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Zaha Hadid: Still Achieving Greatness. Inside the London Science Museum

Even after her passing earlier this year, Zaha Hadid still manages to inspire via her eponymous studio, Zaha Hadid Architects.

  • Photo: Luke Hayes

  • Photo: Luke Hayes

  • Photo: Nick Guttridge

  • Photos: Nick Guttridge

  • Photos: Nick Guttridge


December 13th, 2016



In March this year, the architecture and design world was rocked by the news that legendary (and controversial) architect Zaha Hadid tragically passed away at the age of 66. But being the tremendously influential powerhouse that she was, her passing hasn’t stopped the continuation of her philosophy and approach to designing greatly unique monoliths of modern architecture.

Designed by her eponymous studio, Zaha Hadid Architects, the mathematics gallery (the Winton Gallery) inside the London Science Museum is the new home to over 100 pieces from the institution’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections.

The space has been designed with typical Hadid fire to be a physical manifestation of the importance of mathematics in so much as it is so intertwined with our lives.

Featuring an explosive violet structure, the form is a reference to the aviation industry, in particular the Handley Page aircraft, which itself is a design driven by equations of airflow used in the aviation industry. This nod to aeronautics is a perfect metaphor for the design of the space, where the practice of mathematics in aviation has not only solved problems throughout history, but also pushed our society forward.

Mathematics – and geometry in particular – have always been Hadid’s jam, and the Winton Gallery is certainly no exception. And true to fine form, Hadid is quite playful and even somewhat flippant with her use of geometry here, creating a curved linear architectural system representative of the air that would have flowed around the historic HP aircraft in flight. This attitude manifests itself everywhere, from the positioning of the showcases and benches to the three-dimensional curved surfaces of the central pod structure.

Each piece within the gallery has an important story to tell and the design is a true reflection of that significance. But words are cheap, right? Luckily the ZHA team thought so too, so they created a film to help capture these stories, and introduce the wide range of people who made, used or were impacted by each mathematical device or idea. Which in itself, is an amazing example of documenting and creating axillary content for our architecture and design efforts. But that’s another story. Watch it here!

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