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Does Zaha Hadid Fit in a Medieval English University Town?

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Starchitect Zaha Hadid is known for the swoops, the curves, and the futuristic, oft otherworldly, aesthetic she brings to design. It's not quite the look one would expect to see at the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and yet, construction begins Jan. 30 on the sinuous, stainless-steel-and-glass composition she designed for the University of Oxford's Middle East Centre. Seen from the outside, her design is reflective, amorphous, and vaguely tubular, unsurprising from the architect who once asked: "There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?" The inside features a new library and archive, with serpentine staircases, curving communal tables, and teardrop-shaped skylights. It's 100 percent Hadid, dropped right in the thick of a college that harkens back to the Middle Ages. More renderings, below.

Hadid's space-age-style work is so revered, knock-offs of her 'bulbous blobs' are cropping up in China, and Glamour crowned the architect one of the magazine's Women of the Year.

· Zaha Hadid's Oxford College Project to Start on Site [Dezeen]
· All Zaha Hadid coverage [Curbed National]