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Zaha Hadid wins Design of the Year award 2014 for Azerbaijan's Heydar Aliyev Centre

by Katie Buckley | 01 Jul 2014

The Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, has been crowned Design of the Year 2014 by London’s Design Museum, making architect Zaha Hadid the first woman ever to win the prestigious award.

The 57,519sq m (188,710sq ft) centre is based in the heart of Baku and was designed to become Azerbaijan's primary building for cultural programmes. The centre operates its own museum and acts as a hub, hosting exhibitions, events, symposiums and so on. The museum itself covers three floors and has fully interactive displays and unique exhibits.

Having opened in November 2013, the building has been hailed as a distinct step away from Soviet modernist architecture. Although there was some controversy over the building being dedicated to Heydar Aliyev, a former President of of Azerbaijan and a KGB boss accused of human rights abuse, it appears that Hadid has still created an intoxicatingly beautiful structure, firmly for use within the public realm.

Hadid, speaking to the Architects’ Journal, said the undulating white exterior was able to cover a “sequence of public event spaces within; welcoming, embracing and directing visitors throughout the building. It’s an architectural landscape where concepts of seamless spatial flow are made real – creating a whole new kind of civic space for the city.”

Kim Colin, one of the judging panel for the Design of Year award, commented: “This architecture should make us talk for years to come.”

The Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, has been crowned Design of the Year 2014 by London’s Design Museum, making architect Zaha Hadid the first woman ever to win the prestigious award. The 57,519sq m (188,710sq ft) centre is based in the heart of Baku and was designed to become Azerbaijan's primary building for cultural programmes. The centre operates its own museum and acts as a hub, hosting exhibitions, events,
HAM,ARC,DES,CLD
Smooth and sleek: Hadid's intoxicating Heydar Aliyev Centre / Iwan Baan
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