The first name that probably pops up in everyone’s mind when we talk of women architects is none other than Zaha Hadid. Someone always open to experimentation, trying new ideas, keeping up with the technology! She was born in Baghdad but moved to London to study under renowned architects Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis and Bernard Tschumi. After graduation she went on to work with Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis for 3 years and finally set up her private practice in 1980. Her professors recall her as a planet in her own orbit. They called her the inventor of the 89 degrees. Nothing was ever at 90 degrees. She had spectacular vision.
Her revolutionary designs entirely changed the architectural scenario and she went on to become not only the first to win a RIBA Royal Gold Medal but also the first female architect to win a Pritzker Prize, the equivalent of Nobel Prize in Architecture.
She was not only an extraordinary architect but a great interior and furniture designer too. She believed that design can have equal importance to the idea of internal architecture. Although the professional field is very dogmatic with architecture and interiors handled by different people but design is all encompassing.
She wasn’t afraid to try new materials or technologies, and she changed the way concrete was used. And she puts it in her own words, “What’s nice about concrete is that it looks unfinished”.
Zaha Hadid has definitely left her mark in the history with iconic buildings as Heyder Aliyev Center, London Olympics Aquatic Centre, Galaxy SOHO, Riverside Museum at Glasgow, Port Authority Antwerp among many others.
Her buildings had a certain level of complexity that still made them look very minimalist. And her idea of architecture reflected in her buildings that stood out with their curves looking as effortless as ever!
I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about a very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.
Called the Queen of Curve by The Gaurdian, she was awarded the title Dame by Elizabeth II for her great contribution to the field of architecture. She was the recipient of UK’s most prestigious Stirling Prize and had completed almost 950 buildings in 44 nations. She disapproved of the idea that women cannot think in three dimensions and her buildings clearly mock the idea and the ones who believe it. She successfully carved a niche for herself in the man’s profession and is a role model for all the females in the profession. Although she believed that women have to be diligent and work hard but she was very practical as she never ignored the fact that as a women, one wasn’t accessible to every world.
“You have to really believe not only in yourself; you have to believe that the world is actually worth your sacrifices”