Zaha Hadid (British/Iraqi, b.1950) is an architect living and working in London. The first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2004, Hadid is known for the dynamic curving forms in her powerful, elongated structures. Born in Baghdad, Hadid was raised in a flourishing, secular, liberal Iraq, at a time when Modernism signified progressive thinking in the Middle East. After receiving a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut, Hadid moved on in 1972 to study at the Architectural Association in London. It was there that she met Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, and Bernard Tschumi, simiarly-minded progressive architects who would also become leading champions of experimental European architecture. After graduating in 1977, Hadid briefly became a partner at the new firm of Koolhaas and Ella Zenghelis, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, but would soon go on to establish her own London-based practice.

Through her early work and teaching, Hadid fostered her neo-Modernist aesthetic—what she described as a new fluid kind of spatiality of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry, meant to evoke the chaos of modern life. It took time for her radical, fluid spaces to be accepted by the public, however, and a number of Hadid’s initial winning designs were never built—notably, the Peak Club in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

Hadid’s first building in the United States, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003), was an immediate critical and popular success. Hailed by The New York Times as the most important American building to be completed since the Cold War, the Rosenthal Center allowed Hadid to manifest her beliefs on curating and the museum-going experience, conceived as a ‘kit of parts,’ which curators could customize for each show. The Rosenthal cemented Hadid’s reputation as one of the world’s most exciting and significant Contemporary architects, and led to major commissions, such as the BMW Central Building in Leipzig (2005), the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg (2005), and the MAXXI Contemporary Arts Centre in Rome (2010).

Timeline

1972–1977
Studied architecture at the Architectural Association. Awarded the Diploma Prize upon graduation.
1982
Gold Medal Architectural Design, British Architecture for 59 Eaton Place, London
1983
The Peak, Hong Kong
1986
Kurfürstendamm, Berlin
1977–1987
Became a partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, taught at the AA with OMA collaborators Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, and later led her own studio at the AA.
1987
Since 1987, she has held the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture, Chicago; guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg; the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York.
1992–1993
Düsseldorf Art and Media Centre
1994
Cardiff Bay Opera House, Wales
1996
Thames Water/Royal Academy Habitable Bridge, London
1998
Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati
1998
University of North London Holloway Road Bridge
1998
Honourable Member of the Bund Deutsches Architekten,
1999
The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Rome
1999
Bergisel Ski-jump, Innsbruck
2000
The Wolfsburg Science Centre
2000
The Maritime Ferry Terminal in Salerno
2000
Honourable Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
2000
Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects
2000
Mind Zone, Millennium Dome, London - RIBA Awards
2001
Placa de les Artes in Barcelona
2001
One-north Masterplan for Singapore's Science Hub
2001
Ordrupgaard Museum Extension in Copenhagen
2001
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - FX Awards , Finalist
2001
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Equerre d'Argent, special mention
2002
BMW Central Plant Building in Leipzig
2002
Price Tower Art Center, Bartlesville
2002
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - AIA UK Chapter Award
2002
One-north Master Plan, Singapore - AIA UK Chapter, Honourable Mention
2002
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Red Dot Award
2002
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - Austrian State Architecture Prize
2002
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - Tyrolean Architecture Award
2002
Commander of the British Empire
2003
Departement de l'Herault Culture Sport Building, Montpellier
2003
The new High Speed Rail Station Napoli-Afragola, Naples
2003
Guangzhou Opera House, China
2003
Masterplan for Beijing's Soho City, China
2003
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - WIRED Rave Awards Nominee
2003
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Mies van der Rohe Award
2004
Architect of the Year, Blueprint Award
2004
Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati - WIRED Rave Award
2004
Zaha Hadid, Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize
2009
Praemium Imperiale

Exhibitions

2012
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin, Gallery Weekend Berlin, Germany (solo)
2012
Form in Motion, Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA (solo)
2009
U.F.O.: Grenzgänge zwischen Kunst und Design, NRW Forum Düsseldorf, Germany
2009
Monuments with a horizon line II (Sean Dawson, Zaha Hadid, Markus Miessen & Bettina Pousttchi, Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, Sergio Prego, Joel Sternfeld, Jorinde Voigt, Lawrence Weiner, Clare Woods), Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
2009
Sharjah Biennial 9 (with Lawrence Weiner)
2009
In situ: Architecture and Landscape, MoMA, New York
2008–2009
Museums in the 21st century, UMMA, Ann Arbor
2008–2009
Interior/Exterior (with Mario Merz), Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg
2008
Museums in the 21st century, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
2008
Zaha Hadid, Mobile Art: Chanel Contemporary Art Container, National Yoyogi Stadium, Tokyo
2007
Ideal House, Internationale Möbelmesse, Cologne
2007
Dune Formations, David Gill Galleries, Venice Biennale
2007
Global Cities, Tate Modern, London
2007
Urban Voids, Architecture Triennale Lisbon
2007
Airs de Paris, Centre Pompidou Centre, Paris
2007
Milan Furniture Fair, Milan
2007
Zaha Hadid Architecture and Design, Design Museum, London
2006
Tokyo Blossoms, The Haro Museum Installation, Tokyo
2006
Zaha Hadid, Guggenheim Museum, New York
2005
25 Years of Deutsche Bank Collection, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
2005
Elastika intervention at Design 05, Art Basel, Miami Beach
2005
25 Jahre Sammlung Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
2005
Zaha Hadid: Paintings, Kenny Schachter ROVE, London
2004
Zaha Hadid Paintings, Somerset House, London
2004
Venice Biennale
2004
Sulle Tracce di Mozart, Palazzo Reale, Milan
2003
Zaha Hadid Architecture MAK, Vienna
2003
Artists Space, New York
2003
Zaha Hadid Architecture, MAK Exhibition Hall in Vienna
2002
Zaha Hadid, MAXXI in Rome
2002
Zaha Hadid Laboratory, in Yale
2002
The National Building Museum, Washington
2002
Price Tower Arts Centre Gallery
2002
The Venice Architecture Biennale
2002
City of Towers, Venice Biennale
2001
Zaha Hadid Lounge, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg
2000
The Venice Architecture Biennale
2000
Borderline Exhibition, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
1998
Addressing the Century: 100 Years of Art and Fashion, Hayward Gallery, London
1997–1998
San Francisco MoMA
1997
Mind Zone, Millenium Dome, London
1996
WishMachine: World Invention, Wiener Kunsthalle, Vienna
1996
Paper Art, Leopold-Hosch Museum, Düren
1995
The Graduate School of Design at Harvard University
1995
Grand Central Station New York
1992
The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde 1915-1932, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York
1988
Deconstructivist Architecture, MoMA, New York
1985
GA Gallery, Tokyo
1983
Architectural Association, London
1978
Guggenheim Museum, New York