|Zaha Hadid 1950-2016|
Last week the world of architecture and design lost one its true titans, Zaha Hadid. Haha Hadid was rarity, a woman who rose the top of the male-dominated architecture. Today, we are going to spend some time taking a look her career, with the help of Christopher Hawthorne's recent appreciation, the Los Angeles Times, of Ms. Hadid, "Appreciation A critic's take on the power of Zaha Hadid." Blogger's own recollections are of Ms. Hadid's presence looming large over the studio. Her work inspired both male and female students with their bold, yet sensous curves. As phenomenal as her work is and despite being the first (and so far only) female architect to win the Pritzker Prize, the profession's highest honor, her gender and notoriety was always added into the mix.
|Heydar Allyev Centre|
Zaha Hadid Architects
Patrik Schumacher, Ms. Hadid's longtime partner at her firm Zaha Hadid Architects, has frequently defended the firm's working, posting long rant essays on the social media pages claiming that architecture has gone soft, lost focus. Mr. Schumacher taken particular umbrage to the manner in which Pritzker jury and the organizers of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the two foremost tastemakers, have continued to honor more socially minded architecture. Case in point, when the annual Pritzker was awarded to Alejandro Aravena, a designer best know for low-cost housing in Chile, Mr. Schumacher registered his complaint on Facebook. He wrote, The PC takeover of architecture is complete: Pritzker Prize mutates into a prize for humanitarian work.
|Al Wakrah Stadium|
|Maxxi Museum, 2010|
Starting with the conceptual projects she was assigned at the prestigious Architectural Association in seventies London, as an architect in the Office of Metropolitan Architecture, then on her own-sketches, models, and large-scale paintings with their vertiginous perspective, Ms. Hadid introduced herself as a person with the power to reconfigure the profession. In 1983, she won the design competition for the Peak, a Hong Kong club with a Suprematist-referenced designed that was never built.
|Vitra Furniture Factory fire station, 1993|
Weil am Rhein, Germany
Photograph by © Wojtek Gurak
In recent years, running a big London-based firm and taking on global commissions, Ms. Hadid fully lived up to her potential with staggeringly diverse portfolio of work: museums in Rome, Cincinnati, and East Lansing, Michigan; an opera house in Guangzhou, China; an Austrian ski jump, the aquatic sports venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany.
|Artist's rendering of the New National Stadium|
However, as powerful as work was, her legacy will be founded on how she shattered architecture's glass ceiling. That is a complicated question. Like many professional women, Ms. Hadid resisted being pigeonholed as a female architect. Not that being a female or an architect are two mutually exclusive things but as a female in an architecture-allied profession, Blogger can say with absolute certainty that no one wants to be held to a different standard based on gender. The profession standards and practices do not distinguish between male and female; neither should we.
|Lois and Richard Rosenthal|
Center for Contemporary Art
Zaha Hadid would like to be remembered as an architect who designed buildings that provoked emotions, made people talk, made them think. This the power of buildings, they provoke a reaction. Socially and politically minded buildings do have their place in the world. Architecture is an art form in every sense of the word. Art should make you feel and think. Zaha Hadid strived for that-in her words:
|Zaha Hadid quote|