Zaha Hadid

The shocking news of the sudden death of award winning Zaha Hadid has saddened the architecture and design world. Wylde Interior Architecture remembers Zaha Hadid, the first woman to achieve the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal in her own right, who sadly passed away yesterday aged 65. One of the most prominent and successful female architects in the world, she has won countless awards and accolades for her contribution to architecture.

The Iraqi-born British architect was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize – architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Today we are remembering her outstanding work and commitment to the architecture world.

Her work introduced the industry to a very unusual use of shape and form. The early competition proposals for The Peak terminus in Hong Kong, the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin and the Cardiff Bay Opera House are a few examples of this that caught the world’s attention. One of Hadid’s first major projects was the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, a controversial design that immediately thrust her and her work into the spotlight. She is now world renowned for her huge-scale, daring projects with concrete. She really pushed the limits of the materials abilities, creating curves, angles and experimental structures such as in the projects for the BMW Central Building and Phaeno Science Centre.

As Hadid’s designs became bolder and larger and more advanced, projects “continued to grow in size and budget, and her use of curves and sinuous shapes became even more ambitious.” One of her most critically acclaimed projects was the MAXXI Museum in Rome which involved dramatic features of light and dark, playing with the shapes within the architecture. The design won Zaha Hadid the Stirling Prize. Zaha Hadid Architects works on the basis of ‘Parametricism’ a technique the firm uses to design buildings using algorithms to determine the shapes of digital models that then become architectural forms.

 There are many projects that Zaha Hadid Architects are still involved in such as the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup venue and Port Authority building in Antwerp, both of which are in construction. The architect also won the competition to design the Tokyo 2020 Olympics stadium, although her plans were controversially dropped by the Japanese government after protests from prominent local architects. The firm will finish a project in Beijing which as said by Dezeen; “will cement Hadid’s legacy as one of the most tenacious, divisive and celebrated architects of her generation.

It’s a particularly sad event for women in architecture across the world – but we alongside so many others, will remember Zaha Hadid’s work and determination through her incredible architecture.


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