Pioneering architect Zaha Hadid, who died suddenly in March at age 64, is celebrated for her radical, futuristic and ambitious structures. Her museums, office towers, concert halls and residences are among the most influential and recognisable contemporary structures; dotted around the world, they are massive and (one hopes) lasting tributes to her singular vision. But she also made equally daring yet functional pieces on a smaller scale. Jewellery, lighting, and of course, incredibly inventive limited-edition furniture that in their translation of her architectural ideas, are like small-scale Hadid structures for the home. They are now tangible pieces of her legacy.
ARCHITECT ZAHA HADID IN HER LONDON OFFICE, CIRCA 1985. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER PILLITZ/GETTY IMAGES.
Some memorable examples: an undulating sofa covered in crimson pony skin; stools and tables in clear Plexiglas that looks liquid; and an angular lounge chair with a shimmering green-lacquer finish. The latter is the Gyre lounge (below, and currently on view in Sotheby's Designer Showhouse) from Hadid’s 2006 Seamless series, her first-ever furniture collection. Seamless, she explained at the time, “invites us to totally reinvent space,” and the pieces presented “a direct evolution of our architectural language: soft meets sharp, combining repetition and variation."
ZAHA HADID'S GYRE LOUNGE CHAIR FROM THE SEAMLESS SERIES. ESTIMATE $30,000–50,000. TO BE OFFERED IN AT HOME: SOTHEBY'S DESIGNER SHOWHOUSE AND AUCTION ON 17 APRIL IN NEW YORK.
“Seamless” is a particularly apt description of everything she designed, whether an Olympic-scaled swimming facility or an intimate piece of jewellery. In Hadid’s work, opposing elements and multiple perspectives came together smoothly into a unified whole that transcends time.
Banner Image: A detail of the Zaha Hadid Gyre lounge chair from the Seamless series. Courtesy Alan Barry Photography.