Blueprint Award for Architecture 2016
Winner: Zaha Hadid (1950 – 2016)
Nominated by our Judges, voted for by Blueprint readers
Zaha Hadid died unexpectedly in March this year while in Miami. Her bold, sci-fi visions surprised and challenged the architectural world and she was widely regarded as the greatest female architect in the world today.
Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut and trained at the Architectural Association in London. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London - Zaha Hadid Architects - garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.
Hadid’s first major built commission was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI museum in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011), the Serpentine Sackler Gallery (2013) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. The last Zaha Hadid project Blueprint covered was the Messner Mountain Museum (2015).
In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize twice, for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, and the Evelyn Grace Academy in London. Other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Most recently, Zaha Hadid was awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the honour in her own right.
In an obituary in March, Blueprint contributing editor Herbert Wright remembered her: ‘What an extraordinary force she was. She had an intense, tangible genius for design that has left its mark across our planet — elements from a better future, in the here and now.’
Herzog & de Meuron
Category sponsored by Turkish Ceramics
Main Image: Mary McCartney