Remembering Zaha Hadid


Published on: Apr. 22, 2016


When Zaha Hadid passed away at her Miami home this past March, she took with her an influential and progressive vision for the scope of modern architecture. Her cascading designs gave projects – from stadiums to museums, and even a fire station – the futuristic look of a cosmic utopia with a modern fluidity between human design and the surrounding landscape.

Her personal politics were bristling at times – and often brought as much negative scrutiny as her artistry provoked acclaim – but her agency brought international impact, nonetheless. The Baghdad-born Hadid founded her own architecture firm by the same name in 1980. Centered in London, Hadid designed buildings in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. It was her design of the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati that earned the distinction of “the most important American building to be completed since the end of the Cold War,” by the New York Times.

Though gone, her influence remains. David Adjaye, a British contemporary of Hadid, called her work “a new language form.” Said Adjaye: “She drew on her own force of spirit, distinct vision and indomitable character, all of which were present in her buildings.” Adjaye’s own design project, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will open in Washington, DC this Fall. Carrying on her legacy, Zaha Hadid Architects will retain Hadid’s name, while trying to also retain her influence – a decidedly more difficult task. Visionary ideas are our driving inspiration at Griffin, so we mourn when such creativity is lost.

Photo Credit: Knight Foundation on and is licensed by Creative Commons

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