Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

© Simone Cecchetti

Zaha Hadid  turns 63 today, and the Dame has a lot to celebrate.

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.

Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic Stadium to Be “Scaled Down”

© ZHA

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura, has announced a plan to trim the budget proposed for the Olympic stadium (now expected to cost $3 billion) designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While he did not reveal the details of the scale-down, he maintained that the “design concept will be kept.” 

Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese architects – including Sou Fujimoto, and – to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context. 

SOHO China’s Zhang Xin on Balancing Design and Commercial Viability

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The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.

Watch Zhang Xin link her practice in real estate to larger global issues and catch a glimpse of two Zaha Hadid-designs currently under construction: Wangjing SOHO and Sky SOHO.

Zaha Hadid Designs New Office Building and Hotel for Dubai

Scheduled to open its doors in 2016, the new office building and hotel designed by for is already under construction. Dubbed “Opus,” the new tower will be the first mixed-use building to be developed in the city as two individual structures, conceived as a single cube formed by a conventional slabs stacked vertically and served by a circulation core.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery / Zaha Hadid, Photos by Danica O. Kus

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A couple of days ago we featured Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery, her recent conversion of a classical 19th century brick structure. Today, photographer Danica Kus shared with us some more photos on this project. Enjoy them all after the break.

A Sincere Interview with Zaha Hadid

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Image © Architects

With the opening of her latest London project, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park, Xan Brooks of the Guardian conducted this interview with the enigmatic Zaha Hadid. They discuss some of her greatest successes (The MAXXI museum) and some of the contentious issues around some of her buildings (Galaxy Soho, for example) – before moving on to her approach to designing for oppressive regimes (yes, “if it helps people”) and finally her apprehension over a return trip to Iraq, the homeland which she has not returned to in over 30 years. You can read the full article here.

Zaha Hadid: Has International Fame Come at a Cost?

© Marco Grob, via The Guardian

From “Paper Architect” to employing over 400 staff working on 950 projects in 44 countries, Zaha Hadid has proven that her avant-garde ideas are not only buildable, but also the most popular architectural brand in the world. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the countries first in line to commission Hadid icons. Rowan Moore, however, claims that her recent accolades have come at the cost of her original ideals, becoming trapped in her own public persona. Read the full article, Zaha Hadid: queen of the curve.

Zaha Hadid and United Nude Unveil the nOVa Shoe

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Zaha Hadid is no stranger to the marriage of architecture and fashion. She’s designed runways for Chanelshoes for Lacoste, and was even named Woman of the Year by in 2012. On her quest to feed a constant desire for experimentation and innovation, she has turned to the world of smaller-scale objects in order to work out new fabrication techniques and possibly even redefine formal relationships. Her latest foray into fashion—designing shoes in collaboration with Rem D. Koolhaas’s brand United Nude— brings her architectural style to the feet of ladies willing to shell out $2000 USD for a pair of daring, cantilevered heels.

Zaha Hadid Wins Veuve Cliquot Business Women Award

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Zaha Hadid has been announced as the winner of the 41st Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award at a ceremony in London on Monday. Now in its 41st year, the Veuve Clicquot Award was set up by the Champagne house to recognize the work of successful businesswomen worldwide, who embody their spirit of Madame Clicquot.

Madame Clicquot was a 19th Century businesswomen who, after being widowed at the age of 27, took the reigns of her husband’s Champagne business and became one of the first women to lead a male-dominated company. The company describes her as a women who was ‘proud and strong-willed’ who demanded “only one quality, the finest.” The award appraises the nominees under the headings of entrepreneurship, financial success, corporate social responsibility and whether or not they are seen as a role model to others.

Best Architect-Designed Products of Milan Design Week 2013

Tools for Life / © Ilan Rubin

This week at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, over 2,500 exhibitors showcased an endless collection of the latest international products and home-furnishing designs. Among them included a variety of elegant and intelligently designed items envisioned by some of our favorite architects. Continue after the break to scroll through a list of the best architect-designed products featured at the .

Zaha Hadid Receives Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership

© Simone Cecchetti

Zaha Hadid‘s success has been highlighted by yet another award. The Iraqi-born, world-renowned architect was honored with the yesterday, January 21, at the international DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference in Munich. Since 2006, this annual award has honored female digital entrepreneurs for their visionary and successful ideas. Past recipients include The Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, former journalist and Wall Street technology analyst Esther Dyson, business magnate Martha Stewart, and more. 

As reported by Herald Online, Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda stated: “Leaders are needed when times are changing, creative leaders change times themselves. They make things – like Zaha. She’s unafraid to disrupt, she’s very optimistic. Today we celebrate her incredible optimism.”

Pharrell to Collaborate with Zaha Hadid

Hip-Hop artist Pharrell is used to collaborating with big names – Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and now? Zaha Hadid.

According to an interview with Hypebeast, the artist has decided to continue his dabble into the design world (he’s written a book and designed chairs in the past) by working on a pre-fab home with the Pritzker Prize-winning architect:

Pharrell: “There’s a collaboration I’m working with , we’re touring around with the idea of a prefab for a house.

