Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950. She attended the American University of Beirut and graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London in 1977.
She became a partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, while at the same time teaching in many colleges - from her own alma mater to colleges in the USA. During this period she has received widespread international recognition in academic circles Over the last 30 years she has held many exhibitions but her award of the Stirling Prize in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome gave her talent due recognition on the world stage. While her practise is based in London she is working on projects worldwide in Beijing, Istanbul, Singapore and the Middle East.
While Hadid’s main work has been public buildings, she was awarded the design of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi in 1997. The bridge connects the mainland to the island of Abu Dhabi. Its shapes and curves resemble sand dunes. The bridge decks are 24m (79 ft) wide and it is divided into 11 spans ranging from 60m (197 ft) to 150m (492 ft) long. Three pairs of steel arches form part of the support system. A very complex bridge to construct, it was opened in 2010.
In 2008 a pedestrian access bridge to the Zaragoza Expo 2008 in Spain was opened. This bridge over the River Cliro was designed by Hadid. It is 260m (853 ft) in length and consists of four interconnected steel pods and an intermediate support.
Hadid died in 2016 at the age of 65.