Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid was born on 31 October 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She grew up in one of Baghdad’s first Bauhaus-inspired buildings during an era in which “modernism connoted glamour and progressive thinking” in the Middle East.
She read 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; she became a partner in 1977. Through her association with Koolhaas, she met Peter Rice, the engineer who gave her support and encouragement early on at a time when her work seemed difficult. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the gap Association.
Dame Zaha Hadid has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was the Kenzo Tange Professorship and the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture. She also served as guest professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK Hamburg), the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University, the Masters Studio at Columbia University, and the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. From the year 2000 on Dame Zaha Hadid is a guest professor at The University of Applied Arts – Vienna, in the Zaha Hadid Master Class Vertical-Studio.
Zaha was named an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She has been on the board of trustees of The Architecture Foundation. She is currently professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
In 2002, she won the international design competition to design Singapore’s one-north master plan. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland. In 2004, Zaha became the first female and first Muslim recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. In 2006, she was honoured with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut. In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. In 2010, she was named by Time as an influential thinker in the 2010 TIME 100 issue. In September 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Zaha Hadid at number 42 in their annual survey of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010”. Hadid was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to architecture. She was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013. Three years later, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
She won the Stirling Prize two years running: in 2010, for one of her most celebrated works, the Maxxi in Rome, and in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy, a Z‑shapes school in Brixton, London. She is also the designer of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park in Seoul, South Korea, which was the centerpiece of the festivities for the city’s designation as World Design Capital 2010. The complex was completed in March 2014.
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