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Zaha Hadid

Zaha Mohammad Hadid (°Bagdad, October 31, 1950 – †London, March 31, 2016) is an Iraqi-British architect. She received the Pritzker Prize in 2004.

Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by the “powerful, curving forms of her elongated structures” with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. She is currently professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.

She grew up in one of Baghdad’s first Bauhaus-inspired buildings during an era in which “modernism connoted glamour and progressive thinking” in the Middle East.

She read mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; she became a partner in 1977. Through her association with Koolhaas, she met Peter Rice, the engineer who gave her support and encouragement early on at a time when her work seemed difficult. In 1979, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the Architectural Association.

Zaha Hadid has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was the Kenzo Tange Professorship and the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture. She also served as guest professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK Hamburg), the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University, the Masters Studio at Columbia University, and the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. From the year 2000 on Dame Zaha Hadid is a guest professor at The University of Applied Arts – Vienna, in the Zaha Hadid Master Class Vertical-Studio.

Zaha was named an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She has been on the board of trustees of The Architecture Foundation. She is currently professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.