History has it! Whenever you take a step beyond the threshold of others’ imagination, you are bound to face challenges, criticisms, acclaims, rewards and failures. When Zaha Hadid held the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2004 for her design of the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre as the first Arab woman architect, she wrote a new page in the history of empowerment of women.
Her sudden demise in March left a void in the architecture world. Her company was among the first ones to confirm her death at the Miami Hospital because of heart attack. She was being treated there for bronchitis.
Who is Zaha Hadid?
An Iraqi-British woman, Zaha Hadid conquered the men-owned world of designing concrete work. She didn’t just design it, she brought life to the buildings. It isn’t that easy to win a Pritzker Prize! She was born in 1950. Her father was a significant political figure who co-founded the left-liberal al-Ahali group and the National Democratic Party in Iraq.
Not only did she receive numerous acclaims in the right, she also had the honor or shall we say, many students from several parts of England and the United States had the honor to be a part of her knowledge-imparting sessions.
Zaha Hadid, the Woman She Was!
When she became the first woman to receive the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in early 2016, she told LA Times,
We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Being an Iraqi in England that too at that time, she had to face a lot of struggle and it is this struggle which carved her personality. Becoming what she is now was a fight with the society, her designs being unconventional, her thinking being beyond that time as well as her confidence didn’t make anything any easier. She told BBC Radio 4
“It’s a triple whammy. I’m a woman, which is a problem to many people. I’m a foreigner — another problem. And I do work which is not normative, which is not what they expect. Together, it becomes difficult.”
She established her own architecture practice in 1980 and her reputation in architecture gradually considering her out-of-the-box designs exhibited at New York Museum of Modern Art. She founded her own architect firm, namely, Zaha Hadid Architects which employs around 400 people and is headquartered in Clerkenwell, London.
To us she might be just an architect who designed great buildings but her struggles prove that she is not just an architect. She moved in every direction which challenged her to be what she wanted to, these challenges did not stop her. All they did was ignite the fire to succeed a lot lot more. While writing on her I saw the images of her concrete arts which include
Olympic Aquatics Centre, London
Maxxi Museums, Rome
Guangzhou Opera House, China
Evelyn Grace Academy, Z-shaped school in London
Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park in Seoul, South Korea
and many more such buildings which redefine architecture because of their unique designs. Zaha Hadid was not just limited to architecture but she also designed jewelry, she was associated with fashion and even furniture designing. She didn’t just restrict her creativity to buildings, her creativity satisfied the word “designing” in itself. She was a powerful person and it’s her valiant nature towards the society that made her powerful. Fighting against all odds to reach the zenith is what we, at WitsAndWings encourage.
Well, Zaha Hadid’s determination to do what she wanted and the way she did justice to the word architecture is something we should look up to and take inspiration from. Hurdles are bound to come but when you are focused and strong, everything is possible.