Architect of the Week | Zaha Hadid



Welcome back to a brand new series of Architect of the Week! This is our fifth series and over the next 4 weeks we will bring you one architect at a time, sharing their work, ideas and 

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This week we are looking at one of ArchitectWeekly's most talked about architects, who goes by the name of Zaha Hadid. Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE, or زها حديد‎ Zahā Ḥadīd in Arabic, is an Iraqi-British architect born in Baghdad in 1950. She is best known for her futuristic building design style, which show a modern chaotic style. 

Zaha has designed many buildings around the world, which often incorporporate distinct multi-perspective points and fragmented geometry. Zaha grew up in one of Baghdad's first Bauhaus inspired buildings during an era where modernism showed glamour and progressive thinking in the Middle East. 

She first received a degree in Mathematics at the University of Beirut, before moving to London, where she studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. Zaha now practices at her own Zaha Hadid Architects company, which she founded in 1980 and now employs 350 members of staff.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan
Zaha has a large and impressive portfolio of work, including the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre (shown above) in Azerbaijan. The project was completed between 2007 and 2012 and contains both a gallery, conference hall and museum. 

She was also responsible for the £269 million London 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre, which has its distinctive curved roof. The centre hosted the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events at London 2012, but is now undergoing conversion from a 17,500 seater swimming complex to just 2,500 seats. 

Other works include the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Germany, which she designed in 1994. The Bergiselschanze Ski Slope in Innsbruck, Austria which she designed in 2002 and Maggie's Centre in Fife which is a charity supporting people with cancer.  

London Olympics Aquatic Centre. The centre will re-open to the public in 2014 after conversion.
Zaha is a highly commended architect and her work as won her many prestigious architecture awards. In 2004, Zaha became the first women and the first Sikh to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is often compared to as the 'Nobel Prize for Architecture' In 2008, Zaha was was ranked 69th on the Forbes list of 'The Worlds 100 Most Powerful Women' as well as featured on numerous BBC TV programs. 

In 2010 and again in 2011, Zaha won the highly prestigious Stirling Prize for two years in a row for her work on the MAXXI - National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome, Italy (2010) and the Evelyn Grace Academy in London, UK (2011). 

"Hadid's finest built work to date" and "a masterpiece fit to sit alongside Rome's ancient wonders."
The Guardian Newspaper acclaiming the MAXXI 

Zaha at the Opening of the MAXXI - National Museum of the 21st Century Arts

Zaha was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 at the Queens 2012 Birthday Honours. Zaha was made a Dame for services to Architecture.  

Bergiselschanze Ski Slope in Innsbruck, Austria
We will be back next week, celebrating the work of another inspirational architect. Don't forget that you can suggest your own architect by contacting us.
Cite this article:
"Architect of the Week | Zaha Hadid" 11/30/2013. ArchitectWeekly. Accessed .