Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid (1950-2016) was a pioneering architect known for her distinctively futuristic, powerful and curving forms. Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq and went on gain a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut. She then went on to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. While at university, Hadid befriended her professors Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis and Bernard Tschumi.
In 1980, after working for Koolhaas and Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, Hadid established her own London-based practice. She designed buildings such as the Bridge Pavilion in Spain, Contemporary Arts Center in Ohio and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park in South Korea.
Beyond her role as a pioneering architect, Hadid taught at the Architectural Association, Harvard Graduate School of Design and University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
In 2004 Hadid became the first female and first Muslim recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Following this achievement, Hadid was honoured with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2006.
To honour Hadid's services to architecture, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2012.