Episode #9 of the course “Architects who changed the world”
Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid is perhaps the most famous female architect of all time. Teaching and designing buildings around the world, Hadid’s structures are sometimes controversial but always recognizable. Born in 1950, she was greatly influenced by the Deconstructionist ideas of surprising the viewer by incorporating unexpected elements of texture and elongated lines. She worked within natural landscapes to highlight their beauty, while creating buildings that stand apart from the landscape in striking ways. Hadid’s style is described as “Neo-futuristic,” incorporating steel, glass, and geometrical patterns with purposeful breaks to indicate psychological as well as physical disturbances.
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan
Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati
Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center
With a career spanning over 40 years, Zaha Hadid designed over 300 structures around the world. Some of the most impressive include the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center in the United Arab Emirates. Several of her works remain in progress, including the first project in her homeland of Iraq—a new building for the Central Bank of Iraq. She was also selected as lead architect to design the stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In addition to her building designs, Hadid also designed clothing, tables, chairs, chandeliers, and a number of other artistic objects.
Qatar 2022 FIFA world cup stadium design
Central Bank of Iraq
Hadid managed her own architectural firm based out of London, England, where she also had citizenship. She taught at the most prestigious architecture schools in the world, and she was awarded the Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 2004—the first woman to ever receive it. She also held over 20 museum exhibitions and been the center of one documentary film, A Day with Zaha Hadid. Hadid died of a heart attack in 2016.
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