Zaha Hadid consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design. Her work experiments with new spatial concepts that intensify existing urban landscapes. She pursues a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture. Best known for her seminal works, such as the Vitra Fire Station, Land Formation-One, Bergisel Ski Jump, Strasbourg Tram Station and Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati her central concerns involve a simultaneous engagement in practice, teaching and research.
The complexity of Hadid’s architectural forms translate into her furniture designs. The Aqua Table, for example, is a unified shape that is seemingly obscure though formed with exacting precision. Three asymmetrical modules serve as the Aqua’s foundation as they flow unhindered through the surface, expressed as mild depressions in the tabletop. Constructed of a gloss-finished polyurethane, the design and manufacture of the piece was made possible only through highly advanced software and manufacturing processes.
Likewise, the Moon System explores the same curved geometry one finds in her famed architecture. A single shape contains the back, the seating and the armrests as if sculpted from a single block. The fluid, expressive curves make it appear otherworldly. The Moon System is completed by a footrest, whose form is perfectly integrated with the sofa.
Hadid studied architecture at the Architectural Association from 1972 and was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. She then became a partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, taught at the AA with Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, and later led her own studio at the AA until 1987. Since then she held various positions in university all over the world, including Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture, Chicago; guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg; the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York and is the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design for the Spring Semester 2004 at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Throughout her career she has won numerous awards, in 2004 she became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize and most recently she was honored by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) with the 2016 Royal Gold Medal. She has received several other awards including Architect of the Year 2004, Blueprint Award, The WIRED Rave Award, and the 2005 Design Miami Designer of the Year award.
In connection with Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2002, Luminaire extolled the artistry of good design with an exhibition of Hadid’s powerful work all fields of design, ranging from urban scale to product, interiors and furniture. In 2008, she graciously donated her 2007 paper relief model of the New Stadt- Casino, Basel to be exhibited and auctioned during PaperLove in order to raise funds and support research to find a cure for cancer.
Zaha Hadid passed away from a sudden death Thursday, March 31st. Admirers of her work and a good friend of Luminaire, we know her teachings and legacy will be cherished for generations to follow.