Zaha Hadid was one of the foremost architects in our living memory. She defied every logic to reach the pinnacle, not just because she was a woman, she was a Muslim women and comes from an area that is not known to have produced any great engineers at least in the last hundred years or so.
The 65-year old Hadid was the first woman in the history to be awarded Royal Gold Medal in architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects. She has been conferred with the 2016 Royal Gold Medal in architecture. This is not the only major award that she has won. She is also the winner of Stirling Prize.
Born on 31 October 1950, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect. She had many firsts to her credit including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in the year 2004. She was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture.
She was called the queen of curves by The Guardian newspaper. She was described in the Guardian report as someone who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity.” Her major works include the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Some of her designs have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards, and many of her buildings are still under construction, including the Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Google doodle once again helped us remember the remarkable woman that Zaha. It seems just yesterday when she passed away. Google, earlier this year also celebrated two other great architects including Hassan Fathy and Fazlur Rahman Khan.
At very early age after coming out of the college, Zaha established her own practice in London. Zaha Hadid Architects was launched in the year 1979 and many people laughed at her when she tried to make inroads into a male dominated domain. “I never use the issue about being a woman architect…but if it helps younger people to know they can break through the glass ceiling, I don’t mind that”, she told a magazine in interview. She is credited with reshaping modern architecture using the surrounding landscape for building inspiration. She was known for her neofuturistic design.