I was in shock last night when my Facebook page was suddenly flooded with news of Zaha Hadid who passed away yesterday on the last day of March 2016. She died of heart attack at the age of 65. Zaha Hadid is a name everyone in architecture field recognizes. She played a very huge role in shaping what contemporary architecture is today from her many prominent design works across the world. She was also regarded as being the most famous architect of our generation.
If you didn’t know anything about her, here below is some brief background of this talented woman. Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect born on 31st October 1950. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and she became a partner in 1977. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the Architectural Association, an architecture school which is one of the best in the world.
She became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), the highest architectural prize presented for an individual annually. She also received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, another prestigious award in architecture field. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services in architecture and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal. In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.
Her contribution in architecture spanned almost four decades with countless of her completed projects across the world. She was famously known for producing curvy and fluid forms in her designs. Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by curving forms with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. When you saw a building that was designed by her, you can instantly recognize it.
I do find some of her projects particularly interesting eventhough I’m not that fond of her works at times too. However, it is no doubt that she successfully created some of the most iconic architectural masterpieces of our generation. Here below are some of her prominent works in the past:
IBA Housing, Germany (1993) – Zaha Hadid’s first realised project.
Vitra Fire Station, Germany (1994).
Bergisel Ski Jump, Austria (2002).
BMW Central Building, Germany (2005).
Bridge Pavilion, Spain (2008).
Guangzhou Opera House, China (2010).
London Aquatics Centre, United Kingdom (2011) – Venue for aquatic events for London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The building is modified after the games. (two images showing before and after above)
Riverside Museum, Scotland (2011).
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Azerbaijan (2012).
Innovation Tower, Hong Kong (2013).
Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park, South Korea (2014).
Wangjing SOHO, China (2014).
She truly had crafted some of the most beautiful and groundbreaking designs in the world. From small humble structures to impressive magnificent landmarks, her contribution and dedication in architecture was priceless. She truly was one of the greatest architects of our generation who had inspired and influenced a lot of us. A wonderful architect, an inspiring legend. Rest in Peace, Zaha Hadid. We have lost a giant in architectural world.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)