Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid photo by Simone Cecchett

By Martin Søberg

Dame Zaha Hadid (31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) was the uncrowned queen of contemporary iconic architecture. Her buildings practically scream, “I’m a Hadid”. A bona fide autrice, Hadid was without a doubt the world’s most famous woman in a starchitect stratosphere strangely dominated by her masculine peers.

Since her student days in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (born 1950) had been intensely preoccupied with changing our general notions of space – not only in a physical sense, but also socially and culturally. Hadid’s projects are characterized by their dynamic formal qualities of sinuously, curving shapes, or crystallized strata. This sums up as a kind of new Baroque, a sensuous, more vibrant and engaging type of architecture.

Hadid’s projects during the late 1970s and 1980s were marked by a profound understanding of early 20th  Century avant-garde artists and architects. In an attempt to redevelop and make relevant again the formal investigations of Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, her projects expressed utopian ideals.

Today, Zaha Hadid Architects create landmarks projects for all types of functional programs. Their buildings are never bland or mundane, but moreover assertive statements of a particular view, that the world may indeed look different. Their efforts have resulted in a staggering almost one thousand projects throughout the globe, in every scale, from urban design schemes to objects and furniture design.

Along with her strong conceptual and historical awareness, nature’s forms and shapes appear as a recurrent source of inspiration for Zaha Hadid’s architecture. It includes attention to physical contexts and landscapes, whether resulting in layered structures or powerful moving lines but also exploring possible interfaces between patterns and construction.

Zaha Hadid Architects embraced digital drawing early on. This has made the studio able to challenge traditional ways of making architecture. In collaboration with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid has meticulously explored the possibilities of parametric design, allowing for the conception and construction of architecture as seamless flows of energy and matter. Zaha Hadid is the 2004 Pritzker Prize laureate and winner of the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011.

Visit Zaha Hadid’s website here.