“Zaha made the future of architecture greater”: Saket Sethi

APR 4, 2016 | By Saket Sethi
An exterior view of the London Aquatics Centre. Photography courtesy Hufton+Crow. Zaha Hadid wearing the Royal Gold Medal. Photography courtesy and copyright Sophie Mutevelian. London Aquatics Centre. Photography courtesy Hufton+Crow.
Messner Mountain Museum Corones. Photography courtesy Inexhibit. Vitra Fire Station, Weil Am Rhein, Germany. Photography courtesy Christian Richters. Phaeno Science Centre. Photography courtesy Werner Huthmacher.
The ace Mumbai based architect and product designer considers Zaha Hadid as one of his core inspirations. Here, he pens a beautiful tribute…
Zaha Hadid. What do these two words bring to mind? For me, three more words: Woman. Architecture. Greatness.
People will agree that she was a woman who made the future of architecture greater. The name Zaha Hadid had polysemic connotations – primarily to the eponymous gargantuan global practice she gave birth to.
ZHA had an arduous adolescence – it took about a decade to build her first project, the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rheim, Germany and then another decade to the celebrated career explosion following completion of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art.
Illustrious clients hired her, many collaborated with and some worked for her. People claimed to know her, speaking intimately of her in their coffee table conversations. But the truth was that most followed her career in the media. Her struggle was real – even with her successes, controversy dogged her projects, like in Japan, and her legacy to build extensively in her chosen home, London, remained sadly unfulfilled.
So who was Zaha in real life? Probably an artist; a dreamer and a futurist, giving up the prospect of a personal life in lieu of utter dedication to a career. We will never truly know her, but we can remember her through her awe inspiring works.
So thank you Dame Zaha…. Here’s a toast to more great buildings in the unseen realms ahead.
Also read: In Memoriam: Zaha Hadid