Today, March 31 marks the renowned and world-class architect Zaha Haid‘s 5th death anniversary at the age of 75 after a struggle with heart disease and bronchitis.
Why do some architects make it? Why do others fail? Is it possible that successful artists share certain character traits? They probably do.
Although they may have different approaches, styles, skills and interests, they have a lot in common, too. You can call what you will: talent, passion, insistence, persistence, ambition.
For example, Zaha Haid’s story could be an effective model for prospective successful people in which it is applicable to impact any amateur who rarely has the previous qualities and tends to know her career in order to follow it.
Hadid was born on 31 October 1950 in Bagdad the capital city which was considered as the cradle of Islamic art and literature in the past of the Middle Ages.
The East and the West are economic and military concepts, and were created by colonialism.
But in art, there is no East and West. You see it in the paintings and designs of Hadid and how she was inspired by Iraqi and western art. When you see Hadid’s projects, you do not say that they are Easterner or Westerner. The creative ones are from one world, regardless of what country they come from or where they went.
The prominent architect is one of the most successful rare Arab female architects that proved their efficiency in the architecture world. She also deserved to be the greatest icon of hope in a profession dominated by men, indeed.
The Arab Architectural Legend started her college studies at the American University in Beirut, in the field of mathematics and then she moved to London in 1972 to study architecture at the Architectural Association and upon graduation in 1977, she joined the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Mrs. Hadid’s also taught at the Architectural Association (AA) with OMA collaborators ”Elia Zenghelis” and ”Rem Koolhaas”.
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.
Since their student days in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the two architects have been intensely inattentive with changing our general concepts of space – not only in a physical sense, but also socially and culturally.
Rem Koolhaas, 71, described Hadid as a “combination of beauty and strength” and said she was “incredibly generous and incredibly funny”.
In the same context, she is an architect who consistently penetrates the boundaries of architecture and urban design.
This single-minded purpose, this deep affection for art, turns up in the stories of most major artists. They can’t be discouraged for any great length of time. Hadid is definitely one of them, those who don’t care if their art sells. She is rarely influenced by others’ expectations because she follows her own instincts.
Hadid’s projects during the late 1970s and 1980s were marked by a deep understanding of early 20th Century avant-garde artists and architects. In an attempt to redevelop and make relevant again the formal investigations of Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, her projects expressed utopian ideals.
Despite her efforts over the years to be judged on her professional performance, the Arab countries often ignored her success.
Although Hadid received no recognition in her country, she continued to work; indeed, she was so passionate about her art that she designed and painted outside her country in China, Germany, America, Australia, and other countries where she built.
Indeed, the passion of architects is always there, regardless of the consequences.
Initially, Hadid belongs to the creative world of humanity. In this sense, there is neither East nor West.
If you visited or saw pictures of her built work; for example, the museum in Wolfsburg or the expo bridge in Zaragoza, the quality of detailing and technical mastery is exquisite. And they still maintain that “technically impossible” cantilevers and structural gymnastics.
Furthermore, Hadid’s projects are characterized by their dynamic formal qualities of sinuously, curving shapes, or crystallized strata. This sums up as a kind of new Baroque, a sensuous, more vibrant and engaging type of architecture.
She began her own practice in London in 1980 and won the prestigious competition for the Hong Kong Peak Club, a leisure and recreational center in 1983. Painting and drawing, especially in her early period, are important techniques of investigation for her design work. Ever since her 1983 retrospective exhibition at the AA in London, her architecture has been shown in exhibitions worldwide and many of her works are held in important museum collections.
Moreover, Hadid is well-known for some of her seminal built works, such as the Vitra Fire Station (1993), Weil am Rhein, Germany, the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome (1999) Greenwich, UK, a ski jump (2002) in Innsbruck, Austria and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art (2003) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Parallel with her private practice.
She was the first woman and Muslim to receive the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s top honor, in 2004. A quarter-century after the prize’s founding. Since that milepost, the percentage of women architects in the United States has frequently increased to 25.7 percent from 24 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
”I am sure that Zaha was the first Arab woman, as far as I can remember, to attend such higher events like that, ”Mrs. Noha, a young architect who is working as a Teacher Assistant in Ahram Canadian University said. Noha also indicated that ” Hadid had a sense of herself that she could fit in wherever she desired.
