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Zaha
Hadid

London, United Kingdom 
1950−2016
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Zaha Hadid (Zahā Ḥadīd, October 31, 1950, Baghdad, Iraq - March 31, 2016, Miami, USA) - British architect, a native of Iraq. Hadid became famous thanks to the radical design of buildings in the deconstructivist and parametric style. She became the first female architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Features of the style of architect Zaha Hadid: she never called herself a follower of any one style or school. Nevertheless, even before she got the opportunity to build her first building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art called her the main figure of architectural deconstructivism. Her various works were also attributed to neofuturism and parametrism. Without rejecting the use of high technology in design, Zaha Hadid nevertheless continued to manually draw building designs and make mock-ups. She described the essence of her style as follows: “The idea is not to use a single 90-degree angle. At first there was a diagonal. The diagonal comes from the idea of an explosion that “reform” space. It was an important discovery. ”

Famous works of Zaha Hadid:21st Century National Museum of Art (Rome, Italy),Sheikh Zayed Bridge (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates),Guangzhou Opera House (China),Riverside Transport Museum (Glasgow, Scotland),Water Sports Center (London, Great Britain),Galaxy SOHO complex (Beijing, China).

Throughout her life, Zaha Hadid moved along a well-defined path of her own, and nothing could lead her astray. She was never stopped by the fact that she was a woman in the traditionally "male" profession, nor by origin, nor by harsh criticism. Contrary to popular belief about the “true destiny of a woman,” Hadid did not start a family, and at the same time lived a very full and incredibly fascinating life, doing what she loved most.

Not a female affair

When Zaha Hadid unexpectedly passed away in March 2016, she was devoted to many articles in the largest publications around the world. Of course, they all talked about her achievements in architecture. For example, The New York Times columnist Michael Kimmelman wrote: “Her floating designs left a mark on the horizon and in the imagination and changed the architecture for the modern era. <...> Hadid in her squandering and promises personified the era of the so-called “star-hectors” who roamed the planet in pursuit of their own creative genius, offering miracles, and sometimes even performing them. ” Dejan Sujic of The Guardian described Hadid as “An architect who first imagined and then proved that space can work radically in a new way ... Throughout her career, she has been a dedicated teacher, passionate about the energy of young people. She did not want to be called a female architect or an Arab architect. She was just an architect. ”

But it would be a mistake to believe that Zakha Hadid had only heard odes of praise to her all her life, or that they sang praises only because she had the courage to declare herself loudly in the male world. Quite the contrary: it was precisely because Hadid was a woman that she was often treated with a mixture of condescension and neglect, while not missing the chance to point out all the possible mistakes and shortcomings of her work. Her architectural style was called "extravagant", the buildings were described as "Challenging the logic of construction". Architect Sean Griffiths likened Hadid to "An empty vessel that sucks in any ideology".

And even when the works of Hadid received praise, they often contained references to the conditional “femininity”. For example, a jury member of a prestigious architectural competition called one of the buildings Hadid "sexual." And she herself was dubbed the "queen of bends." It is difficult to imagine something similar in relation to a man.

The beginning of the way

Zaha Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad in the family of a wealthy industrialist and artist. These years became a period of prosperity for Iraq, and Father Hadid, being also a politician, adhered to a progressive course in the country's development. Surely, the modernization of Baghdad influenced the choice of the profession of an architect: already in childhood, Zaha saw the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier in his hometown. By the age of eleven, Hadid knew exactly what she wanted to do. Parents supported her ambitions and encouraged initiatives. The family traveled a lot, thanks to which Zaha received a multicultural education. And the father in every city they visited studied with her the most significant buildings.

Hadid received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut, and in 1972 she moved to London to continue her studies at the Architectural Association. At the graduation ceremony, one of the mentors - Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas - named Hadid “A planet in its own orbit”. After graduation, Hadid began working in the architectural firm of Koolhaas and his colleague Elia Zengelisa. However, for many years she only participated in other people's projects and remained a "paper architect" before her first building was built.

But even despite the lack of ideas embodied in life, Hadid was able to make a name for herself thanks to her drawings, abstract paintings and teaching architecture in different parts of the world. In addition, she was engaged in the design of furniture, interiors and theatrical scenery. But, although the architectural designs of Zaha were admirable, they were still considered too radical for construction. After another refusal, she even seriously thought about leaving the profession.

Upward movement

The breakthrough happened in 1989, when the first building of Zaha Hadid was built -fire station Vitra in the German city of Weil am Rhein. Several of the following projects in Europe finally proved that Hadid's non-standard ideas are feasible, despite their ambitiousness. An important milestone in the career of an architect was constructionRosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in cincinnati. It was not only the first American project by Hadid, but also the first museum in the USA designed by a woman.

The word "first" in the biography of Zaha Hadid generally sounds quite often. In 2004, she became the first female architect to receive the most prestigious architectural award - the Pritzker Prize. Thomas Pritzker then said: “Although the scope of her work is relatively small, she has achieved great recognition, and her energy and ideas speak of great prospects in the future.”

Having received recognition of her innovative work, Hadid began to implement even more ambitious projects. She began to use new digital technologies for structural design of buildings and calculation of their forms. Hadid pioneered this approach, which was called parametrism. One of her latest works in the style of deconstructivism wasMAXXI Museum in Rome as wellHeydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Baku was already distinguished by viscous curved lines.

Being a British citizen and conducting her business in London for many years, the first building Hadid built here only in 2011. It wasWater Sports Center for the London 2012 Olympics. For Hadid, this building was another important milestone, and not only for her personally: “Something has changed radically in Britain lately. There is no more resistance to the new. ”

To be continued…

Zaha Hadid did not have time to build all her magnificent buildings. On March 31, 2016, she died of a heart attack, leaving 36 projects unfinished in 21 countries. However, her work continues to live, and the unique buildings of Zaha Hadid still appear around the world thanks to the huge team of her loyal like-minded people. In December 2019, Zaha Hadid Architects completed another Hadid masterpiece -International Cultural Center in the Chinese city of Changsha.

In an interview, Zaha Hadid said: “I never raise the question of what it feels like to be a female architect. But if it helps young people understand that they are able to break through the glass ceiling, I don’t mind. ” But once she nevertheless admitted that she never really felt like a part of the male architectural world: “If you are a woman in architecture, you are always an outsider. But everything is in order, I like to be on the edge. "

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova
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