Zaha Hadid 1950 – 2016

Zaha Hadid

Pidgeon Digital were very sorry to hear the news that Zaha Hadid has passed away at the age of 65. Widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world to date.

In 1988 Hadid gave a talk to Monica Pidgeon entitled To A New Modernism. Zaha’s talk was seminal to her development in the period before her designs were actually constructed. Here Hadid expresses thoroughly the ideas that later came to fulfilment; in particular her designs for the Hong Kong High Peak Scheme, which won the competition but did not get built. She expounds on how her approach to architecture came about. “The work was layered in terms of ideas” she says “in the same way that culture is layered”. Whatever she was designing, whether on a large or small scale, she saw it as part of a whole language to do with the notion of fluid spaces within landscapes. And being of the opinion that architectural representation in general is too confining to the design process, she invented a new and very striking way of depicting her ideas. These ideas were later realised by Hadid in many of her most famous commissions.

In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 with the MAXXI Museum in Rome and winning again in 2011 with the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton. This year she became the first woman in her own right to win the RIBA Gold Medal.

Hadid’s full talk can be heard here for free.