Zaha Hadid: A complete list of unbuilt designs

unbuilt designs Zaha Hadid

The tragic loss of Zaha Hadid last year left the architecture world suddenly bereft of her inspiring talent. As many obituaries and remembrances since have noted, perhaps one of the biggest tragedies is that Hadid, who passed away at the top of her profession at the age of 65, had years of creating new buildings in front of her. But that doesn’t mean we’ll never see a new Hadid design take shape.

The architects at her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, played key roles creating many of her masterpieces, as well as scores of forthcoming projects across the globe. After consulting with Zaha Hadid Architects, we’ve put together this list of the firm’s outstanding and unrealized projects and proposals designed when Dame Hadid was still leading the firm, which now sit in various stages of development, planning, or in some cases, stasis, with proposed completion dates where appropriate (we haven't found images for the TSG Beirut Project or a proposed second phase of the Nuremberg Messe, and left out earlier work not on their list, such as the famous Peak Leisure Club).

Spanning more than a decade of ideas, these renderings and videos showcase many of the themes and ideas that have made (and will continue to make) Hadid such an inspirational figure.

King Abdullah Metro

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 2018)

Set to be a key part of the city’s transportation network and a multimodal hub and exchange point for Line 1 of the Riyadh Metro, this station conceals commercial space underneath a bulbous exterior lined with fine latticework.


Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre (Nanjing, China: 2017)

Consisting of a pair of towers and a five-story conference and performance center, this mixed-use development for the eastern city of Nanjing offers a streamlined design riffing on Hadid's focus on futuristic tower facades.

Melco Macau from Zaha Hadid Architects on Vimeo.


Morpheus Hotel City of Dreams Hotel & Resort (Macau, China: 2017)

This 780-guest, 40-story hotel and gaming center, a centerpiece of Melco Crown Entertainment’s flagship resort property, will feature a casino, sky pool, restaurants and sky villas beneath its rippling facade and exposed exoskeleton.

Esfera City Center (Monterrey, Mexico: 2018)

Hadid does Habitat with this sprawling Mexican apartment complex, a curved, nine-story stack of nearly 1,000 apartments surrounding a massive park, her first project in Mexico. Initially meant to be a series of tall towers, Hadid instead proposed a snaking, horizontal site plan, to improve orientation within the site inside the Huajuco Canyon.

1000 Museum

One Thousand Museum Residential Tower (Miami, USA: 2018)

Hadid’s first condo project in the Western Hemisphere to break ground, this 62-story sculptural tower will sit opposite Museum Park and offer a view of Biscayne Bay. Still slated for a 2018 opening, the project has been featured in a PBS documentary, which focuses on its cutting-edge exoskeleton, composed of lightweight panels of concrete and glass fiber that are assembled in Dubai.

Beijing New Airport

Beijing New Airport Terminal Building (Beijing, China: 2019)

Set to be the world’s largest airport terminal upon completion—twice the size of Heathrow’s Terminal 5—this 7.5 million square foot space was designed to handle roughly 125,000 passengers a day. Meant to be largely column free, the facility is built around a hub-and-spoke model. Pray this isn’t where you make a connecting flight.


One-North Masterplan (Singapore: 2021)

This masterplan for a large neighborhood in Singapore, in various stages of completion, comes closest to recalling the avant-garde sketches from early in Hadid’s career, which gained her the attention of architect’s worldwide. Set to be a 500-acre tech center, the project is well into its 20-year development cycle.

City Life

Generali Tower (Milan, Italy: 2018)

This curved tower, literally described as Lo Storto, or "The Twisted One," is part of a massive, in-the-works redevelopment of the historic Fiera Milano neighborhood being overseen by the Generali Group. The 44-story tower will anchor what will be the largest urban shopping center in Italy.

Eleftheria Square

Eleftheria Square (Nicosia, Cyprus: 2018)

This large-scale urban planning effort would see this city’s historic, Venetian square fuse with Hadid’s curves and futuristic aesthetic. The controversial plan, which has taken far longer and cost far more than initially expected, is still marching forward, and news reports from last fall predict it will be complete sometime later this year.


Jesolo Magica (Jesolo, Italy: TBD)

This proposed retail center for the Italian seaside, which boasts a fluid, plant-like form, was initially designed in 2010. Construction work has yet to begin.

Napoli High Speed Train

Continued Napoli-Afragola High Speed Train Station (Naples, Italy: TBD)

This massive redesign of a Naples rail station, initially proposed in 2003, has been delayed numerous times, and may not see the light of day, despite the RFI (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana) announcing plans to resume work in 2014.

Leeza SOHO (Beijing, China: 2018)

This under construction 46-storey cylindrical tower is seemingly cleft in two by an immensely tall atrium that runs through the middle of the structure. The two twisting towers sit atop a transit station that's also under construction.

