This is the final blog to our three part series honouring famous ladies of the interior design world. Though we have honoured many, we have by no means covered them all…
Zaha was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq to an upper-class family. Her father was a wealthy industrialist and her mother an artist. Hadid attended boarding schools in England and Switzerland during the 1960s and then studied mathematics at the American University in Beirut. In 1972 Zaha moved to London to study architecture at the Architectural Association. She graduated in 1977, joined the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and taught at the Architectural Association in collaboration with her former professors Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis. During her teaching years she earned a reputation of painting ambitious, colourful and imaginative design projects, most of which were published in architectural journals but were never built.
In 1980 Zadid started her own business in London and was drawing, painting and imagining architecture in a way no one had done so before. She entered a prestigious competition to design a private leisure and recreational club on Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, which she went on to win. However, although her design received global attention it was one that was never actually built, this was because her architecture was near impossible to achieve at that time before the aides of computers. In 1988 Zaha was chosen to show her drawings and paintings as one of only seven architects chosen to participate in an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Zaha won her first major project in 1990 when she was commissioned to design a small fire station for the factory of the furniture company Vitra, in Switzerland. Her design was made of raw concrete and glass with sharp diagonal forms colliding together in the centre. Before construction, the design plans they were published in architectural magazines. This was the launching pad of Zadid’s architectural career.
Zaha went on to design many buildings worldwide and well known today including (to name but a few):
Bergisel Ski Jump (1999-2002)
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (1997–2000)
BMW Administration Building (2001–2005)
Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion (2005–2008)
Guangzhou Opera House (2003–2010)
Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland (2004–2011)
London Olympics Aquatics Centre (2005–2011)
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku Azerbaijan (2007–2013)
Innovation Tower, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2007–2014)
As well as her design company, Hadid continued to be involved in academics and held guest professorships at many universities including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Visual Arts in Hamburg.
In 2004 Zaha Hadid was the first woman to ever receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize – the highest honor in architecture.
Sadly Zaha passed away from a heart attack while in hospital being treated for bronchitis in 2016. She was at the young age of 65, was unmarried and had no children.
The statement issued by her London-based design studio announcing her death read: “Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today”.
Zaha was a mastermind in architecture and design and was known as the architect who consistently pushed boundaries and was the queen of curves in the architectural world. Her office operated in 44 countries with a staff of 400 who worked on a total of 950 projects of various scales.
Kelly Hoppen was born in Cape town, South Africa on 28th July 1959. She lived there with her mother Stephanie Hoppen, father Seymour and older brother Michael until the family relocated to London in 1961 when Kelly was two. Her father worked in the fashion industry and her mother had a gallery in London exhibiting artists and photographers from around the world.
At the age of 16 Hoppen was given the opportunity to design a family friend’s kitchen, and this is where her career began. Kelly is said to not believe in trends and is not afraid to think outside the box. She favours a neutral colour palette using a lot of taupe and beige to create calm balanced environments.
Kelly was married in 1982 to Graham Corrett but were divorced in 1989. During their time together they had a daughter, Natasha Corrett – she is now a food writer. From 1989 to 2003 Kelly was married to Edwin Miller and was step-mum to fashion designer Savannah Miller and actress Sienna Miller.
Today Kelly is at the forefront of the design industry and is commissioned by prestigious private clients and many celebrities, including David and Victoria Beckham. Hoppen has designed homes, yachts and jets as well as more commercial projects including hotels, restaurants, offices and even aircraft.
A few of her most iconic projects include the One Shenzhen Bay in Hong Kong, the Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona and the design of a LUX Belle Mare hotel resort in Mauritius.
Kelly is one of the most celebrated and sought-after interior designers in the world. She is the pioneer of high-end design but has also published eight design books, launched an online store with self-designed interior accessories and has also partnered with a select few to offer ranges of fabrics, shutters, wallpaper, prints and other home products on QVC UK.
Between 1996 and 2007 Hoppen won a number of awards including the Andrew Martin Interior Design Award, ELLE Decoration Award and Grazia Designer of the Year. In March 20019 Kelly was appointed a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to Interior Design. She is currently an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and also works with UK Trade & Investment as an adviser and mentor to small businesses. In 2015 Kelly was listed by UK-based company ‘Richtopia’ at number 35 in the list of 100 most influential British Entrepreneurs.
Also no stranger to television, Kelly presented her own show called ‘Superior Interiors with Kelly Hoppen’, was a dragon investor on the hit show ‘Dragon’s Den’ for three series and has appeared in a cameo role in the Absolutely Fabulous movie alongside Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley.
Kelly Hoppen still resides in London but returns to South Africa for Christmas each year.