A woman architect who turns what she visits and reads into a masterpiece: Zaha Hadid


Let me share the beautiful things I see with those around me so that they know and see, who wouldn’t want to. I can do this in a broader framework on my blog and social media. Of course, this helps me a lot too. 

As everyday life goes by, I believe that one of the most beautiful things around us is artistic activities. Art is the thing that can refresh our souls, which are narrowed by many serious efforts during the day and can bring a new vision. Architecture is the most interesting and even visible branch of art that no one can escape from, even embracing and keeping you alive; For example, palaces, museums, concert halls, even places of worship since the early ages… Today, I would like to talk about a special name, Zaha Hadid, who went beyond the mold with these feelings and led to serious transformations in the field of architecture.

If you ask, who is Zaha Hadid, Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She graduated from the Department of Mathematics at the American University, then completed the department of architecture at the London Architectural Association School. After her graduation, she started to work at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and became a partner of the company in 1977. In 1979, she established her own architectural office, headquartered in London. In the same period, she taught at many prestigious institutions such as the Architectural Association, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, University of Illinois, Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, Knowlton School of Architecture (1).

Of course, in this period, she put her signature under projects that were more successful and resounding than the other. When asked about her source of inspiration, I found it very interesting that she talked about the trips she made with her family, especially her father, in her childhood. They traveled a lot, and their biggest interests were to see museums and historical artifacts in each country they went to. Sumerian ruins, other ancient artifacts in Iraq and many other magnificent things… Yet, one of the most important places which is etched in her heart was the Cordoba Mosque in Spain. She even wanted to build a mosque in Istanbul; unfortunately, her life was not long enough. It could have been beautiful, but alas!

This famous architect, whose rejection of angular planes and favoring rounded lines is another delight in itself, actually set an exceptional example as a woman in this male-dominated field. Her team, which was 4 people when she founded her own company, reached 300 people over time, and in 2013 she was selected as the Business Woman of the Year in England. Throughout her life, Zaha Hadid always sought, never gave up, always dreamt of new and different forms, and endeavored to turn them into reality.

Zaha Hadid’s first major project is Vitre Fire Station, which she implemented in Germany. The project started in 1989. Its construction took 4 years and was finished in 1993. 

The Olympic swimming pool Aquatics Center, which she designed for the 2012 London Olympics, was completed in 2011 and has become one of the symbols of the city. 

In fact, as you can see in all these examples, the buildings she designed are like a 3D version of an abstract painting. For this reason, she made her mark in the history of architecture as one of the pioneers of deconstructivism. Deconstructivism is a postmodern architectural movement that emerged in the late 1980s. “It is based on methods such as breaking the integrity of the architectural elements that make up the building, playing with the surfaces, shearing and shifting the architectural elements such as the exterior with non-orthogonal corners.” (1) 

 Guangzhou Opera House, 2010

In fact, when you look at all these works of art, we can say that Hadid was also a genius. She produced bold forms in her designs, always fluid, walls are not always as we know and have been used to, ceilings and floors are interchangeable. In addition, she produced many different forms that were deemed impossible on paper by considering alternative solutions in the project.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, 2014

In fact, when we look at her architectural works, we see ostentatious but simple shapes. Even this contrast is an indication of what sort of genius she was, and she produced comfortable, simple but far from ordinary works by using different styles and forms.

There is also the new airport Daxing in China, among her last works. However, unfortunately, Hadid, who died of a heart attack in the hospital after suffering from bronchitis in 2016, could not see it completed. For those who are curious, I am sharing a video of this very different and luxurious airport.

If you want to learn more about the inspiring life story of this famous female architect, who started in Iraq, continued in England, and forged her name in art history with her works in many parts of the world, I recommend you watch the documentary about Hadid and her works in the in Architects Journal, in the first year after her death. :

After examining the life of Zaha Hadid, I can say that it is not important to travel or read a lot; because you are eternal if you can produce something different with knowledge. Zaha Hadid, who combined what she saw with her knowledge and created masterpieces, is one of the ones who left a pleasant voice in this everlasting dome.

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