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Zaha Hadid’s First Building In NYC

by | Apr 18, 2016

Zaha Hadid passed away on Thursday, March 31 of a heart attack. Passing away at 65, Zaha Hadid’s death marks the loss of headera visionary and legendary world architect – a “starchitect.”

Hadid was known for her exotic and transcendental geometric explorations. Amale Andraso, dean of Columbia University’s architecture school, described Hadid as a person who “was bigger than life, a force of nature.”

She won the highest architectural award, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004, according to The Atlantic. She was the first woman and Muslim awarded this prize.

Born in Baghdad in 1950, she was exposed to urban ideas from a young age. Growing up, she attended a French-speaking Catholic school. She then pursued a degree in math at the American University in Beirut, and in 1972, she attended the Architectural Association in London.

According to The New York Times, her first realized commission was opened in 1994 which was a fire station for Vitra’s corporate campus in Germany. Staying true to her style, the structure explored geometric spaces. Thus, the fire station was not particularly practical and the building was repurposed as an event space.

Another one of her designs opened in Cleveland in 2003: The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. Architect critic Herbert Muschamp considered The Rosenthal Center “the most important American building to be completed since the end of the cold war” in the June 8, 2003 edition of The New York Times.

She still had ongoing projects at the time of her death, one of them being a development in New York City, which would be her first permanent development in the City. In 2008, she had a traveling structure displayed in Central Park, according to NYMag. The “white pod” she designed was funded by Chanel.

The 11-story condo in development located at 520 West 28th St. replaces a scrapyard in West Chelsea. Plans for the building were announced in 2013.

According to the building’s site, 520w28.com, the building will include a 75-foot skylit pool, a private spa suite, a private iMax, and a terrace on the High Line among other features. She has incorporated her legendary vision in this building. Because she is not a licensed architect in New York City, she is credited as the building’s designer.

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