Women’s History Month: Zaha Hadid, Architect

As  the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture, Zaha Hadid is known for her innovative architectural designs.  Born in  Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid’s  studied mathematics at the American  University of Beruit and began her architectural studies at the Architectural Association of London in 1972, graduating in 1977.  Only two years after graduation, Hadid set out  to establish her own design firm, Zaha Hadid Architects. From that time, Hadid has gone on to design many projects in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia that have international recognition.  A few of her completed projects are shown below

Nordpark Railway Station  – Innsbruck, Austria
Zaha Hadid - Innsbruck - Nordpark Cable Railway 13
Source: archidaisuki0002 (Flickr)

BMW Central Plant  – Leipzig, Germany

BMW, Leipzig - Germany
Source: bene office (Flickr)


Research Sources





Women’s History Month: Beverly L. Greene – Architect & Urban Planner (1915-1957)

Senior Portrait circa 1936

Photo Credit:  University of Illinois

Born Chicago, IL, Beverly Loraine Greene is believed to be the first registered African-American woman architect in the United States. The only child of a lawyer and a homemaker, Greene attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign going on to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in architectural engineering in 1936 and a Master of Science (M.S.) in city planning a year later. In December 1942, Greene registered as an architect with the State of Illinois. She was 27 years old at the time.

Upon finishing her graduate education, Greene returned to Chicago and was hired by the Chicago Housing Authority, breaking the racial and gender glass ceilings at the agency. In 1945, Greene moved to New York City to work on the development of Stuyvesant Town a private housing complex on the east side of Manhattan. Greene did not believe she would be able to work on the project due to her reading about Stuyvesant Town “not allowing Negroes to live in the development” however, she was hired to work on the development, only to leave soon after to accept a scholarship from Columbia University to study city planning. Greene received a masters in architecture from Columbia University in June 1945.

During her career, Greene worked for several noted architects including Isadore Rosefield, Edward Durell Stone and Marcel Breuer. Below is a list of projects Greene worked on during her career:

Project Location Year
Christian Reformation Church (now Christian Parish for Spiritual Renewal) New York City 1956
New York University New York City (c) 1956
Sarah Lawrence College Theater Bronxville, NY 1952
United Nations Headquarters Paris, France 1950s
Unity Funeral Chapel New York City 1954
University of Arkansas Theater Fayetteville, AK 1951

At the age of 41, Greene died on August 22, 1957. A memorial service was held for Greene at Unity Funeral Chapel, one of the projects she designed.


African-American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1864-1945 (New York: Routledge, 2004)

“Beverly Greene,” Jet Magazine, September 5, 1957

Greene, Beverly Loraine (1915-1957) – BlackPast.org http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/greene-beverly-loraine-1915-1957

Mitchell, Melissa, “Research Project Spotlights African-American Architects from University of Illinois http://news.illinois.edu/news/06/0209architects.html

“Woman Architect Blazes a New Trail for Others,” Amsterdam News, June 23, 1945



Women in Architecture & Urban Planning – My Ode to Women’s History Month

Inspired by Faith Dow, the blogmaster of Acts of Faith in Love in Life post on Women’s History Month, I have decided during the month of March I will highlight women urban planners and architects. Off to do my research now…will bring back oodles of knowledge starting next week.

In the meantime, check out these neat looking buildings designed by women architects

Aqua – Location: Chicago – Designed by Jeanne Gang
Aqua, Chicago
Source: wjcordier(Flickr)

MAXXI/Museum of XXI Century Arts – Location: Rome – Designed by Zaha Hadid
The MAXXI - Museum of Contemporary Art of the XXI Century
Source: Francesco di Capua (Flickr)

Off-Topic Friday: Wanderlust Edition

Today’s off-topic links were inspired by my desire to start traveling again this year. 2010 was a hardcore year that did not allow for me to do the traveling I so love to do. Here’s to 2011 being the exact opposite. Enjoy the links and the architecture wonder of the day!

