, 28. May 2016
A Thought Leader of Deconstructivism

Zaha Hadid

She was the only woman among the famous star architects for a long time. Moreover, she almost went down in history, as a brilliant architect who has never built. Her designs were considered too expensive, too extravagant and too bold. However, she built. Now Zaha Hadid died unexpectedly at the age of 65. An obituary on the pioneering architect.

x-working Zaha Hadid by Mary McCartney
Zaha Hadid by Mary McCartney

Zaha Hadid became famous for her flowing architectural style. She designed a lot more: Furniture, dishes, wine bottles, cutlery as well as the prototype of a car. She became world-famous as a deconstructionist who experimented with razor-sharp edges and angles. Later, her idiom became increasingly softer. Spectacular to see is the Science Center phaeno, which lands like a spaceship on a square in Wolfsburg. Children and young people can admire the technical phenomena in the building. Alternatively, she designed the Museum of Modern Art MAXXI in Rome and the BMW factory in Leipzig, which won the German Architects Award in 2005, both convincing with elegant curves and surprising experiences of space. In 2004 and 2009, Zaha Hadid won the two most important awards of the international architecture world: The Pritzker Prize and the Praemium Imperiale. These awards enabled her to overlook the hitherto persistent stereotyping of time. At the time, she very often claimed in interviews: "The architecture is a very male industry. Most building owners are men, and most of them have difficulties with the fact that I am a woman. It is condescending because I'm the way I am."

Zaha Hadid was born into a wealthy family from Iraq who had earned a lot of money with commercial and industrial investment. Even as a child, she designed her own nursery, which then served as a template for many other nurseries that were reconstructed by a carpenter in Baghdad. In the early 70s, she studied mathematics at the University of Beirut. Afterwards she immigrated to Britain, where she studied architecture at the Architectural Association School in London. In London, she then also started her own architectural company. After many awards for her designs, but missing constructional implementation, she then realized her first draft in 1993: The fire station of the Vitra factory in Weil am Rhein. This way the great career of the eccentric sculptress began in Germany. With local buildings, she rose to become a world star. In recent years, she mainly built outside Europe, much in Asia and the US, as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, the Opera House in Guangzhou and the Innovation Tower in Hong Kong. She also designed sports facilities: The gracefully appearing Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck or the swimming stadium for the Summer Olympics in London 2012.

Now Zaha Hadid died at the age of 65 years in Miami, Florida after a bronchitis of heart failure. Her buildings will remain.

© 2016 – x-working

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