Zaha Hadid was an Iraqui British architect (31 October 1950 - 31 March 2016). 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 fur Bildende Kunste 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, New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, she was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
She has been the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004) and twice the RIBA Stirling Prize.
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