Zaha Hadid - 'The Queen of the Curve'
I have long been a fan of Zaha Hadid and was saddened by her untimely death earlier this year. Her eye catching, thought provoking futuristic designs inspired many debates. The latest project completed in the UK since her death is a new permanent mathematics gallery at the Science Museum in London. It's the first permanent public exhibition space designed by the architect. Mathematics also defined the design of the gallery. Zaha Hadid Architects took inspiration from the historic 1929 Handley Page aircraft—which is at the centre of the gallery and incorporated airflow equations used in aviation into the aerodynamically-influenced structure.
Zaha Hadid was born on the 31st October 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. Her father, Muhammad al-Hajj Husayn Hadid, was a wealthy industrialist from Mosul, Iraq. He He co-founded the left-liberal al-Ahali group in Iraq in 1932, which was a significant political organisation in the 1930s and 1940s. He was also the co-founder of the National Democratic Party. Her mother, Wajiha al-Sabunji, was an artist from Mosul.
Zaha studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture and established her own London based Architecture practice in 1980. She also taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Architectural Association, the Yale School of Architecture and the University of Applied Arts Vienna among others.
Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, she won the Stirling Prize two years running in 2010 & 2011 and the RIBA Award in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Dubbed 'Queen of the Curve', Hadid is considered to be the world's top female architect although her reputation is not without criticism. Alison Lee Palmer considers Hadid to be a leader of deconstructionism in Architecture saying that "Almost all of Hadid's buildings appear to melt, bend and curve into a new architectural language that defies description."
Others described her architectural language "famously extravagant" Rowan Moore said that Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Centre as "not so different from the colossal cultural palaces long beloved of Soviet and similar regimes". Architect Sean Griffiths characterised Hadid's work as "an empty vessel that sucks in whatever ideology might be in proximity to it"
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre
In 2014, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centure won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award, making Zaha Hadid the first woman to win the top prize in that competition.
Other notable buildings designed by Zaha Hadid include : -
Signature Towers Riverside Museum
London Aquatics Centre Galaxy Soho
Guangzhou Opera House
In 2011 the Capital Hill Residence was completed. A villa in the Barvikha Forest outside Moscow, it was designed for Russian property developer Vladislav Doronin and is the only private residence that Hadid designed during her lifetime.
She also designed the Sheik Zayed Bridge
On 31 March 2016, Hadid died of a heart attack in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis. At the time of her death Zaha Hadid Architects was the fastest growing British Architectural Firm. Many of her designs are to be released posthumously, ranging from the 2017 Brit Awards Statuette to a 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium.
2017 Brit Awards Statuette
2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium
About Claire Cardwell
I think it's vital to talk about all aspects of Architecture - whether it be planning, construction, design or green building. I have written 3 E-Books & over 110 articles. Please feel free to let me know if you have any queries regarding architecture, planning & construction & I will assist you.
I am originally from the UK and moved to South Africa in 1999. I started Blue Designs in 2004 after working as a Driver for Avalon Construction on a luxury home in the Featherbrook Estate. In my spare time I am a keen artist and photographer.
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