Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid – Top Woman Architect

Zaha Hadid, full name Dame Zaha Hadid born in Baghdad, Iraq on October 31, 1950. She was the best Iraqi born British architect known for her radical designs. Furthermore, she is the first lady architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She died 31, March 2016, Miami, Florida, U.S.


Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq during the period where the government was investing in modernized city’s architecture. During her childhood, she had seen many great architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier designing such iconic buildings. Her father Muhammad al-Hajj Husayn Hadid was a politician and industrialists and her mother Wajiha al-Sabunji was an architect.

Zaha Hadid said once that looking at her parent’s background, she always knew that she will be a professional. Her elder brothers want her to become the first Iraqi astronaut. She wanted that too but at the age of 11, she began to realize that she wants to become an architect. Her parents encouraged her to become an architect by letting her do the interiors of their home.

Her parents travelled a lot; hence she got the chance to get a multi-cultural international education. She got her formal education from boarding schools in Switzerland and England, and informal with her family. She said that wherever she goes with her father, he let her visit every museum and building in the area. Maybe that is what inspired her to become the best architect in England.

Zaha Hadid’s Early Life and Career

First Hadid got her education at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. After completing her bachelor’s in mathematics, she moved to London in 1972 to learn Architecture. She chose Architectural Association as it is one of the progressive Architectural institutes back in the 1970s. There Zaha Hadid met with other architects Rem Koolhas and Zenghelis. These guys were those whom she had collaboration at the office of Metropolitan Architecture. Later, she establishes her Firm named Zaha Hadid Architects In 1979.

The first time Zaha Hadid got the international recognition with Entry for the Peak. It was a recreational and leisure centre in Hong Kong. Her most of the designs in the 1980s and 90s were not realized including Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986).

Zaha Hadid First Project

One of her first mega projects was the Vitra Fire Station. Hadid worked on the project from 1989-93 in Germany. Her design was so unique contains a series of sharply angled planes. You can resemble the design with a bird in flight. She has also done some housing project for IBA Housing in Berlin. Furthermore, she worked on the Mind Zone exhibition space in 1999 in Greenwich, London. After doing such projects, Hadid found an interest in creating interconnecting spaces.

She first gets the attention of the people as the best architect of built works in 2000. She was the first woman architect to design an American museum of 85000 square foot in 2003. The design consists of a series of voids and cubes.

Death of Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid died in 2016 from a heart attack while she was getting treatment for bronchitis. She dedicated her whole life to her work and hence she did not have her own family. She said, “If [architecture] doesn’t kill you, then you’re no good … you have to go at it full time. You can’t afford to dip in and out.” The Guardian described her as the “Queen of the curve”.