arts & culture & design

Design | Architecture: Dame Zaha Hadid — Her Most Iconic Buildings & Designs that May Never be Realised


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Design | Architecture: Dame Zaha Hadid — Her Most Iconic Buildings & Designs that May Never be Realised

ZAHA HADID 1950-2016 / Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

Dame Zaha Hadid passed unexpectedly last week, on March 31, 2016 in Miami, Florida, following a sudden heart attack as she was in the hospital receiving treatment for bronchitis.

The Iraqi-born British architect was one of the most renowned architects of modern time. Born in Baghdad in 1950, Hadid studied Mathematics in Beirut, then moved to London to attend the Architectural Association School between 1972 and 1977. After receiving her Diploma, Hadid became a partner with her former professors at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture.

Zaha Hadid liberated architectural geometry with the creation of highly expressive, sweeping fluid forms of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry that evoke the chaos and flux of modern life. A pioneer of parametricism, and an icon of neo-futurism.


“But according to friends, it was the Gold Medal that she wanted above all and which she won last year, because it put her on an equal footing with architecture’s greats – Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Alvar Aalto – which is exactly where she belonged.”Amanda Baillieu


In 1980, Hadid established her own practice, Zaha Hadid Architects, in London. The firm employs more than 400 architects today. In addition to her architectural projects, the architect taught at the Architectural Association, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Illinois and many other world-class institutions. She was most currently a professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.


“I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about a very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.” —Zaha Hadid

Other Pritzker-winning architects include Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Shigeru Ban and Renzo Piano.

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