THE VISION OF A WOMAN -REMODELING THE WORLD
The sudden passing of Dame Zaha Hadid in 2016 filled our spirits with sorrow. The “queen of curve” and the world’s only female architect has left a huge void within the world of architecture. Always questioning, breaking boundaries and designing innovative and revolutionary buildings her work will stand as a testament to her ingenuity.
Born in Bagdad in the 1950’s Zaha was lucky enough to grow up in a well-educated Islamic family oriented toward Western multiculturalism. Her father was a successful industrialist and head of the progressive ‘National Democratic Party’ in Iraq it was during her father’s political activities that Zaha discovered her passion for architecture. Whilst visiting the Sumer region of southern Iraq she was awed by the beautiful landscape of one of the world’s oldest civilizations and has attempted to recreate this beauty when designing her buildings ever since.
Her architectural journey began in 1972 when she moved to London to study at the acclaimed Architectural Association, by 1979 she had established her own business, ZHA Zara Hadid Architects and opened an office in London, which today's employs over 400 people. At first her innovative ideas were more in demand than her actual designs, she also spent a lot of time teaching for the Architectural Association.
Her meteoric rise to the top and to be welcomed within the architectural fraternity was not an easy path not simply because she was a woman but also because of her ethnicity, as an Iraqi woman Zaha was often quoted as feeling like an outsider, as a woman within the male-dominated world Zaha fought spectacularly to gain recognition. She was vilified for her dress sense, her coldness and was often labelled as a ‘diva’.
In one of her interviews Zaha was quoted as saying “Architecture is particularly difficult for women; there's no reason for it to be. I don't want to blame men or society, but I think because for a long time, the clients were men and the building industry is all male. So for a woman to go out alone into architecture it’s still very, very hard. It's still a man's world” but she didn’t let this stop her.
In 2004 she became the first women to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is known throughout the world of architecture as the highest honour achievable and in 2010 and 2011 she won the UK’s most prestigious award the RIBA Stirling Prize.
Zaha’s buildings have been commissioned around the world however her biggest regret was not having a presence in London. Her efforts have resulted in more than nine hundred and fifty projects in forty-four countries across fifty-five nations with many more left on the drawing board following her sad and sudden departure.
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space ... On the one hand it's about shelter, but I think it should always excite you, calm you and make you think... This is the beauty of architecture”
Here we present a selection, just to name a few of her iconic projects:
Opus Hotel & Serviced Apartments Interiors - Dubai UAE
A single cube with a free form void at the middle of the building, an architectural wonder made with the most impressive engineering. Combined with residences and a design ME hotel Melia Hotels International.
The Wangjing Soho - Beijing China
The beauty and the fluidity of the towers design wrapped up in white aluminium changes when viewed from different angles and allow natural daylight into each building from all directions.
Capital Hill Residence - Moscow Russia
A villa with fluid geometries, one merging from the hillside, another floating above the ground, with angled rounded shapes for all the details, and creating dynamic views overlooking the forest.
Zaragoza Bridge Pavillion – Zaragoza Expo2008 -Zaragoza Spain
A dynamic and flowy design with diamond shaped sections, and organized around four main elements where each element corresponds to a specific exhibition space.
The world of architecture lost a grand Dame with a true intrepid vision. Her strong inspiration for Architecture and dedication will keep on inspiring us forever and today thanks thanks to those within ZHA Zara Hadid Architects Dame Zara Hadid legacy continues as too does her ethos for inspirational and ground breaking design become a realizations around the world.