Hypebeast: Is that still at the planning stages or are you guys looking to erect something soon?

Pharell, enigmatically: “Well, we’re going to see something through.”

Via GreatSpaces and Hypebeast 

Zaha Hadid Seeing Double in China

Wangjing SOHO: East © ZHA

Eleven  projects are currently being constructed in , however one of them has the international architecture mogul seeing double. Unfortunately, Hadid has found herself in a race to finish the Wangjing SOHO office and retail complex in Beijing before pirates complete their doppelgänger version in Chongqing, a megacity near the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau.

As reported on Spiegel Online, the Dame claimed that the pirates are currently in the lead and building faster than SOHO. The original, which is set for completion in 2014, features three curved towers whose “shimmering”, metallic skin unifies the complex as each volume appears to “dance” around each other.

Hadid is not the first to be mimicked in China. Last year, a small UNESCO-protected village in Austria, Hallstatt, was recreated, brick for brick, in the subtropical district of Guangdong, China. You can find the complete story here.

Zaha Hadid commissioned to design Miami Skyscraper

The northern portion of the Biscayne Wall © Marc Averette via Wikipedia

The Miami Herald has just announced that Zaha Hadid will be designing her first skyscraper in the Western hemisphere in Miami: America’s Next Great Architectural City. The female powerhouse has been commissioned to transform a waterfront property, currently occupied by a BP Station at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, predominantly into a residential high rise. The skyscraper will rise above the neighboring Museum Park and fill a void in the wall of towering condos, commonly referred to as the “Biscayne Wall”. Details of the design are expected to be released next year.

This news comes shortly after Zaha’s loss to Norman Foster in an intense competition to design New York City’s next high-profile office tower on 425 Park Avenue. You can watch the A-list architects battle it out here as they present their ideas to the jury.

As we reported last year, Zaha was also selected to design a Miami Beach parking garage at Collins Park, which was approved for construction by the Beach Historic Preservation Board last month.

Check out the preliminary renderings of the Collins Park garage, after the break…

The architect at work: 425 Park Ave

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A few months ago we informed you about a competition to re develop the massive “wedding-cake” style building at 425 Park Ave in NY, near Mies’ Seagram Building and SOM’s Lever House. The objective of the developer, L&L Holding, was to turn this project into the next iconic building of the city, and for that they invited a group of eleven renowned practices, including ten Pritzker laureates.

The shortlist was announced in October, and included , Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and , which was later announced as the winner of the competition a few weeks ago.

Over the last days, the presentations of the architects to the clients appeared on YouTube, and now we have the opportunity to see these interesting group of architects doing a fundamental part of their work. In the videos we see each architect using their own presentation style, either a PPT, video or just physical boards, connecting it to the practice’s research and discourse, projecting their passion about certain features of their projects and engaging with the client around their main objective: to turn this into an iconic project.

Four videos that take us further into how we understand projects, showing insights that we often don’t have access to, turning the competition into a particular moment of architecture this year.

Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners presentations after the break:

Video: Zaha Hadid / Galaxy SOHO, Beijing


Last weekend, in the heart of Beijing, the unveiling of the amorphous globes of Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy SOHO stunned visitors with the office and retail complex’s radical aesthetic. Beijing’s rapid economic growth has thrust the cityscape into a continuous battle between ever-climbing modern high rises, and the traditional, winding alleyways, unique to the capital city. Crane.tv meets Hadid to hear about her newest structural feat, and collect the thoughts of the building’s wide-eyed neighbours.

Glamour Magazine names Zaha Hadid as ‘Woman of the Year’

Zaha at her studio on the “Lotus” via

As per usual, Zaha Hadid has been making headlines this week, starting with the release of her newly constructed Galaxy SOHO project in central Beijing and followed by an outpour of recognition within the world of architecture for her 62nd Halloween birthday. Well now, the Dame is making waves in an entirely different territory, as Glamour Magazine has announced Hadid as the “Woman of the Year 2012”.

The magazine centered around fashion, beauty and gossip, has labeled the first female Pritzker Prize laureate as “The Lady Gaga of Architecture”. Glamour praised Hadid’s tenacious demeanor that allowed her to succeed in a “man’s job” and become “one of the most accomplished architects on earth”.

Read Glamour’s complete tribute here.

AD Round Up: Zaha Hadid

© Iwan Baan

In case you hadn’t noticed, today is the birthday of the most influential woman in architecture, Zaha Hadid. So you can’t miss this special Round Up with 9 great projects by the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize. The main image is MAXXI Museum in Rome, where Zaha Hadid intended ‘a new fluid kind of spatiality of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry, designed to embody the chaotic fluidity of modern life’. Check out, Tondonia Winery Pavilion in La Rioja, Spain or the great London Aquatics Centre for 2012 Summer Olympics. Also in , ROCA Gallery, a space where the main concept is water erosion. Don’t miss Chamber Music Hall, created for solo performances of Johann Sebastian Bach’s chamber music masterpieces or the amazing Guangzhou Opera House, in China. Like pavilions design? take a look at Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion and Burnham Pavilion in Chicago. Finally, revisit one of our AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station. Happy Birthday Zaha!