photographer: Brigitte Lacombe


Zaha Hadid was an architect who was consistently pushing the boundaries of architecture and urban design. Her work experimented with new spatial concepts intensifying existing urban landscapes in the pursuit of a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture. Best known for her seminal built works (Vitra Fire Station, Land Formation-One, Bergisel Ski Jump, Strasbourg Tram Station and Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati) her central concerns involved a simultaneous engagement in practice, teaching and research.


Hadid has been testing the boundaries of architectural design in a series of research-based competitions. Winning designs include:
The Peak, Hong Kong (1983); Kurfürstendamm, Berlin (1986); Düsseldorf Art and Media Centre (1992/93); Cardiff Bay Opera House, Wales (1994); Thames Water/Royal Academy Habitable Bridge, London (1996); Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati (1998); University of North London Holloway Road Bridge (1998); The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Rome (1999); Bergisel Ski-jump, Innsbruck (1999); The Wolfsburg Science Centre (2000); the Maritime Ferry Terminal in Salerno, (2000); Placa de les Artes in Barcelona (2001); One-north Masterplan for Singapore's Science Hub (2001); the Ordrupgaard Museum Extension in Copenhagen (2001); the BMW Central Plant Building in Leipzig (2002); the Price Tower Art Center, Bartlesville (2002); the Departement de l’Herault Culture Sport Building, Montpellier (2003); the new High Speed Rail Station Napoli-Afragola, Naples (2003); the Guangzhou Opera House, China (2003); and a masterplan for Beijing’s Soho City, China (2003).
Other competition entries include large scale urban studies for Hamburg, Madrid, Bordeaux and Cologne; museum buildings in Bad Deutsch Altenburg, Austria, Madrid (Prado, Reina Sofia, Royal Palace), the Victoria & Albert Museum's Boilerhouse Gallery, London and a Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha, Qatar; concert halls for Copenhagen and Luxembourg; a theatre for the Hackney Empire, London and large scale multi-functional buildings for 42nd street, New York as well as for the IIT Campus in Chicago, and third prize for an event and delivery centre for BMW in Munich.


Hadid’s work was widely published in periodicals and monographs which include “Zaha Hadid: Planetary Architecture Two”
(no.11, 1983); “Zaha Hadid”, AA files (no.5, 1986); “Zaha Hadid 1983-1991”, El Croquis (no.52, Dec, 1991,Madrid); “Zaha Hadid 1992-1995”, El Croquis (no. 73, Sept, 1995, Madrid); “El Croquis 1996-2001”
(no. 103, 2001, Madrid); “Zaha Hadid: The Complete Buildings and Projects” (Thames & Hudson, 1998); “Zaha Hadid - LF One” (Birkhäuser, 1999); “Architecture of Zaha Hadid in photographs by Helene Binet” (Lars Muller Publishers, 2000); “Zaha Hadid, Opere e Progetti” (Italy, 2002); “Zaha Hadid Architektur”, (MAK, Vienna, 2003); GA Document
(nos. 65 and 66. Japan, 2001); New York Times (June 2002 and June 2003); Financial Times
(June 2002 and June 2003); The Independent (June 2002); Time Magazine (October 2002 and June 2003); Newsweek (May 2003), “Zaha Hadid Space for Art” (Lars Muller Publishers, 2004).


Gold Medal Architectural Design, British Architecture for 59 Eaton Place, London, 1982
Honourable Member of the Bund Deutsches Architekten, 1998
Honourable Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2000
Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects, 2000
Mind Zone, Millennium Dome, London - RIBA Awards 2000
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - FX Awards 2001 Finalist
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Equerre d'Argent special mention, 2001
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - AIA UK Chapter Award, 2002
One-north Master Plan, Singapore - AIA UK Chapter Honourable Mention, 2002
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Red Dot Award, 2002
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - Austrian State Architecture Prize, 2002
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - WIRED Rave Awards Nominee, 2003
Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck - Tyrolean Architecture Award, 2002
Commander of the British Empire, 2002
Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg - Mies van der Rohe Award 2003
Architect of the year 2004, Blueprint Award
Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati - WIRED Rave Award 2004
Zaha Hadid, Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2004


Hadid's paintings and drawings have always been an important testing field, and a medium for the exploration of her design. Major exhibitions include a retrospective at the Architectural Association, London (1983), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1978), the GA Gallery, Tokyo (1985), “Deconstructivist Architecture” at MoMA, New York (1988), the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (1995), Grand Central Station New York (1995), the San Francisco MoMA (1997/98), The Venice Architecture Biennale (2000), “Zaha Hadid Lounge” at the Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg (2001), The Venice Architecture Biennale (2002), “Zaha Hadid” MAXXI in Rome (2002), “Zaha Hadid Laboratory” in Yale (2002) - the National Building Museum, Washington (2002) - Price Tower Arts Centre Gallery (2002) - and the Artists Space in New York (2003), “Zaha Hadid Architecture” MAK Exhibition Hall in Vienna (2003).
Hadid's work also forms part of the permanent collections of various institutions such as MoMA New York, MoMA San Francisco and the Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
Exhibition designs are: 'The Great Utopia', Guggenheim Museum, New York (1992); 'WishMachine' at the Vienna Kunsthalle (1996); 'Addressing the Century' at the Hayward Gallery, London (1998); Paper Art at the Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Düren (1996); Jewellery Exhibition, Zurich (2000); ‘Borderline Exhibition’ Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (2000).