Zaha Hadid is globally recognised as one of the most important architects of the modern period, frequently credited with developing a whole new architectural language in her quest for what she described as ‘complex, dynamic and fluid spaces.’
Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Zaha was schooled in Iraq, Switzerland, and England, before studying mathematics at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
After moving to London from Beirut in 1972, Zaha soon enrolled to study architecture at the Architectural Association and was awarded the prestigious Diploma Prize upon graduation in 1977.
Zaha then went to work for her former professors Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rotterdam. Shortly after, in 1979, she founded her eponymous practice Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in London.
As a passionate educator, deeply committed to the support of young people, and new ideas, she continued to teach as her practice flourished, first at the Architectural Association (until 1987) and then at prestigious institutions around the world including Cambridge, Columbia, Harvard School of Design, University of Applied Arts, Vienna and Yale.
Zaha’s outstanding contribution to architecture and the arts was recognised during her life with numerous awards, including the Stirling Prize (2010 and 2011). She was the first female recipient of the Pritzker Prize (2004) and the first women (in her own right) to receive the Royal Gold Medal in recognition of her lifetime’s work (2015). She died, at the age of 65, in 2016.