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About Zaha Hadid

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, Hadid soon enrolled to study architecture at the Architectural Association and was awarded the prestigious Diploma Prize in 1977. Hadid then went to work for her former professors Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rotterdam.  

In 1979, she founded her eponymous practice Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in London, which went on to design works such as the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Austria (1994), MAXXI Museum in Rome, Italy (2009), London Aquatics Centre in London, England (2004), Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea (2014), and Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan (2012). 

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. 

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