the world's most visited architecture website

Spotlight: Zaha Hadid

Since winning the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the first woman and Muslim to do so, Hadid's career has been on an exponential trajectory. Before the prize, Hadid was better known for her extraordinary sketch-paintings of unbuilt works; particularly, her competition-winning entries for "The Peak" in 1982 and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in 1994. Zaha's "flying" forms were so revolutionary, that some questioned if they could even be made reality - hence why the Opera House was ultimately rejected, for supposed "uncertainties." Indeed, before 1994, the only built project she could boast was the complex, deconstructivist Vitra Fire Station.

Of course, it's Zaha that's getting the last laugh. Her back-to-back Stirling Prizes for the MAXXI Museum in 2010 and the Evelyn Grace Academy in 2011 are only the tip of the iceberg. In the last four years, she's churned out a bevy of critically-acclaimed projects, including: 2010's Guangzhou Opera House (a direct descendent of the Cardiff Bay design, according to The Guardian's Jonathan Glancey); 2011's London Aquatics Centre, easily the star of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the Riverside Museum, winner of the European Museum Academy Micheletti Award 2012; 2012's Galaxy Soho in Beijing, shortlisted for RIBA's Lubetkin Prize; in 2013 alone, her firm's first built tower, it's second project on North American soil, the award winning Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, and a somewhat controversial annex to The Serpentine Sackler Gallery; finally in 2014, the firm has already completed two significant university buildings, the Jockey Club Innovation Tower in Hong Kong and the Issam Fares Institutein Beirut, and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a large cultural complex in South Korea. 

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

And there's much more in the works. In the next decade or so, we'll be seeing high-profile works by Hadid across the globe: including the 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar; the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan; an apartment block along New York City's High Line; the Cambodian Genocide Institute; as well as projects in ItalySaudi Arabia, Changsha, Macau and Dubai.

Check out just some of Hadid's many projects through the images below:

©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan © Hufton + Crow © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Related Companies © Paul Warchol © Luke Hayes © Wojtek Gurak © Hufton + Crow © Virgile Simon Bertrand © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects; 2014 Melco Crown Entertainment Limited © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Virgile Simon Bertrand © Hufton + Crow © Luke Hayes © Japan Sport Council © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife © Zaha Hadid Architects

Cite:Vanessa Quirk. "Spotlight: Zaha Hadid" 31 Oct 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>