the precise geometry of the surrounding structure. In terms of its interior, the hotel is accented with glass ceilings, marble floors, and curving wine-colored Zaha Hadid upholstery.

Opus Hotel - Sheet1
Opus Hotel ©Laurian Ghinitoiu
Opus Hotel - Sheet2
Opus Hotel ©Laurian Ghinitoiu
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Opus Hotel ©Laurian Ghinitoiu

5. Sberbank Technopark

Stage: design
Start and end: 2016-TBC
Location: Moscow, Russia
Specs: 262,000 m2

Featuring sleek columns, light-filled atria, pockets of plants, and cantilevered facades, the Sberbank Technopark will house Sberbank’s IT innovations in Russia’s “Silicon Valley.” On the outside, curving glass is punctuated by an arched opening reminiscent of molten metal flowing over an unseen mass. Zaha Hadid’s long-standing interest is echosed in this design’s use of distortion and abstraction.

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Sberbank Technopark ©Render by negativ
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Sberbank Technopark ©Render by negativ
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Sberbank Technopark ©Render by negativ

6. Forest Green Rovers Echo Park Stadium

Stage: under construction
Start and end: 2016-TBC
Location: Gloucestershire, England
Specs: 5000 seats

Beyond being the world’s first all-timber stadium, the Eco Park aims to be the world’s greenest stadium as well. As the home pitch of FIFA’s only all-vegan team, this seems only fitting. Current construction involves only sustainably-sourced wood and renewable energy. Once complete, the noise produced by the stadium will be mitigated by 1.8km of new hedgerows and 500 trees. 

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Forest green rovers echo park ©Render by MIR
Forest Green Rovers Echo Park Stadium - Sheet2
Forest green rovers echo park ©Render by MIR
Forest Green Rovers Echo Park Stadium - Sheet3
Forest green rovers echo park ©Render by MIR

7. Danjiang Bridge

Stage: under construction
Start and end: 2015-2024
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Specs: 92 m long, 20 m high

As part of an infrastructure revamping program in Northern Taiwan, the Danjiang Bridge will drastically cut local traffic by linking two highways on either side of the Tamsui River. The bridge is designed to leave the least visual impact while also preserving views of the sunset from popular spots along the river. Once complete, the Danjiang Bridge will be the longest single-mast bridge in the world.

Danjiang Bridge - Sheet1
Danjiang Bridge ©Render by negativ
Danjiang Bridge - Sheet2
Danjiang Bridge ©Render by negativ
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Danjiang Bridge ©Render by negativ

8. Sky Park

Stage: under construction
Start and end: 2010-2020
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Specs: 55,000 m2 

With the integration of public spaces, apartments, and workspaces, Sky Park will breathe new life into a derelict industrial area. The main goal of this project is community: by erecting four 30-storey residential buildings alongside amphitheaters and playgrounds, people will have a place to come together in work and leisure. At the heart of the park will be the historical heating plant Jurkovičová Tepláreň, as a nod to the region’s culture. 

Sky Park - Sheet1
Sky Park ©Render by Pental Investments
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Sky Park ©Render by Pental Investments

9. Lushan Primary School

Stage: design
Start and end: 2018-TBC
Location: Jiangxi Province, China
Specs: TBD

Serving 120 children from 12 nearby villages, the Lushan Primary School will comprise barrel-vaulted classrooms, dormitories, and utility buildings best-oriented to receive natural light. Dramatic roof overhangs will be adorned with triangular ceramic tiles, paying homage to the region’s history of high-quality ceramic production. Located in a remote location surrounded by mountains and rivers, the school will be built with local techniques and materials to reduce excess transportation.

Lushan Primary School - Sheet1
Lushan Primary School ©Render by VA
Lushan Primary School - Sheet2
Lushan Primary School ©Render by VA

10. One Thousand Museum

Stage: completed
Start and end: 2012-2020
Location: Miami, USA
Specs: 216 m high

Overlooking the famous Museum Park, One Thousand Museum is one of the few towers designed by Zaha Hadid. From its base to its crown, a series of weaving lines form a robust exoskeleton. This frame paired with 1000 pieces of lightweight, glass-fiber concrete reinforces the structure to withstand Miami winds, allowing the interior floor plates to be nearly column-free. With this extra space, oversized terraces were designed to extend living spaces into the tropical air beyond.

One Thousand Museum - Sheet1
One Thousand Museum ©Render courtesy of ZHA
One Thousand Museum - Sheet2
One Thousand Museum ©Render courtesy of ZHA
One Thousand Museum - Sheet3
One Thousand Museum ©Render courtesy of ZHA

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Faith Ruetas
Author

Faith Ruetas is a 19 year-old student currently hovering along the borders of diverse disciplines. From English Literature to Computer Science and Philosophy to Architecture, she hopes that this next period of academic exploration will bear some niche, invigorating career into which she can throw herself.

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