Zaha Hadid Defends Qatar Stadium from Critics

  • 26 Nov 2013
  • by
  • Architecture News mini
Courtesy of ZHA

In an exclusive interview with TIME, has finally responded to the claims – voiced most notably by Jon Stewart - that her design for the Al Wakrah Stadium (what will be Qatar’s stadium for the 2022 World Cup) resembles female genitalia (Stewart in fact called Hadid the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside“).

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.” Hadid also goes on to suggest that “if a guy had done this project,” these “lewd” comparisons would not have been made. Read the full story at

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "Zaha Hadid Defends Qatar Stadium from Critics" 26 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    The building is really beautiful but lets be honest, this building is no more reminiscent of a dhow than any other building her team has designed.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -24

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +9

    I can’t believe she gratified it with a response, but more so that she can’t see it. I suppose it shows the arbitary nature of this kind of architecture. Not that it matters, vast majority of the users wont be arriving by helicopter… oh wait its in Qatar? scrap that.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +5

      Can’t believe how architecture has greatly degraded these days.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Watch the daily show skit on the building, they don’t even mention the architect is a woman until after everyone starts laughing. It’s bloody obvious

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    What’s wrong with comparing art with anatomy? There is a clear resemblance.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    Hey, rather that than a pair of balls.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +9

    But it DOES look like a vagina! and I think it’s great that it does.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    Yes it can look like a vagina, so what? What is the buzz for?

  9. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    Honestly, the arguments that male designed buildings are predominantly phallic go back decades. The lay person sees what architects don’t see all the time and people regularly give objects and buildings anthropomorpic qualities, its what we as humans do all the time, and frankly, it does look like what everybody say it looks like. Does it make it any less beautiful a form, no. Will the form open the building up to jokes and criticisim, inevitably it does, but so does a lot of Zahas and other architects work, I mean take a look at the adds run for the Gerkin for erectile dysfunction:

    Its inevitable, and not at all degrading, its a beautiful building. Its a high profile project, and she should have known what to expect, because I’m sure there were jokes made in that office. As far as I’m concerned, Architects (me included) need to get off their high horse and take a joke every once in a while.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down +4

    it does look like lady bits. that’s okay it’s still awesome (maybe even more awesome). male architects have all of their towers called phalluses, so there’s really no reason to get all upset over the comparison. it’s just a cheap shot by jealous people… or a light-humored observation that doesn’t contain any malice. I hope it’s built!

  11. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    My first reaction to the image is that it was a modern take of the “all seeing eye” or the one that wards off evil. Jon Stewart clearly has retarded perception and only has his mind in the gutter.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    Whew! That’s a relief. I held my breath when clicking this link that I might find that architects had somehow found a sense of humor. Thankfully it appears that everything is business as usual. Back to wearing black.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    It doesn’t matter what this lady architect want to say about her design; it is what we (the users) see in it

  14. Thumb up Thumb down +7

    I personally take everything Jon Stewart says seriously…especially in matters of architecture.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down -4

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  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    no more female genitalia than most skyscrapers, including Eiffel tower, look like male attributes, no less either

  17. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Hm, I think it looks to futuristic for a stadium. Althouh if you would turn it and look at it from up, it would look like a vagina.

  18. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Male architects are accused almost on a daily basis to make giant dildos…so Zaha’s comments are out of place. Also, it does look like a female genitalia, but then, so what?

  19. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Well, you can’t deny that it looks like it…
    I find most of Hadid’s works predictable and straight out primitive. This one at least contains some humor.

  20. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice, but still reminiscent of a vagina. And if Zaha can’t notice it then well.

  21. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    So what if it resembles a vagina? there are more than enough examples of phallic buldings around the world that don’t wake this giant wave of criticism.

  22. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Well if you look at it that way, 80% of other buildings are a phallic object, so at least she’s evened out the playing field a bit!

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