Zaha Hadid’s Legacy Goes Beyond Architecture

There is a term coined by the architecture world known as “starchitect.” It describes one’s legacy that goes beyond their skill, and transforms them into idols of the architecture world. Zaha Hadid was one of the very few in her field known as one, and it was well deserved.
Sadly, the world lost their starchitect, Zaha Hadid, on March 31, 2016, from a heart attack.
According to The New York Times, even at her hospital bed, she was commenting on designs, working on a building. She had so much more to contribute, but to Allah (SWT) we belong, to Him we shall return.
Remarkable does not even begin to describe Ms. Hadid. Rem Koolhas, a fellow architect, described her as “a planet in her own inimitable orbit”.
In 2004, she received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a prestigious architecture award. She was the first woman – and the first Muslim to do so.
While we have been reading tributes to the great Zaha Hadid that have been focused on her femininity, we are more proud of her work and legacy because, not only was she a strong woman, but she was a strong Muslim woman in a male-dominated field.

“As a woman in architecture you’re always an outsider.” Zaha said. “But it’s okay. I like being on the edge.”

Zaha Hadid was into the unprecedented. She loved the idea of a curve on a building, sometimes even several of them. The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, which won the London Design Museum’s Design of the Year award in 2014, demonstrates that love.
Some of her work includes the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Ohio, the Bridge Pavillion in Spain, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.
Riverside Museum(The Riverside Museum. Photograph by Gordon Hattan/Wikipedia)
Hadid deviated from the norm. She was daring and innovative in her work. She had strong view points, and not just in her work. She was a woman of conviction.

When Israel wanted to commission her to create an Arab museum to cover up crimes committed to the Palestinian people, Hadid refused.

Her influence even reached the fashion industry. Karl Lagerfeld, mostly known for his role as head designer at Chanel, commissioned her to do a large-scale installation for the 50th anniversary of the Chanel handbag. He called her “the Coco Chanel of today.”
She broke ground, for women and for buildings. Hadid was an icon, a trailblazer who encouraged and aimed to inspire others. Have you seen her website? Even that is innovative, and no doubt will continue to encourage people to build and create.
Once the world inevitably moves on, rest assured her buildings will remain standing. Rooted to the ground, designed with thought and creativity, they will pay tribute to her day after day; and we will continue to remember how she paved the way for all women to break down walls and shatter glass ceilings in order to construct a world of curves and stability. What a beautiful memorial that will be for her.