Zaha Hadid : A Visionary, Out of The Box Architect

Portrait by Dmitry Ternovoy

Dame Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq to an upper class, influential family on October 31, 1950. Her father was from Mosul, who was an Industrialist and co-founded the left-liberal group called al-Ahali in 1932. He was also the co-founder of the National Democratic Party in Iraq and served as the finance minister. Her mother was an artist from Mosul and her brother was a writer, accountant and an expert on Arab Affairs.

Zaha Hadid attended boarding schools in England and Switzerland in 1960’s and furthered her education in mathematics at the American University of Beirut. She moved to London in 1972 to study architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. There she was known to her professors as someone who was not interested in little details but how things looked on the broader picture.

At the end of her graduation she went on to work with her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Zaha Hadid started her own firm, Zaha Hadid Architects after she became a UK citizen in 1980 in London.

She was a well known lecturer in a few Architectural schools and universities in the United States and Europe, to name a few, Cambridge University, University of Chicago, Harvard School of Design and Hochschule fur bildende Kunste in Hamburg.

She earned her title Dame Zaha Hadid in 2012 by Queen Elizabeth II for her services in architecture.

She was also the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award called the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Her Work

Her designs look like they are almost impossible to build, interesting geometric, asymmetric and curved lines mixed together as if they are bursting out of the ground, all her works exudes a powerful energy of movement and momentum, there is a fluidity and softness visually like fabric but are solid buildings. Her beautiful buildings are a combination or art, architecture and precision engineering.

Some of her Work

All pictures are from wikipedia and Zaha Hadid's web page, the names of photographers can be found on the links below.

For more about Dame Zaha Hadid

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