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Supernova Zaha Hadid
Just in September 2015, Dame Zaha Hadid was announced as the first female Royal Institute of British Architect (RIBA) Gold Medalist. Fast forward 6 months later, the sudden news of her death shocked the world. The celebrated lady architect died on March 31st, 2016 from a sudden heart attack, aged 65.
Dame Zaha Hadid

When I first heard about the news of Zaha Hadid’s death, it felt somewhat unreal to comprehend. How in the world can we live without the fearless trailblazer – whose works constantly inspire, not to mention sparking endless yet fascinating controversies? She is pretty much like what Architect Graham Morrison said, living in a world of her own, so extraordinary. In my mind, she is the epitome of beauty, an inspirational woman, the kind of architect one can only dream of being. 

Recently, I was just youtubing documentaries about Zaha and interviews with the famously dubbed Queen of Curves. Her bold, outspoken and dignified response to her work is interesting and it comes as no surprise considering early in her childhood she have always known that she wanted to be an architect.
Born and bred in Iraq, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut, before moving to London to pursue architecture. She joined the Architectural Association in 1972 as a student then a tutor, before becoming a partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture alongside Architect Rem Koolhaas. Launching her career forward, she started her own practice in 1980. Things were not as straightforward. Dismissed as a “Paper Architect”, the struggle of her early days in practice were well documented. Her first building would only come after two decades since she started. Her conceptual works proved far too much for the reality of construction and it is only through her sheer determination to develop that made her able to enjoy her success. 

The Vitra Fire Station was the fire starter of her many quests to world domination. With explosive forms expressed on the building, it was this design that shook the architectural world, pushing the limits of what is possible.

Suprematism 1916, by Kasimir Malevich 
When many distinguished architects derided upon her works especially on the lost opportunity of the Cardiff Bay Opera House, her riguour, effort and mannerism were unstoppable. She has continued to stump her way through and prove herself right. With countless projects around the world to name a few, her most significant, The Peak in Hong Kong, BMW Center in Leipzig, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, London Olympics Aquatics Centre, the MAXXI Museum in Italy and the latest Hayder Aliyev Center in Baku, are all part of her design evolution. 
Cardiff Bay Opera House, Zaha’s project proposed in the 1990’s that never materialized
The Peak, Zaha’s proposal for a competition in Hong Kong, 1982
London Olympics 2012 Aquatics Centre
London Olympics 2012 Aquatics Centre

Her relentless architectural development, from her paintings to challenging constructional conventions as well as her unending desire to make these seemingly impossible building shapes a reality is what made her a true star in her own right. 

Zaha’s latest, Hayder Aliyev Center in Baku

With her recent passing, the star will forever shine with her legacy changing the architectural world today. Zaha Hadid, the unassailable talent who will be deeply missed. 

Written by Mustasha Musa


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