Zaha HadidBritish, born Iraq (Baghdad, Iraq, 1950)
Born and raised in Iraq, Zaha Hadid studied design at the Architectural Association in London. She then worked for several years at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam before establishing her own firm in London in 1980.
Like that of Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, and Bernard Tschumi, Hadid's approach is often described as deconstructivist; her buildings are not meant to be experienced as a whole, but in a fragmented and often disorienting way that mimics the tension and instability of contemporary life.
In 2003 critic Herbert Muschamp famously described Cincinnati's Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Hadid's first built project in the U.S., as "the most important American building to be completed since the end of the cold war." Hadid was also the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture.