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Remembering Zaha Hadid, a Prolific Female Architect

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbeijan
Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbeijan

Zaha was born in Bagdad, Iraq in 1950. In her early years, she studied mathematics at the American University in Beirut.

Ms. Hadid soon expanded her studies to include architecture. In 1972, she enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the oldest private school in the UK. There she studied design, drawing, painting and embraced the new concept of “modernism” which explored new ways of constructing buildings. One of Zaha’s teachers Elia Zenghelis, a renowned architect in his own right, once referred to Zaha as his most outstanding pupil. She was “a planet in her own orbit." And according to an article in the Guardian in 2016, she was hailed as the “queen of the curve” who redefined architectural geometry in a new and expressive way. Eventually, Hadid became a citizen of the United Kingdom and opened her own firm, Zaha Hadid Architects. She also expanded her influences by teaching architecture at the prestigious institutions at Harvard, Cambridge, The University of Chicago and at Columbia.

One Thousand Museum
One Thousand Museum, Miami

Just a few of her most famous works around the world include:

  • Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion in Spain-

  • Guangzhou Opera House in China

  • London Aquatics Centre in London- built for the 2012 Summer Olympics

  • Jockey Club Innovation Tower- Hong Kong- 2007-2014

Her most famous projects in the United States were:

  • Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1997-2003

  • Broad Art Museum, Lansing Mich, 2007-2012

  • One Thousand Museum, Miami (right)

  • 520 West 28th St

520 West 28th Street, Overlooking Manhattan's High Line
520 West 28th Street, Overlooking Manhattan's High Line

Ms. Hadid died at age 65 of a heart attack in Miami. In her obituary, she was “widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world. She leaves behind an impressive body of work that is unmatched to this day. Her architecture speaks volumes about her brilliance, innovation and stands as a testimont to her greatness.


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