Zaha Hadid – An insight into the Woman behind the Designs

5Contributed by Shreya Wadke, 1st Year Student of Architecture,  Dr. Baliram Hiray College of Architecture, Mumbai.

Zaha Hadid. Architects who have studied her designs or take inspiration from her know her as the Queen of modern and deconstructed architecture. Her sustainable yet stylish and futuristic designs were once called fantastical and impossible to construct. But now, with a company which employs over four hundred people around the world, they have come up with new programs and technologies which have helped her bring fiction to reality.

This Iraqi architect has faced a lot of difficulties in her life as an architect. Her male counterparts are often intimidated by her brilliantly twisted designs and gap toothed arrogance. In a patriarchal society, she thinks that all women need is support and encouragement as they are just as good at architecture as any other man. She herself shone bright in a prejudiced society, being an Iraqi woman.

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Her designs are inspired from nature and the various intricacies of it. The fluidity of her structures, where the floor melts into the wall and the wall into the ceiling gives the viewer the joy of seeing something new from every angle. These designs very much like nature aren’t predictable.

The Pritzker Prize winner got a late break in her career. Many people would have given up on architecture if it would have taken them so long, but this woman was stubborn. Hadid’s paintings and the exaggerated rendering of designs became a factor which drew people closer and intrigued them, much like her personality. In a world of concrete buildings and steel hearts, she’s lively, frank, funny and has an immense passion for what she does.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have conferred the 2016 Royal Gold Medal to Zaha Hadid— the first sole woman to be awarded the UK’s highest honour for architects in her own right.  Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is awarded to those who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.”

This article is part of an ongoing series on the Masters, contributed by Students of Architecture as a part of their elective, “Architecture Journalism” curriculum. This is a heartfelt attempt by Gallopper to bridge the gap between academicia and the industry. Readers are welcome to suggest other ways in which we can engage students. Please write to us at