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Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

United Kingdom Architecture News - Oct 31, 2017 - 17:14   16445 views

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

Today is Zaha Hadid's 67th birthday! If she lived, Dame Zaha Hadid would be 67 years old today. A big and modern face of contemporary architecture and the world-renowned female architect Zaha Hadid has left a big story and legacy behind her, and Hadid's architecture legacy still continue to evolve in different geographies, just like as her strong personality and incisive thoughts.

The British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid died suddenly from a heart attack on March 31, 2016 while being treated in a hospital in Miami. Regarded as the greatest female architect in the world, nobody believed Zaha's sudden death, or did not want to believe it. 

Zaha Hadid was born Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London. In 1979, she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology, which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

Zaha Hadid Architects' London Aquatics Centre celebrated over 2.5 million visitors since opening to the public in 2014. Image © Hufton + Crow 

"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," had said Zaha Hadid, in one of her unforgettable statements. 

Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993), subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. 

Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku completed in 2013. Image © Iwan Baan 

"Women are always told, 'You're not going to make it, its too difficult, you can't do that, don't enter this competition, you'll never win it,' - they need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on," Hadid had added in one of her unforgettable statements. 

In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation. 

The Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

Jockey Club Innovation Tower, at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Image © Doublespace 

"I will never give myself the luxury of thinking, 'I've made it," Hadid had highlighted regarding her thoughts for luxury and fashion. 

"As a woman, I'm expected to want everything to be nice and to be nice myself. A very English thing. I don't design nice buildings - I don't like them. I like architecture to have some raw, vital, earthy quality."

"Society has not been set up in a way that allows women to go back to work after taking time off. Many women now have to work as well as do everything at home and no one can do everything. Society needs to find a way of relieving women."

Zaha Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.

Zaha Hadid was recently awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. Sir Peter Cook wrote a sincere citation for the acclaimed architect by stating that "in our current culture of ticking every box, surely Zaha Hadid succeeds, since (to quote the Royal Gold Medal criteria) she is someone "who has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of architecture…. for a substantial body of work rather than for work which is currently fashionable.”  Indeed her work, though full of form, style and unstoppable mannerism, possesses a quality that some of us might refer to as an impeccable ‘eye’: which we would claim is a fundamental in the consideration of special architecture and is rarely satisfied by mere 'fashion."

Zaha Hadid was one of World Architecture Community's first Members (since 2007) and Prof. Dr. Suha Ozkan, Hon F AIA, Founder and President of World Architecture Community, wrote a very sincere and touching article for the late Zaha Hadid, following her passing away. 

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid! 

Zaha Hadid image © Steve Double