The native Iraqi woman, living in London, is one of the most influential and innovative architects in the world of today. Her organic structures are spectacular, they shape international cityscapes while simultaneously creating an urban cohesion that is second to none.
The Londoner by choice achieved international recognition for the first time with a project in Hong Kong; the reconstruction of “The Peak Leisure Club” at the end of the 1980s. In 1993, she then achieved the ultimate breakthrough with the realisation of her first plan; the fire station at the Vitra factory in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Studying at the London Architectural Association led the way for her success. Included among her professors was, among others, the architect Rem Kohlhaas, in whose office she worked for three years following her graduation. In the meantime, her own London office established internationally.
From vision to reality
For a long time, her bold plans were considered unrealisable and building contractors initially dreaded their implementation. Too cumbersome, too bizarre were her visions. Hadid’s plans break with conventions; putting an end to right angles and the combination of pointed roofs, crooked walls and tiers requires courage. Her buildings made from concrete, steel and glass float and dance through space, deny linearity and celebrate the motif of flow. Hadid creates a new sense of space and structure, her kitchens are futuristic, the furniture captures its environment and her buildings in Dubai, Singapore, and in the USA, tower provocatively upwards to the sky creating a new dimension between nature and construction.
Superstar and all-around talent
Zaha Hadid is more than a classical architect. She is an artist who devotes herself passionately to painting, design and interior styling. Which is exactly how she styled the scenery for a Pet Shop Boys live show and for the “Begehren” opera in Graz, Austria, and how she designed a plastic shoe for the London Fashion Week and conceptualised a wine bottle for an Austrian vintner. From the Centre of Contemporary Art in Cincinnati to the BMW building in Leipzig, the MAXXI art museum in Rome and the Sheik-Zayed bridge in Abu Dhabi – she experiments and ventures the seemingly impossible.
How does she manage her success? “In my profession, I always have to be better than my competitors,” she says. “But I’ve never considered myself to be hard. Precise, that sums it up,” according to Hadid in an interview with GG magazine. For a long time she has been considered to be a superstar in a male dominated sector. And we’re keen to see what’s still to come.