Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid is an Iraqi-British architect. In 2004 she became the first woman recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by the “powerful, curving forms of her elongated structures”with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. She is currently professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
Biography: the woman before the myth
Hadid was born on 31 October 1950 in Baghdad. 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 studied 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 Architectural Association.
Hadid has also undertaken some high-profile interior work, including the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome in London as well as creating fluid furniture installations within the Georgian surroundings of Home House private members club in Marylebone, and the Z.CAR hydrogen-powered, three-wheeled automobile. In 2009 she worked with the clothing brand Lacoste, to create a new, high fashion, and advanced boot. In the same year, she also collaborated with the brassware manufacturer Triflow Concepts to produce two new designs in her signature parametric architectural style.
In 2007, Hadid designed the Moon System Sofa for leading Italian furniture manufacturer B&B Italia.
In 2013, Hadid designed Liquid Glacial, which comprises a series of tables resembling ice-formations made from clear and coloured acrylic. Their design embeds surface complexity and refraction within a powerful fluid dynamic. Prototype Liquid Glacial Table | Zaha Hadid at David Gill Galleries