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ZAHA HADID 1950 - 2016

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Zaha Hadid was an internationally recognised Iraqi-British Architect, responsible for a variety of outstanding buildings and other structures, often based on unusual geometrical shapes. She received a number of prestigious awards for her innovative architectural designs, including on two occasions, the Stirling Prize. She was the first female architect to receive the Royal Gold Medal (awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects).  
 
 
 

Her father was a successful industrialist and her mother was an artist, which probably influenced her future career. Although initially studying Mathematics in Beirut, she came to London to study architecture in 1972, at the highly respected Architectural Association School of Architecture. After graduating, she worked in the Netherlands, although she started to build her reputation teaching Architecture in England, the USA and Germany, promoting an innovative and imaginative approach to the design of buildings. Many of her early designs were not built, undoubtedly due to the lack of foresight and ambition of potential clients, who selected more conservative and less imaginative architects.

She established her own company - Zaha Hadid Architects, in 1979.

 

Hadid’s break through came in 1993 with the design of a Fire Station for the Vitra Factory in Weil-am-Rhei, Germany. This imposing building is based on a number of intersecting geometrical shapes, with the main road running through its centre.

The polished concrete building is now a display area for the factories extensive collection of designer chairs.

 
A SMALL NUMBER OF ZAHA HADID’S PROJECTS
 
VITRA FACTORY FIRE STATION - 1993
 
 
 
BERGISEL SKI JUMP 2002
 
Hadid was awarded the commission to redesign the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria, after winning an international competition. The outcome was a typical Hadid design, blending the ski jump with the natural surroundings, and composed of curves and straight lines. It is both aesthetically pleasing and functional and challenges the appearance of existing ski jumps. It is a reinforce concrete and steel structure, with the ski jump integrated with a 360 degree viewing platform, allowing dramatic alpine views. The ski jump is probably the main visitor attraction in Innsbruck, being regarded as an outstanding, eye-catching, architectural masterpiece.
 
 
SHEIKH ZAYED BRIDGE, ABU-DHABI, UNITED EMIRATES- 2010
 
Although on first sight a very different type of bridge, it is in reality a cleverly disguised arch bridge. It is regarded as a landmark, in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It is a striking design, with its smooth curves that represent the desert sand dunes. It was completed in November 2010 and is composed of a decking of prestressed concrete and steel arches. It is a beautiful example of aesthetic design, in daylight, when all it’s features can be viewed. Also, at night, when the dynamic lighting system takes full effect.
 
 
 
 
LONDON AQUATICS CENTRE - 2012
 
Designed in 2004 and built for the London Olympics and Paralympics of 2012. Largely constructed of precast concrete with a structured steel roof. When first built, ‘wings’ on either side provided the necessary extra seating for the swimming events and after the Paralympics, these were removed and recycled (as always intended). Notice the shape of the roof, which is designed to look like a wave. Another eye-catching Hadid design.
 
 
 
 
MORE IMPRESSIVE ZAHA HADID’S PROJECTS
 
 
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