..have you ever taken a stroll down the main street of your city, have you ever admired the buildings, have you ever gotten lost in the intricacy of modern architecture? Have you ever sat in an airport lounge looking high up on the ceiling? Have you ever spent time in a stadium, concert hall, theatre auditorium glancing over the crowds and wondering: who built this..? If you have, then you must also have wondered: how? Enter the world of Architecture and Engineering where a great collection of master minds converges in creating modern day marvels that we hardly ever even notice as they’ve become a part of our lives to the point where we just take them for granted. Following strict rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their visitors and the longevity of these structures these designers, architects and engineers create the canvas of modern society where our lives get painted day in and day out.
Now let’s go a step further; suppose you do have an interest in architecture and the “how and why” of creation of buildings, then you most certainly must have wondered; why is it that they all look and feel more or less the same? The answer is anything but simple; it’s the combination of adherence of standards, complying with rules and regulation, ensuring safety and being cost efficient, but most importantly playing it safe.. I mean: “why try something new when I know they already like this? If I build it they’ll come, so why risk it being all revolutionary and rebellious? What’s the point? It’s a proven concept; it ain’t broke so why fix it?”
…and then there was Zaha Hadid
The master mind who changed it all, the one who wasn’t afraid to go out there and prove everyone wrong. She saw it the way it needed to be in order to be different and she went after it despite the uncertainty of “will they actually come if I build this” ..and the result? A lifetime achievement of a portfolio of structures that require a lot more than just the word “unique” to be described.
Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was born on October 31, 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, to an upper-class Muslim family. Her father, Muhammad al-Hajj Husayn Hadid, was a wealthy industrialist from Mosul, Iraq. Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving, in 1972, to London to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. There she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, becoming a partner in 1977. Through her association with Koolhaas, she met Peter Rice, the engineer who gave her support and encouragement early on at a time when her work seemed difficult.
Hadid was a naturalized citizen of the United Kingdom, she was the first woman and the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, winning it in 2004. She received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in her own right.
Hadid liberated architectural geometry with the creation of highly expressive, sweeping fluid forms of multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry that evoke the chaos and flux of modern life. A pioneer of parametricism, and an icon of neo-futurism, with a formidable personality, her acclaimed work and ground-breaking forms include the aquatic center for the London 2012 Olympics, the Broad Art Museum in the U.S., and the Guangzhou, China opera house.
On March 31, 2016 Hadid tragically passed of a heart attack in a Miami hospital, but the legacy she has left behind for us to admire, shall live on as long as architecture exists and buildings are built..
~ Attila Hanak
(Photos c/o Google, source material c/o Wikipedia)