Praemium Imperiale 2009


Zaha Hadid

Born in Baghdad and graduate from the Architectural Association of London – where she established her own office in 1979 –, Zaha Hadid did not see her visionary designs materialized beyond paper until 1994, when she began her international career with the project for the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein (1994). This seminal work was followed by other important completions, like the exhibition pavilion, also in Weil am Rhein (1999), the ski jump in the Alps (2002), the Intermodal Terminal in Strasbourg (2001)?– winner of the Mies van der Rohe Award –, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (2003), the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg (2004) – year in which she became the first female laureate of the Pritzker Prize – or the recently completed National Museum of 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome (2009). The Japan Art Association, in its annual awards, given in different categories, has commended the work of this architect, author of an oeuvre characterized by the tension of its floor plans, the dynamism of its profiles and the massive use of in-situ cast concrete.

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