LAST YEAR saw the untimely death of the talented designer Zaha Hadid. She taught us that buildings can be exciting innovative spaces to be in - and brought a special drama to everything she designed. Zaha Hadid once said: 'I don't make nice little buildings' and talked about “resisting rectangular design”. Her convoluted fantasy buildings were never boring and she created one of the world’s most original hotels. The fantasy of Silken Puerta América in Madrid, Spain with its curving rooms and fluid spaces challenged all we our expectations about the humble hotel room. Her rooms were monochrome in inky black or dazzling white with walls and furnishings created as one single moulded unit. We also like the gold sports car-like curves of the House Bar at private members club Home House in London, which makes cocktails seem like even more fun.
Even though Dame Hadid has gone her designs live on with two more hotels set to open in 2017. So we’ll still have future Hadid to enjoy. The first is ME Dubai, UAE, due to open early next year where an amazing lobby will showcase her style with a glazed roof dripping with glass spheres, and strong swooping metallic curves. In Cotai, Maucau the City of Dreams Hotel Tower will house a luxury 40-floor hotel, with a souring 'super lounge' embodying her vision on a grand scale with glass pyramids jutting from the roof. And a mesh of curved wall.
Then of course there are the projects that we are not sure now wil lever be completed. In Egypt Hadid created a futuristic concept for a Cairo hotel and office development that was to be ripples of concrete and in Turks and Caicos she conceived an idea for a hotel and marina that looked like a flying saucer hovering over water. Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster were also selected as a joint team to design high-rise hotels in China for Jumeirah Group. Whether the three new resorts proposed in Nanjing, Wuhan and Haikou will rise above the concept stage remains to be seen.
Whatever happens Zaha Hadid was one of those designers that took us out of the everyday and into another world –and isn’t that what travel is all about.