Capital Hill Residence

Capital Hill Residence (Moscow, Russia: TBD)

A private home near the outskirts of Moscow that resembles the prow of a spaceship, this project was started a decade ago, but remains listed as unfinished by ZHA.

Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre de Rabat (Rabat, Morocco:TBD)

The curvaceous exterior of this yet-to-be-built 1,800-seat theater references the flow of the nearby Bou Regreg River. It’s part of a larger cultural district development that, while still in the news, has stalled since being proposed in 2010.

Opus Tower

Opus Tower (Dubai, UAE: TBD)

One of Hadid’s more abstract takes on a tower, with a large, irregular-shaped void in the middle, has been delayed for years, but recent updates show the project is under construction and well on its way (despite no official opening date). This abstract hotel and apartment complex will be the first Hadid design in Dubai.


Changsha Meishihu International Cultural Centre (Changsha, China: TBD)

This sinuous, 1,800-seat performance venue for the capital of the Hunan province hasn’t moved much past the design and proposal stage since being unveiled in 2013.

zaha hadid bridge

Danjiang Bridge (Taipei, Taiwan: TBD)

Hadid’s design won an international competition last August to design a crossing of the Tamsui River. If finished, it’ll be the world’s longest asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge.


Zorrozaurre Masterplan (Bilbao, Spain: TBD)

Proposed more than a dozen years ago, this unrealized redevelopment plan sought to revitalize an underutilized  peninsula on the Nervión river in Bilbao’s port area.

Katral Pendik

Kartal Pendik Masterplan (Istanbul, Turkey: TBD)

This award-winning redevelopment scheme, yet to be acted upon, sought to turn an old industrial center into reactivated, thriving neighborhood.

BBK Bank Headquarters

BBK Bank Headquarters (Bilbao, Spain: TBD)

Listed as under construction, this proposed bank building in Bilbao would overlook the central district of the city and the Guggenheim Museum.

Central Bank

Central Bank of Iraq and the National Parliament of Iraq (Baghdad, Iraq: TBD)

One of two Hadid designs for her native country that have yet to be realized due to the nation’s political instability (the original bank building was damaged in a suicide attack). The proposed design, which would rise like a podium over the Tigris River, was drawn up back in 2011. The Parliament project, reportedly a $1 billion undertaking set to be built on a 50-hectare site at the disused Al Muthana airport in Baghdad, has been shrouded in secrecy after Assemblage, which won an initial contest to design the building, was dismissed from the project.

Al Wakrah

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022 (Al Wakrah, Qatar: 2018)

Hadid’s fluid design for a showcase for the upcoming World Cup has been a lightning rod for controversy, both for its shape and the labor practices involved in its construction.

Grace on Coronation

Grace on Coronation (Brisbane, Australia: TBD)

Hadid’s proposed riverfront residential development, consisting of three beveled towers, is still in the planning stages.

Sleuk Rith

Sleuk Rith Institute (Phnom Penh, Cambodia: TBD)

This $40 million memorial, reflection, and study center for the Cambodian genocide will still proceed as planned, according to recent Cambodian media reports. The design’s five interwoven wooden towers takes cues from nearby Angkorian architecture.

Culenova Center

Culenova City Centre (Bratislava, Slovakia: TBD)

This unrealized mixed-use development for the Slovakian capital would have featured a series of elliptical towers.

Collins Park Place

Collins Park Place (Miami, USA: TBD)

One of the intriguing outliers of the Hadid portfolio, this stalled, and likely finished, plan for a ribboned concrete parking garage generated push back from city officials, who rejected the project and claimed they couldn’t deal with rising costs.

Bee'Ah Headquarters

Bee’ah Headquarters (Sharjah, UAE: 2018)

Hadid’s design for a modern headquarters for a Emirati waste management company melts into the landscape, resembling a series of sand dunes set against the horizon. Construction recently commenced, and the building, which will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, is set to open late next year.

casa atlantica

Casa Atlantica (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: TBD)

Hadid’s generous use of curves seems like a perfect fit for this posh residential project, set to rise in the Copacabana neighborhood. The 30 apartments set behind the spine-like facade will supposedly have access to a spa, cinema, and rooftop pool, and receive 6-star hotel service.

Mariner's Cove

Mariner’s Cove (Brisbane, Australia TBD)

Submitted last summer for approval, this pair of towers overlooking Australia’s Gold Coast iterate on a common form from the Hadid body of work; sleek, tapered towers wrapped in curved edges. Last fall, the developers dropped their plans to build, preferring to wait until a local masterplan was completed.

Chartres Expo Center

Chartres Expo (Chartres, France: TBD)

This star-shaped exposition center on the outskirts of Chartres was abandoned last year due to budgetary reasons.


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