Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center
wins Design of the Year 2014

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News: architect Zaha Hadid's undulating Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku has been named Design of the Year by London's Design Museum this evening.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Iwan Baan, as main image

Zaha Hadid has become the first woman to receive the Design Museum's annual award in its seven-year history, announced during a ceremony at St Martins Lane Hotel in London.

The cultural centre, which rises from the landscape in the Azerbaijani capital, is also the first architecture project to be lauded.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Hufton + Crow

"We're absolutely delighted to receive the Design of the Year Award," said Hadid. "The surface of the Heydar Aliyev Center's external plaza rises and folds to define 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," she added.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Hufton + Crow

The building was designed to host exhibitions, concerts and other cultural activities beneath the folds of glass-fibre-reinforced concrete panels.

"It's beautiful, it's inspiring, it's the clear vision of a singular genius and we thought it was a remarkable piece of work," said writer, broadcaster and jury chair Ekow Eshun.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Hufton + Crow

Speaking to Dezeen last week, Hadid said that she felt the centre was the most important of her recent projects – along with her Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics.

The design saw off competition from other category winners including a keyboard with squishy keys, a family of chairs by Konstantin Grcic and Prada's Spring Summer 2014 fashion collection.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Hufton + Crow

A shortlist of 70 projects were nominated in categories of architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport. All shortlisted projects are on show at the Design Museum until 25 August.

Last year the award went to the design for the UK Government website, a project headed by designer Ben Terrett.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid
Photograph by Hufton + Crow

Dezeen is media partner for Designs of the Year 2014, which also included a Social Vote decided by the public – who picked Dave Hakkens' Phoneblocks modular mobile phone concept as their favourite. See more Designs of the Year 2014 projects »

  • Coco

    Slightly controversial as Zaha owns the building for the London Design Museum, hence ensuring they remain feasible.

  • mik

    Looks like a hat!