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Zaha Hadid

A designer par excellence in the world of interior design

Zaha Hadid 1950-2016 is considered the most important architect of this era. Internationally renowned architect, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize in 2004. In fact, she began her career as an artist and has often worked in the world of furniture design. His work engaged with the early Russian avant-garde with Kasimir Malevich

Some dates and successes

Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied at the American University of Beirut before emigrating to England in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association. Here he met Elia Zenghelis, Rem Koolhaas who was a founding member of OMA – Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Bernard Tschumi and Leon Krier, often cited as his mentor alongside El Lissistsky and, above all, Kazimir Malevich. After graduating in 1976, earning her degree with a thesis on the theme of inhabited bridges and proposing a project entitled "Malevič Tektonik", she continued in the Order of Architects as a teacher until 1987. London also saw her debut, where she obtained the first success with the exhibition of paintings depicting constructivist-influenced environments produced since the 1970s. These were visionary scenes that can be read as evidence of Hadid's central role. Also in London, in 1979, the Anglo-Iraqi designer founded her first studio, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). The first years saw numerous important projects, many of which go no further than the initial drawings, inspired once again by the language of the 1920s, from the project for “The Peak” in Hong Kong which won an international competition in 1983 with the participation of over fifty architects, at the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin 1986, and the unfortunate case of the Cardiff Bay Opera House 1994. These are all works in which Zaha Hadid's interest is directed towards the reduction of architecture to its elements, integrated into the topography thanks to very complex and designed with cutting-edge construction techniques to create new urban landscapes. Since the early 1990s, Hadid's form of expression has begun to move towards what has become one of the dominant themes in everything she has designed, not only architecture but also movement which is seen as the representation of a flow that moves in space and creates shapes.

Zaha has a breadth of achievements in contemporary design

Projects such as the Weil Am Rhein fire station in Germany inaugurated in 1993 and the first building to actually be entrusted to Hadid or the Hoenheim-Nord Terminus in Strasbourg 1999-2001, to reach its climax with more controversial works, many of which are located in Italy. There is the MAXXI in Rome, as well as the Rosenthal Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, his first project in America in 2003, in which the street climbs up into the building, becoming the spatial fulcrum. Salerno Maritime Terminal 2002-2012, where according to Hadid the quay rises gently, reflecting the series of ramps which slope progressively inward of the building via and provide passengers with access to the boarding platform; the Aquatics Centre, in London for the 2012 Olympics, whose shell is inspired by moving water. Guangzhou Opera House in China 2010 or the Heyday Aliyev Center in Baku 2013. The latest was the Napoli Afragola high-speed railway station, inaugurated in 2017, in which yet another architectural form becomes an urban landmark, with a emerging from the ground. Similar architectural complexes have often prompted careful reflection on the theme of building materials in which ZHA has carried out some experiments, with Italcementi for the MAXXI in Rome and the Italian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo which led to the filing of a patent for the transparent concrete. But also through research carried out on Corian with DuPont both for the Afragola station and for Z-Island, a monobloc kitchen that was presented at the Milan International Furniture Fair in 2006. For them, architecture was confined to paper, it was critical speculations about her fate and role in a hostile climate. Hadid's greatest achievement has been in changing that situation. The avant-garde is still wary of the compromises that real-world construction requires, but she recently - opened the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is convincing proof that his explosive vision of space is capable of becoming - without in any way compromising his ambitions - true architecture functional to a specific place and a specific role."