First woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the first and only woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects
"Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA (Arabic: زها حديد)(31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) was an Iraqi-British architect.
She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK's most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
She was described by The Guardian of London as the 'Queen of the curve', who "liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity." Her major works include the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University's Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Some of her designs have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards, and several of her buildings were still under construction at the time of her death, including the Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Following her death in March 2016, Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times wrote: "...her soaring structures left a mark on skylines and imaginations and in the process re-shaped architecture for the modern age...Her buildings elevated uncertainty to an art, conveyed in the odd way of one entered and moved through these buildings and in the questions that her structures raised about how they were supported...Hadid embodied, in its profligacy and promise, the era of so-called starchitects who roamed the planet in pursuit of their own creative genius, offering miracles, occasionally delivering."
Deyan Sudjic of The Guardian described Hadid as "an architect who first imagined, then proved, that space could work in radical new ways...Throughout her career, she was a dedicated teacher, enthused by the energy of the young. She was not keen to be characterised as a woman architect, or an Arab architect. She was simply an architect."
In an interview published in Icon magazine, she said: "I never use the issue about being a woman architect.. but if it helps younger people to know they can break through the glass ceiling, I don't mind that."
Sometimes called the 'Queen of the curve', Hadid was frequently described in the press as the world's top female architect. Although her work also attracted criticism. The Metropolitan Museum in New York cited her "unconventional buildings that seem to defy the logic of construction." Her architectural language was described as "famously extravagant" and she was accused of building "dictator states". Architect Sean Griffiths characterised Hadid's work as "an empty vessel that sucks in whatever ideology might be in proximity to it".
Hadid was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2002 Birthday Honours and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to architecture. Hadid was named an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She was on the board of trustees of The Architecture Foundation. In 2002, Hadid won the international design competition to design Singapore's one-north master plan. In 2004, Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland and she was elected as a Royal Academician. In 2006, she was honoured with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut. In 2008, she was ranked 69th on the Forbes list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". In 2010, she was named by Time as an influential thinker in the 2010 TIME 100 issue. In September 2010 the New Statesman listed Zaha Hadid at number 42 in its annual survey of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures of 2010".
In 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Hadid appeared on Debrett's list of the most influential people in the UK. In January 2015, she was nominated for the Services to Science and Engineering award at the British Muslim Awards.
She won the Stirling Prize, the UK's most prestigious award for architecture, two years running: in 2010, for one of her most celebrated works, the MAXXI in Rome, and in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy, a Z‑shaped school in Brixton, London. She also designed the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park in Seoul, South Korea, which was the centrepiece of the festivities for the city's designation as World Design Capital 2010. In 2014, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, designed by her, won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award, making her the first woman to win the top prize in that competition.
In 2016 in Antwerp, Belgium a square was named after her, Zaha Hadidplein, in front of the extension of the Antwerp Harbour House designed by Zaha Hadid.
Google celebrated her achievements with a Doodle on May 31, 2017, to commemorate the date (in 2004) on which Hadid became the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize." (1)