Zaha Hadid RA

News of Zaha Hadid’s death has reached southern Italy.   It has made me think back on her career.   I first became aware of her – other than through the controversy surrounding the Cardiff opera house – through an exhibition of her drawings and designs which was shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art over Christmas 1997.   They were astonishingly inventive.   At the time, they seemed like fantasies and one was not encouraged to think of them as buildable.   They were comments on the language of architecture.   But the last two decades have seen versions of them built – magnificent free structures in the tradition of the Russian constructivists – including the Olympic Aquatics Centre which is the best place to see her work in London.   In an interview with Alain Elkann conducted in August 2012, she ends by saying ‘You need to convince other people to do the impossible.   This is my profession’.   A great loss.

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3 thoughts on “Zaha Hadid RA

  1. She is indeed a great loss. She had an eye like no one else in architecture today. A true original. But let us not forget the contribution of great engineers without whom her amazing buildings could not have been constructed.

  2. Talking about the impossible, she herself was wonderfully impossible. I was a fellow trustee of the Architecture Foundation when it was chaired by Richard Rogers in the 1990s.During one meeting, I think in The Economist boardroom, she took a call on her mobile and became engaged in a loud conversation. Richard, sitting next to her, issued a mild reproof. Zaha got up, clutching the phone to her ear, and swept out of the meeting with her Issay Miyake black outfit billowing like a magnificent frigate in full sail, ignoring pleas to reconsider her exit. She was back at the next meeting as if nothing had happened.

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