Dubai-based real estate developer Omniyat has established the Zaha Hadid/Omniyat Fellowship Fund at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) to nurture talent in the Arab world and encourage designers and architecture to pursue their careers in the field.
The fellowship fund honours the late Iraqi-born architect who passed away earlier this year.
Established by Mahdi Amjad, executive chairman and founder of Omniyat, the fund will provide financial aid to qualifying students from the UAE and the Middle East region.
“When I established Omniyat in 2005 I was motivated by my desire to develop uncompromising creative signature buildings”, said Mr Amjad. “I was fortunate enough to have worked for over ten years with my dear friend and design mentor Dame Zaha Hadid on the creation of our flagship Opus Building in the heart of Dubai,” Amjad said.
“It is through the Zaha Hadid/Omniyat fellowship that I hope other great creative minds can develop to design and build the next generation of inspirational buildings that provide unique experiences.”
Planned for the centre of Business Bay, The Opus Tower designed by Zaha Hadid, is composed of two blocks, and conceived as ‘a single cube eroded by a free-form void, which appears to ‘hover’ above ground level’.
A pixelated reflective facade makes it look solid by day, while by night, it “dematerialises, as light floods the void”.
Patrick Schumacher, long-time partner at Zaha Hadid Architects said: “For me Zaha Hadid totally transformed the meaning of architectural design: she turned design into an adventure of discovery with previously unimaginable degrees of freedom. Yet, there is nothing arbitrary within her work. It was always principled and pursued to perfection. Her legacy will live on in us as well as in so many of her inspired followers.”