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
BMW Central Plant – Leipzig, Germany
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:
|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
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
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
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.
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.
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