Pritzker prize-winning architect, fashion designer and artist Zaha Hadid (born 31 October 1950) has become one of the most recognizable faces of our field. Revered and denounced with equal aplomb for the sensuous curved forms for which she has become known, Hadid rose to prominence not solely through parametricism but by designing spaces to occupy geometries in new ways. Today, her work continues to push boundaries both creative and technological, and her fearless media presence has cemented her place in society as a woman who needs just one name: Zaha.
Zaha Hadid completa 63 anos hoje, e a arquiteta tem muito o que comemorar.
Desde que ganhou o Prêmio Pritzker em 2004, a primeira mulher (e muçulmana) a receber o prêmio, a carreira de Hadid tem apresentado uma trajetória exponencial. Antes do prêmio, Zaha era mais conhecida por seus desenhos-pinturas de projetos não construídos; particularmente de sua proposta vencedora da competição para o "The Peak" em 1982 e a Cardiff Bay Opera House em 1994. As ousadas formas de Zaha foram tão revolucionárias que alguns se perguntavam se elas poderiam ser concretizadas - devido a supostas "incertezas", a Opera House foi rejeitada. De fato, antes de 1994, o único projeto do qual ela podia se vangloriar era o complexo Vitra Fire Station.
Contudo, é Zaha quem está rindo por último. Seus dois prêmios Stirling consecutivos, um para o MAXXI Museum em 2010 e outro para a Evelyn Grace Academy em 2011 são apenas a ponta do iceberg. Nos últimos quatro anos, se envolveu em uma série de aclamados projetos, incluindo a Casa de Ópera de Guangzhou em 2010; o Centro Aquático de Londres em 2011; e o Riverside Museum, e o controverso anexo para o Serpentine Sackler Gallery.
E há muitos outros trabalhos em andamento. Na próxima década veremos concluídas algumas das mais impressionantes obras de Hadid, incluindo o Estádio da Copa do Mundo da FIFA 2022 no Qatar; o Estádio Olímpico de Tóquio para 2020; um edifício de apartamentos próximo ao High Line Park em Nova Iorque; assim como projetos na Itália, China, Arábia Saudita e Dubai.
Soon after this turning point, a stylistic change also occurred. Always one to challenge accepted notions of architecture, the larger project scopes and larger budgets gave Hadid further means to push the boundaries of structural possibility. In her design for the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, completed in 2005, the relational norms between horizontal and vertical planes were broken down, and entire surfaces were called upon to work as a unit to support the building. This kind of structure demanded composite mathematics previously too complex for engineering minds to solve at this scale. As a result, new software was designed along with the building, giving engineers lighting-fast answers to user input. This today is known as parametricism. As Alan Yentob explains in his documentary about Zaha Hadid for the BBC, “The Science Center in Volksberg marked a step change in her practice. It was a conceptual leap away from the jagged towards the elephantine, the snaking, the snail-like, made easier by what became known as parametricism.”
Since this breakthrough, Hadid has become one of the most prevalent and renowned architects of the past 10 years. Projects have included the back-to-back Stirling Prize winners the MAXXI Museum in 2010 (perhaps the last example of Zaha’s earlier Suprematist style) and the Evelyn Grace Academy in 2011, as well as a bevy of critically-acclaimed projects, including: 2010's Guangzhou Opera House (a direct descendent of the Cardiff Bay design, according to The Guardian's Jonathan Glancey); 2011's London Aquatics Centre, and the Riverside Museum, winner of the European Museum Academy Micheletti Award 2012; 2012's Galaxy Soho in Beijing; and the 2014 "Design of the Year" Heydar Aliyev Center.
But Hadid remains a controversial figure, and these achievements have not come without some tension. ZHA’s designs for the National Stadium in Tokyo were scrapped over worries of ballooning costs. In 2014, the firm was repeatedly attacked in the media for the politics behind their designs, and Hadid was most notably criticized for a remark she made on the working conditions for construction workers in Qatar, culminating in Hadid filing a defamation lawsuit over the publication incorrect statements by the New York Review of Books.
Regardless of those criticisms, Zaha Hadid’s striking visual constructions and their influence on the world of architecture are undeniable. Perhaps her design intentions can best be summed up in her question: “There are 360 degrees. Why stick to one?”
On a hillside outside of Moscow, amongst 65-foot-high pine and birch trees, sits the only private house to be designed and built by Zaha Hadid in her lifetime.
Africa's Tallest Skyscraper by Zaha Hadid Will Finally Rise in Egypt
See all of Zaha Hadid's completed works on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and further coverage via the links below those: