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Abode2 Luxury Property Magazine|Volume 2 Issue 14

The world’s first female starchitect – Zaha Hadid challenged traditional ways of making architecture. Now her legacy – the price of innovation, lives on.

Rachel Tewliss

For over three decades Zaha Hadid ventured into the outer limits of the design cosmos where few would dare. Controversial and highly experimental, her creative genius broadened the horizons of what is possible in art and construction. Indeed the world of architecture lost a visionary star with her untimely passing this March in Miami at the age of just 65.

Born in Baghdad in 1950, Hadid’s love of form was evident from an early age. A dedicated student, she opted to study mathematics at the American University of Beirut before launching her architectural career in London at the Architectural Association. By 1979, she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – and quickly gained a reputation across the world for ground breaking theoretical works including the Peak in Hong Kong in 1983, and Kurfürstendamm 70 in Berlin in 1986.

It was the compelling design of her first major build commission however, that truly earned her international recognition - the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany which she undertook in 1993.

Notable projects from that stage took on a bigger global reach spanning Italy the Maxxi: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the UK - the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011), through to the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) in Azerbaijan.

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