Zaha Hadid RA

Zaha Hadid RA

Zaha Hadid RA (1950-2016) was a pioneering architect and designer renowned for visionary structures including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Guangzhou Opera House in China and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku.

Artist profile

Zaha Hadid RA was born in Baghdad, Iraq. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to study at the progressive Architectural Association. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her trail-blazing theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). 


Among her many awards and accolades, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, and also the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2016. In 2010 and 2011, her designs were awarded the Stirling Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects. She was elected as a Royal Academician in 2005.


As an architect and designer, Zaha Hadid’s work explored spatial concepts at all scales. When speaking of her work as a designer Hadid explained “My product designs and architecture have always been connected; some of our earliest projects were designs for products and interiors. These design pieces are very important to me and my team. They inspire our creativity by providing an opportunity to express our ideas through different scales and through different media; an essential part of our on-going design investigation.”


Photo: Zaha Hadid by Brigitte Lacombe

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