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Monday, February 24, 2020

A Glance at Zaha Hadid’s Bio

Hello to my readers from anywhere in the world!
Today in my new post I will be talking again about the Architect Zaha Hadid, but this time about her beginnings in her career that will conquer the world later...

So then, let's get started!

Zaha Hadid's Quick Bio

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Zaha Hadid

She is one of the most fabulous names in the World of Architecture today… Her name reaches the higher levels in her career; no doubts, we are talking about the British-Iraqi Architect Zaha Hadid, founder of ZHA (Zaha Hadid Architects), and managing more than 250 people, working on projects that range from large-scale to small-scale designs.

As I am an Architect, and a Lebanese as well, I permit myself to say that I’m proud of this person and admire her various projects at the same time.

Before, when I’m still in college as an architect student, I always heard her name repeated by our professors as a role model to follow. I meant by following, not to copy but to be inspired by her strategy and philosophy which was her road to success.
So we are all invited to be creative and to be influenced by our leaders like Hadid. That’s why I found it necessary as concerned about what is happening in the architecture profession, to make at least a glance at the bio of Zaha Hadid, for those who don’t already know much or want to learn more about her.

Knowing that I did write a review concerning The Hadid and Schumacher’s Philosophy (Patrick Schumacher: Hadid’s partner) but because of the high originality of her works, even hundreds and hundreds of articles will be insufficient.
Read more: You can read the article at the following link: Zaha Hadid and Patrick Schumacher’s Philosophy. I may like to make a lot of researches concerning her projects and reviews about it; not to comment or critic but to highlight her magnificent concepts and make it public to all the world to see and benefit for her theories in Arts in general.
Zaha Hadid is one of the most distinguished creative talents of her generation.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, she first started her studies in the AUB (American University of Beirut), she then came to London to study architecture in the year 1972. She suddenly died in 2016, due to a heart attack.

She was so talented and magnificent in a way that her unbuilt projects that remained on paper, generated attention and relativeness but nevertheless transformed expectations of what architecture could be.

Well-surnamed as "the Queen of the Curves”, Zaha Hadid transformed the skylines of the cities around the world with her bold, fluid, and free-line designs. The extraordinarily dynamic paintings that she used to convey the essence of the design commanded worldwide attention and continue to shape Hadid’s thinking today. (See Fig. 1 below)

Recently completed designs, including the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, the BMW Central Building in Leipzig, and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, demonstrate Hadid’s commitment to building.

She was working on a series of projects that will serve as defining landmarks in such disparate settings as Dubai, Rome, and Guangzhou, China.

She did realize as well some small-scale projects such as a pavilion for the Maggie’s Centre cancer care movement on a hospital campus in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

When Hadid arrived in London as a student in the 1970s, the recession was at its higher levels; all the professions were experiencing a lack of works and loss of confidence, especially the architects due to a hidden conflict but then come to light.

The modernism of the 30s, led by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, the famous Architects, was inhaling his last breath: The idealism of the 60s was taking its place. So, in consequence, The Architectural Association, where Hadid studied from 1972 to 1977, leads a sort of discussion to find an alternative to the modernism of the ’30s; e.g. providing new directions in design.

Alvin Boyarsky, a Russian Architect, comes to the head of the Architectural Association and was leading the campaign which attracted mostly the radical thinkers and practitioners of every ideological persuasion.
Fig. 1- The extraordinarily dynamic paintings continue to shape Hadid’s thinking today.

Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, Leon Krier, and Brian Anson were all in the same teaching team. Classicists, community activists, conservationists, and radical Modernists all had a platform. The experience clearly had a deep and essential effect on Hadid.

The school provided an environment in which Hadid could explore one of the twentieth century’s great art movements, Russian Constructivism.

This revolutionary period was the point of departure for her breakthrough project – the winning design for The Peak – an apartment complex and club overlooking the city of Hong Kong.
The design rejected the current architectural style of Post-Modernism that applied decorative classical columns and cosmetic stone claddings to every new project.

Although never built, the extraordinarily dynamic paintings that she used to convey the essence of the design commanded worldwide attention and continue to shape Hadid’s thinking today. But even her early projects or conceptions were never been executed in real, this didn’t stop her flow of design energy to merge on top of the new vision to modernize the Architecture if we can say.
The Cardiff Bay Opera House- Credit: Wikipedia.org

Meanwhile, her battle didn’t go in vain; her first realized projects go to Vitra, a furniture manufacturer owned by Rolf Felhbaum, who delegate Hadid to design a fire station on the company’s factory complex at Weil am Rhein in Germany. It was followed by a series of unrealized designs, including the Cardiff Bay Opera House (1994-96), one of the great might-have-been of architecture in Britain.

It was clear that Hadid believed in the idea of architecture as a speculative, theoretical activity in which design drawings were as important as construction, even more maybe.

The delay between conceiving the designs that made her reputation, and building them, made it inevitable that Hadid would be represented as being more concerned with theory than practice.
The Phaeno Science Center
Fig. 2- The Phaeno Science Center, Credit to Wikipedia.org

These schemes, however, gave her the opportunity to develop ideas and working methods that would form the basis of new work. After the Vitra Fire Station was completed in 1993, Hadid built very little until the major projects of the last three years.

The Phaeno Science Center (fig.2 above), the BMW Central Building (fig.3 below), and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art (fig.4 below) were taken together, a thing that came to prove the theory that Hadid is primarily a theorist rather than a builder.

Each of those projects has a strong material quality and demonstrates her ability to translate the dynamic warping and disruption of space evident and very strong in her drawings into physical reality.

In these projects, the jagged edges of the linear spaces of her earlier work have melted into more voluptuous forms and shapes.
BMW Central Building
Fig.3- The BMW Central Building- Credit: dezeen.com
Since then, many remarkable projects follow in characteristics and locations; mostly related to arts (mainly museums) and others to a variation of facilities (study’s faculties, researches centers…)

Most of those projects are still under construction all around the planet even after her sudden death in 2016; She is one of very few architects operating on a global scale, building outside the usual European and North American circuits, as the Middle East, Russia, India, and China.

Hadid has the visibility that attracted projects and clients from all over the world, which is proof of her internationality but her humanity's belongings.
The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
Fig.4- The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art- Credit: flickr.com

She continues to explore fresh shapes and new thinkings, making the transition from the world of theory and research to large-scale practice.

In the last decade, most Architects begin to work on small-scale projects like furniture. The design on a 1: 1 or larger scale can offer the opportunity to explore an idea or an architectural shape that needs practical evaluation and cannot be fixed only by mind imagination. Here comes the big help of designing a chair or other furniture for example.

Hadid’s theory consists of creating this link between functionality and art design: The practice of making a functional space but at the same time keeping it a piece of art as most of Zaha Hadid’s projects…


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