Google Honoured Architect Dame Zaha Hadid With a Doodle

We are moderately obsessed with the Google Doodle, as it seems to be the internet’s best ever way to honour the work of worthy people in a subtle yet totally universal style.

For those who don’t know, the Doodle is the drawing that replaces the Google logo on the search engine’s main page – usually to mark special occasions – meaning anyone who googles something will see it. So everyone on the internet, basically.

In the past few months they’ve honoured Muslim heroes like Abdul Sattar Edhi, who founded the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network, and fencer Halet Çambel, the first Muslim woman to ever compete in an Olympic games.


The exterior of the London Aquatics Centre. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, the Doodle immortalised the late British architect Dame Zaha Hadid, to mark the date (May 31, 2004) that Hadid became the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. Hadid, who died of a heart attack last year at the age of 65, was the creative force behind some of the most iconic buildings in the world. In 2012, Hadid was made a Dame by the Queen for services to architecture, a title to accompany her mountain of architectural awards.

We Brits probably know her best for the London Aquatics Centre or Glasgow’s Riverside Museum. The former, which hosted pool-based events at the 2012 Olympics, resembles a sort of shimmering skateboard ramp; while the latter looks like a 3-D version of a heart rate monitor just after the patient’s been hit with the defibrillator.


The Riverside Museum in Glasgow. Credit: Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr.

Staunchly proud of her innovative work, and ready and willing to counter critiques of it, we’re unsure what Hadid would’ve made of those last two descriptions.  Whatever the case, Hadid’s work will always be viewed as some of the most progressive architecture of the past century; her outright allergy to right-angles ensuring she is forever synonymous with curves.


The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan was inspired by Islamic calligraphy. Credit: wilth via Flickr.

In her Google Doodle, Hadid is positioned in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center, a building she designed in Baku, Azerbaijan. The complex is inspired by Islamic calligraphy, a fact made obvious when you consider its flowing silhouette.  The Heydar Aliyev Center, like all of Hadid’s work, shows how an Iraqi-born, British Muslim came to literally shape some of the world’s most famous skylines.

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