Bonnie Greer on London – Black Atlas

Midnight Walking Through Paris – jordan gordon’s blog

Northern Lights Festival – Travelrific Travel Journal

Island Music:  Concha Buika a Afro-Spanish Collective – Island Organics

Dubai Skyline
Source: Joaquin Alterio (Flickr)

Off-Topic Friday – WordPress Surfing

Off-topic Friday fell off for the last few weeks but its back (no excuses). Over the past few days, I’ve been exploring other WordPress blogs and found a ton of wonderful content.  Check out the links below to learn about what is going on in the WordPress-sphere:

France – Where vegetarianism meets the world’s most sophisticated cuisine, or not – Going Bright Green

Top ten things NOT to do with your press release – Brendon’s Blog

A Day Spent Without My Arm – I Mean My Phone – GigaOM

Lessons from Cáncun – Eurobee

The architecture photo picks this week are inspired by the movie “Inception.”  I watched the movie last night (my second viewing) and paid more attention to the cityscapes.  The first time I saw the movie, I was just attempting to keep up with the plot!

Shinjuku skyline at night, Tokyo Source: PFC (Flickr)

Tangier, Morocco (served as a stand in for Mombasa in the movie)

Tangier Skyline Source:  eric.gilbertsen (Flickr)

Los Angeles


Source: Eric 5D Mark II (Flickr)

Finding a good skyview of Paris began to grate on my nerves during my photo search so no Paris photos this time around.

The Glass House Conversations Virtual Salon – I Think I’m in Love

Around the time of this blog’s creation, I learned of a wonderful website called The Glass House Conversations.  This website serves as a virtual extension of the Philip Johnson Glass House, salons hosted (by invitation) by noted American architect Philip Johnson (1906-2005) and art critic David Whitney (1939-2005) at Johnson’s home, The Glass House, seen below.  These gatherings focused  on modern architecture, art, landscapes and the preservation of such.  Built in 1949 and located on a 47-acre estate in New Canaan, CT, the Glass House was designated a national landmark in 2007, serving as an ode to modern architecture (in my opinion).  Johnson resided in the house from 1958 until his death.

Philip Johnson's Glass House
Source: Melody Kramer (Flickr)

Philip Johnson Glass House
Source: arZan (Flickr)

Starting in April 2010, Glass House has virtually hosted over 20 discussions that touch on topics such as the making of a great conversation, architectural trends, creativity, and various sub-topics that address urban design issues (traffic congestion, environmental disaster planning, etc.).  Each Monday, a question is posted to the website and participants have five days to provide feedback before the conversation closes.

When I came across this website, I was, and still am, in awe of the conversations taking place.  Even the website is beautiful, having an almost ethereal quality to  it.  Last week, I dipped my toe in the shallow end of the pool after a call for topics appeared on the site, asking to discuss integrating sustainable architecture that is affordable in older neighborhoods. Hopefully, in 2011, my question will become a conversation for the week.  That would be the best.  If you are into this sort of thing, please check out the website.

The Glass House also holds several types of programs throughout the year on design matters.  At some point, I would like tour the Glass House, hopefully sometime next year. Crossing my fingers that I can make it happen.

Off-Topic Friday 11/19/10

This week was a rough one. Between getting over the flu, dealing with office politics, and hunting (at the supermarket) for a respectable turkey for Thanksgiving, this off-topic Friday almost did not happen. But alas, here I am with pre-Thanksgiving goodies from the interwebs.

Not really off-topic but a good blog post: A Municipal Planner’s Call to Arms (and Legs, Hearts and Lungs) – PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

Facing Your Fears:  Tales of a Fly Female Entrepreneur – Uptown Magazine

Goodbye Hungary – Traditional Cultures are Disappearing Fast – Jet Set Citizen

Beware of the Fake Farmers Market at the Grocery Store – Natural News

Facebook Fatigue, Friendship and Focus – The Extinct Existentialist

…the architecture photo of the week is a beautiful shot of Lisbon, Portugal at sunset

Sunset at Lisboa
Source: Francisco Antunes (Flickr)