Zaha Hadid’s Civic Center Is the First Architectural Project to Win "Design of the Year"

We've long been impressed by the architectural works of Zaha Hadid. Their swooping, curved lines and unconventional shapes have always stood out and made even the most ordinary parking garage look incredible. So, it's no surprise that Hadid was recently awarded the 2014 Design of the Year from London's Design Museum, specifically for the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. The project is not only the first architectural design to win this prestigious honor, but Hadid is also the first woman to receive the prize.

The Design of the Year Award is in its seventh year and annually recognizes the most innovative and interesting designs from 70 nominated entries in architecture, design, fashion, furniture, graphics, product, and transport. After an expert panel selects the finalists within each category, seven shortlisted designs are considered for the big prize. The jury praised the Heydar Aliyev Center for its “intoxicatingly beautiful design” and as the “clear vision of a singular genius.”

The civic building houses a museum, auditorium, and exhibition space in the country's capital. It's a departure from the rigid lines of Soviet architecture and is meant to symbolize a step towards a more optimistic and modern future for Azerbaijan. The stunning fluid, white shell flows continuously throughout the structure and connects the building's interior and exterior with the surrounding environment.

Zaha Hadid website and Designs of the Year on Design Museum website
via [Inhabitat]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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