Hadid, Zaha


Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad,
Iraq in 1950. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut and architecture at the Architecture Association in London. She graduated in 1977 and was awarded the Diploma Prize by architect Rem Koolhaas.

Her work ranges from designing interiors and furniture to buildings for various functions.
Her design style is uncompromisingly modern and fluid, with multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry.
Hadid’s work was awarded wide recognition in 1983, with a winning entry for The Peak Club, Hong Kong, which was followed by first place awards for competitors in Kufurstendamm, Berlin (1986); for an Art and Media Centre in Dusseldorf (1989); and for the Cardiff Bay Opera House in 1994.

Hadid’s first built project, The Fire Station at Weil-am-Rhein (1991-93) on the German-Swiss border was a formal success but not a functional one. The fire service moved out and the building was converted into a chair museum.

She designed a tram station and car park in Strasburg, France (2201) and the Bergisel ski jump in Innsbruck, Austria (2202), which has become a reference point in the landscape.

The first large scale structure is the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hadid says it should be imagined as “a kit of parts”; the galleries are housed in horizontal oblong tubes floating above ground level. “It’s about promenading, being able to pause, to look out, look above, look sideways.” Her impressionistic new space was realised. The New York Times described it as “the most important new building in America since the Cold War.”

She remains active in the academic field; she held the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, the Sullivan Chair at the University of Chicago School of Architecture, guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and at the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York. She was the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University, Connecticut. In addition, she was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture, and is Professor at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Zaha Hadid is the first woman chosen to become the Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, 2004.