Zaha Hadid Facts

Zaha Hadid was a famous architect, artist, and designer. She was sometimes called ‘The Queen of the Curve’ because her futuristic building designs often incorporated curved facades.

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Facts About Zaha Hadid

  • Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950.
  • Her father was an industrialist, and Zaha attended boarding schools in England and Switzerland.
  • She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut and went on to study architecture in 1972 in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, graduating in 1977.
  • She became a citizen of the UK, and she opened an architectural firm (Zaha Hadid Architects) in London in 1980.
  • Zaha taught architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University. She was also a guest professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
  • She died in 2016 of a heart attack while undergoing treatment for bronchitis. She was 65 years old. She is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, UK.

Your success will not be determined by your gender or your ethniity, but only on the scope of your dreams and your hard work to achieve them.

Zaha Hadid
  • She designed numerous buildings during her career, including the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, the BMW Factory Administrative Building in Leipzig, the Bridge Pavillion in Zaragoza, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, the Galaxy SOGO in Beijing, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, the Vienna Univerity of Economics and Business Library and Learning Center, and the Port Authority Building in Antwerp.
  • Her design for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games Aquatics Centre was inspired by the geometry of moving water. The project cost more than £250 million to complete and the building houses three swimming pools and more than 17,000 seats.
  • Several projects she worked on were completed after her death, including Miami’s Scorpion Tower, Beijing’s Daxing International Airport, and the Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy.

Her soaring structures left a mark on skylines and imaginations and in the process re-shaped architecture for the modern age.

Michael Kimmelman on Zaha Hadid (2016)
  • In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first female architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Award.
  • In 2012, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to architecture.

The idea is not to have any 90-degree angles.

Zaha Hadid describing her approach to architecture
  • By the time of her death, she had amassed a personal fortune of more than £70 million.
  • She is often cited as the greatest female architect.
  • She was an admirer of the architect Oscar Niemeyer’s spatial sensibility, and she was also influenced by the design of The Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • She was a big fan of clothes designed by Issey Miyake.