FROM THE BEGINNING: BAGHDAD TO LONDON Family By 11 years old Hadid already knew she would become an architect. Although unusual at this age, this career path was not uncommon for women of during this time. From an early age Hadid was interested in design, and being from a supportive upper class family in a liberal society, was allowed the opportunity to express this. She did so through clothing creation (although deemed by Hadid as unsuccessful) and the interior decoration of the family home, which it was insisted she replicate for other family members. “When I was growing up in Iraq, there was an unbroken belief in progress and a great sense of optimism. It was a moment of nation building.” - Zaha Hadid Islam, the main religion in Iraq, and their curvaceous style of calligraphy and architecture are also inherent in Hadid’s later work.
Iraq Hadid was born in Baghdad, in a time when the city was re-inventing itself. Architecture was an integral part of this reinvention. Invitations to contribute to the changing cityscape were extended to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alva Aalto, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. By the 1960s, Baghdad was a modern city, teeming with life and culture. Iraq’s inspiration extended beyond Baghdad, as did Hadid’s, an inspiration growing as she travelled widely with her family. Most notably Hadid was interested in the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq. Initially she had admired photographs of their unique floating villages. Later she was taken there by her father to see first hand how the villages were constructed in simbiosis with the nature to cope with the harsh landscape. Hadid would later replicate this integration of nature into her own work. Zaha Hadid in the room of her family home that she designed