Zaha HadidZaha Hadid, CBE (Arabic: زها حديد Zahā Ḥadīd; born 31 October 1950) is an Iraqi-British architect.
Life and career
Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.
After graduating she worked with her former teachers, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, becoming a partner in 1977. It was with Koolhaas that she met the engineer Peter Rice who gave her support and encouragement early on, at a time when her work seemed difficult to build. In 1980 she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s she also taught at the Architectural Association. She has also taught at prestigious institutions around the world; she held the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, the Knowlton School of Architecture, at The Ohio State University, the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York and the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, she was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. She is currently Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
A winner of many international competitions, theoretically influential and groundbreaking, a number of Hadid's winning designs were initially never built: notably, The Peak Club in Hong Kong(1983) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). In 2002 Hadid won the international design competition to design Singapore's one-north masterplan. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Previously, she had been awarded a CBE for services to architecture. She is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 2006, Hadid was honored with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut.
Zaha Hadid's architectural design firm - Zaha Hadid Architects - is over 350 people strong, headquartered in a Victorian former school building in Clerkenwell, London.
In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". On 2 January 2009, she was the guest editor of the BBC's flagship morning radio news programme,Today.
In 2010 she was named by Time magazine as influential thinker in the 2010 TIME 100 issue. In September 2010, The British magazine New Statesman listed Zaha Hadid at number 42 in their annual survey of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".
She has also undertaken some high-profile interior work, including the Mind Zone and Feet zone at the Millennium Dome in London and the Z.CAR hydrogen-powered, three-wheeled automobile. In 2009, she worked with the clothing brand Lacoste, to create a new, high fashion, and advanced boot. In the same year, she also collaborated with the brassware manufacturer Triflow Concepts  to produce two new designs in her signature parametric architectural style. Her unique contributions to brassware design and other fields continue to push the boundaries of innovation.In 2007, Zaha Hadid designed the Moon System Sofa for leading Italian furniture manufacturer B&B Italia.[8
design and brand strategy specialists greenspace have developed a new identity, bespoke typeface
and website for zaha hadid architects.
DB: how long did greenspace work on the project for?
LD: the original brief was sent to us in july 2009.
we pitched against a number of high-profile agencies and our response focused
in particular on process, collaboration and the potential of the brand – rather than
any creative solutions. we then went through the interview process before starting
the project proper in july 2010 – through to launch in july 2011.
based on the interviews with the zaha hadid studio,
what became clear as the most important thing to communicate with the new identity?
with such a large and complex studio there was clearly a diverse and contrasting
range of opinions.
what was clear to us through both the interviews and the original brief was the need to;
(a) highlight the vast number of projects that have been created and realised
(b) highlight all the talented designers and architects within the practice
(c) communicate ZHA as a company that is world-class, highly-professional
and yet avant-garde in its approach.
clearly all that can’t be achieved through an identity alone and that’s why the
website became our primary focus initially and the main vehicle for the ZHA story.
that said, creating a unique typeface that could be used by everyone on a
day-to-day basis also felt like a nice inclusive way to bring the brand to life.
which aspect of the project proved most challenging?
as a creative process it was truly collaborative and very positive.
the real challenge is hoping you create a piece of work that reflects the client’s
own reputation and high standards.
regarding the branding, it can be hard sometimes when dealing with a client that has
such a strong visual style to find your own path and reasons for doing so.
we hope and believe we did that by creating a look that’s not a pastiche of
the architecture and in fact allows it to be elevated and viewed without distraction.
finally, regarding the website, we set out to create something that has a unique user
experience and sets itself apart from all sites – not just architectural ones.
the level of content, movement, functionality and search capabilities are clearly
complex and when combined with a beautiful bespoke CMS it obviously took a
great deal of thought and an incredible development team to deliver.
we really hope people explore the archive both now and in the future as more
and more content becomes available.
selection of the characters from the typeface designed by miles newlyn with greenspace
following text from the official press release:
collaborating closely with zaha’s senior partner, patrik schumacher, greenspace and designer
miles newlyn have developed a brand identity that has a minimal feel. it is inspired by
the contemporary material and construction choices employed by ZHA, visualised through
the use of varying paper stocks, simple highlight colours and carefully chosen print techniques.
'we deliberately didn’t want to create a brand identity that would be a pastiche of any of
the ZHA created works. we wanted the work to speak for itself, not be over-powered by its brand'
adrian caddy of greenspace
ZHA use a wide range of computer program scripts combined with parametric theory
when creating buildings and designs. greenspace took inspiration from these to create
a set of patterns that can be used graphically across communication collateral and
to which future patterns can be added as new structures, shapes and forms are developed.
bespoke and unique typeface
as part of the brand revamp, greenspace and ZHA’s patrik schumacher worked closely
to develop a bespoke typeface, called zaha hadid sans.
'the typeface uses two unique features: there is the folded detail, in which joins that are
usually truncated are divided by a slim gap to give the appearance of layering.
the other feature is a carefully stressed curve that flows from vertical to near horizontal
and back again.' - miles newlyn
identity guidelines / overview
the website acts as the ‘ultimate archive’ of everything ZHA has done - both built
and conceptual - with a CSM system that allows the archive to grow indefinitely.
greenspace has designed it to be a purely visual, never the same twice, mesmeric
encounter with the ZHA world.
containing vast amounts of data, the site is an ‘inclusive’, user-friendly experience
that pushes the boundaries of other more traditional architectural sites. it enables the
user to modify, personalise and dictate relevant content. built in HTML 5, avoiding the
constraints of flash for ease of loading to ipad for example, it captures and exposes
everything that is current and ZHA related, worldwide. and it’s been designed to
be practical, so both students and press can download images, information and
biographies about the work and people that make up the ZHA brand.
greenspace design team:
miles newlyn (typeface)
zha project team: