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London Design Medal: Zaha Hadid

 

The London Design Medal is awarded to an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence. In 2007 the London Design Medal was awarded to Zaha Hadid, for her contribution to design and the city.

Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (considered the Nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her projects builds on over thirty years of exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association (AA) School where she was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. Hadid founded Zaha Hadid Architects in 1979 and completed her first building, the Vitra Fire Station, Germany in 1993.

Hadid taught at the AA School until 1987 and held numerous chairs and guest professorships at universities around the world including Columbia, Harvard, Yale and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Working with senior office partner, Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid’s architecture arranges form and space into breath-taking spatial compositions.

The MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku are built manifestos of Hadid’s quest for complex, fluid space. Previous seminal buildings such as the Guangzhou Opera House and Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.

Zaha Hadid passed away on the 31st of March 2016, and her legacy endures within the DNA of the design studio she created.

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