Ms. Zaha Hadid is a London-based architect who consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design. Her work experiments with spatial quality, extending and intensifying existing landscapes in the pursuit of a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture.
Zaha Hadid, the founder of Zaha Hadid
Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for both her
theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects
builds on over thirty years of revolutionary exploration and research in the
interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design. Hadid’s interest lies
in the rigorous interface between architecture, landscape and geology as her
practice integrates natural topography and human-made systems, leading to
experimentation with cutting edge technologies.
Such a process often results in unexpected and dynamic architectural
Hadid studied architecture at the
Architectural Association from 1972 and was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. She became a partner of the Office
for Metropolitan Architecture, taught at the AA with OMA collaborators Rem
Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, and later led her own studio at the AA until 1987. Zaha Hadid’s work of the past 30
years was the subject of critically-acclaimed retrospective exhibitions at New
York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2006, London’s Design Museum in 2007 and
the Palazzo della Ragione, Padua, Italy in 2009.
The Center establishes a fluid relationship between interior and exterior. The plaza, accessible to all, rises to envelop an equally public interior space and defines a sequence of event spaces. Elaborate formations, such as undulations, bifurcations and folds, modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape. Fluidity in architecture is not new to this region; in historical Islamic architecture, rows or sequences of columns flow to infinity, establishing non-hierarchical space. A contemporary interpretation of this was developed: responding to the topographic drop that formerly split the site in two, a precisely terraced landscape establishes alternative connections between spaces. This solution avoids additional excavation, and converts a site disadvantage into a key design feature.