Actually, Hadid was The Diva of deconstructive approach in architecture. Her death at 65 on 31 March 2016 was a disaster that agitates the world. She died of a heart attack in a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for bronchitis.
”As a female architect, I am in shock and distressed that another brilliant creative mind has passed away, especially a woman on par with the best male architects in the world”, Gisela Schmidt, an architect in Atlanta, wrote on Facebook.”She was a strong woman in a profession that” silences them, she added. ” What a loss for us!”
Obviously, Zaha knew that what she did regarding to her gender development was highly respected, but Ms. Hadid seemed to resist the idea of serving as a role model because of her gender and her battle with sexism discrimination as female penetrate the maze of feminism”
She is a woman architect who never wanted to be called a woman architect, she was just an architect and one of the best ones,” said Amale Andraos, the dean of Columbia University’s architecture school.
”But clearly she broke a new ground by being a woman, by being not western, by being educated all over the world, there is so much she enabled.”
”Zaha created role models in the company by making sure that woman thrived,” Ms. Bukowski said.
”She never held down men at all, but it was just about your work and your talent. It never felt like gender was an issue.
Because she basically just leveled the playing field in a way that I have never seen in any other practice before, And it makes me so sad to think about here being gone because I think, who can look up to like that now?”
It is worth mentioning that Hadid herself was a role model, but she also created role models in the Arab world by making sure that women could be represented in significant positions.
Indeed, For young architects here, especially the female ones, she was like a great legend or other significant title which is more fit to her was the uncrowned queen of contemporary iconic architecture; moreover, she really deserves to be their ideal woman.
“As an architect and designer building up a practice and teaching most of Zaha’s projects in the architecture field to my young students in order to confirm them with criteria of What does it take to be a successful architect like Hadid? I’ve grown to admire Hadid for the courage and conviction in her vision,”said Dr Nora Mohamed Rihan, the president of Ahram Canadian University’s architecture school. “Zaha’s Hadid was a hero for most of my students, a legend of impressive stature for the design world. However, her buildings rarely seem to translate well to an actual built form, she embodied the idea that architects not only draw but build too, ” she explained.
Furthermore, Mrs. Noha mentioned that Zaha Hadid impacted the Egyptian architect’s perception regarding the concept of Deconstruction after she had won the Cairo Expo City competition.
“The Cairo Expo City design was inspired by the natural topography of the Nile Valley,” explained Zaha Hadid,
“As the exhibition spaces require the greatest degree of flexibility, we wanted to ensure that all the public spaces and formal composition of Cairo Expo City relate to the surrounding Egyptian landscape,” said Hadid.
”If this exceptional design by Zaha Hadid Architects is done, Cairo would be among the world’s top cities for conferences and fairs, able to provide for the widest variety and size of events,” Noha said.
”I’d like to see how it turns out after some value engineering, especially in a country that is struggling with their own poor economy”El-Azhary, a student at the faculty of engineering said.
”I really wonder, does Zaha Hadid design all these creative structures or does her employees?” he added. “How did she have the time to design all these extremely large projects?”
Unconsciously, the Cairo Expo City field to be built until now, because of Hadid’s vision for deconstructive architecture which is unfortunately still not be preferable to us regarding to the lack of financial resources in our nation and also because this project seems expensive to be applied; moreover, in some cases, the reason can’t be not accurate for why they do not get built is not because they’re technically impossible to execute, but the economy collapses, or the funding is cut.
The fact that many of her designs published here and there are partially similar, but you need to realize that only a small percentage of competitions actually get built.
It is worth mentioning that Zaha pushed innovation in the fields of computing for architecture and material engineering. Just as with high fashion, the initial expensive innovations became cheaper and moved to the masses.
In the same context, Computing for architecture is now considered as an alternative approach instead of any ordinary architectural prospects around the world.
Hadid was called to re-imagine a wide range of objects, experiences, and material including shoes, travelling exhibits, and sets for pop concerts. The quest to build the unbuildable expanded the influence of architecture in the design world and, in what hardly ever happens for an architect, in the culture at large.
Before her death in Miami hospital on March 31 hospital, the Iraqi-British indomitable architect has powerfully challenged the logic with changing our general perceptions regarding the infinity of artistic approaches – not only in the artistic sense, but also mentally and physically.
Ultimately, Hadid or (The queen of curve) confirmed our generation to understand that the role of an architect is not to be indolent. The role of an architect is to learn and reshape the built environment and to ultimately make a great culture.