Architect Zaha Hadid Fires Back at Critics of Her So-Called “Vagina Stadium”

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this,” she tells TIME exclusively.

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Zaha Hadid, the world’s best-known female architect, is none too pleased with critics like Jon Stewart, who have mocked her Al Wakrah Stadium—designed with AECOM for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar—and likened her to the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside.”

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this,” Hadid tells TIME exclusively. “What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”

The curved, open roof is meant to evoke the the sail of the dhow, a traditional fishing boat common in Qatar. “Honestly, if a guy had done this project,” she adds, critics would not be making such lewd comparisons.

For more on Hadid, a member of our 2010 TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people, click here.

86 comments
tadchem
tadchem

I'm sure the Qatari review board wouldn't know what one looks like.

RobGrant
RobGrant

The Washington monument has a antonym.


AliusUmbra
AliusUmbra

I am a pilot. I was flying my plane was flying over the stadium, and I felt it instinctively stiffen and attempt to penetrate that stadium.


That woman knew exactly what she was doing when she designed that building.

somebody4591
somebody4591

Second largest vagina I have ever seen. Largest was that corn-fed woman from Iowa.

hmbguy
hmbguy

I don't know what the confusion is about. It totally looks like a dhow to me.


A dhow that closely resembles a vagina.


DanielStillmunks
DanielStillmunks

So it looks like a vangina so what?  Let's build a long tall skinny building at the open side----then if there's an earth quake the long thing what looks like a pennis will fall into the stadium what looks like a vangina.  so what?

fredricwilliams
fredricwilliams

If a man had done this, it would be the Washington Monument.

gyratingtarantulaigloo
gyratingtarantulaigloo

I never knew who the eff this lady was until I saw her ... interesting design. I'm rather surprised she didn't notice the awkwardness before now.

boots
boots

I had a quick search of the other buildings she's designed and I have to say, almost all of them seems to have a spot designed to look like a vagina

david.p.chou
david.p.chou

Nope, that's not true. Even if a guy made it, it would still look like a vagina.


Beersheva
Beersheva

Ok ok. We'll call it "The Ex-Wife". Happy now?

Janette
Janette

Oh, Ms. Hadid, stop behaving like a big old grumbly misandrist and put a bit more trust in what Jon Stewart says because that there's a vagina.

PaulMariani
PaulMariani

She designs some ugly buildings like this vag palace. Lol

LeeYongEn
LeeYongEn

I showed the picture to a girl and asked her what she thought it was without telling her it was a stadium - she said "eww, is that a robot vagina?"

CEK
CEK

I have certainly seen plenty of architecture seemingly inspired by male genitalia.  So what?

IliveahWaters1
IliveahWaters1

She is in obvious denial.   I'm a female. My mind is never "in the gutter" .  The first time I saw this - without Jon S's or anyone else's commentary -  I immediately saw the resemblance.

IliveahWaters1
IliveahWaters1

the "hole" isn't the issue.   The symmetrical layers highly resemble the outer labia majora and inner labia minora.


RhiannonWelles
RhiannonWelles

She's an artist and her unconscious mind created this nice vagina for all the misogynistic men to enjoy their sports.  She may truly believe she based it on some boats, but clearly it's a great big beautiful vagina.

esox42
esox42

If she is in denial about what her stadium resembles, that says a lot more about her than it does about the people who notice it, i.e. every single human being over the age of ten who has seen a picture of it.

BenFranklin
BenFranklin

If I am a female architect in that part of the world then I would soooo do this.  You won't let me drive by myself will you?  OK then, hows about you all come sit in this nice vagina while you watch your manly sports?


She has to pretend to be mad because she has been found out, and it would be evidence of a guilty mind not to put on her faux outrage face.  But there is no way she didn't know what she was looking at when she folded those labia over the top of that throng of 7th century, misogynistic crapweasels.

GaryJackson
GaryJackson

More proof that liberals, the world over, are just plain ignorant. And juvenile.

I've seen my share of vaginas, and this looks NOTHING like one. At least not like a healthy one! If I encountered one looking like this, I'd be concerned!


The thing reminds me a lot of the coverings that go over the grandstands in the newer Formula 1 [FIA] race tracks.


Funny, brain dead liberals have created some of the most worthless, unappealing "art" and "architecture" EVER seen, but call this rather attractive, imaginative structure bad. 


Liberalism truly is a mental disorder!

WilliamVolk1
WilliamVolk1

Okay, we all know that someone, somewhere along the line in the design process must have said "Hey, Zaha, ya know what that kinda looks like, he he he..."  Yes, we know it happened, right? 

DougBruce
DougBruce

No Zaha everything with a hole is not a vagina,  BUT apparently everything you do does...

megalon98133
megalon98133

"Geez you got a big vagina! Geez you've got a big vagina!"
"Why'd you say that twice?"
"I didn't!.....you know... because of the echo...."

Gitt
Gitt

I burst out laughing the moment I saw it, having no idea who designed it. This is not about WHO, it's about what it looks like. And I find the labia-esque surrounds MUCH more important than the hole. Why not be proud of something that beautifully evokes something feminine in a male-dominated area (sports)?

Per-JohanDahl
Per-JohanDahl

This discussion is SO ridiculous. The skyscraper typology has been compared with ‘male parts’ for ages, still there are no scandalous cries when we build skyscrapers. To catalyze a discussion about ZH buildings on these premises is embarrassing!

ObamaCareSays
ObamaCareSays

It still looks like a c#nt.  Now I know it was designed by one too.

JerryHowe
JerryHowe

John is just trying to push the envelope in the Islamic world. It needs all of the nudging it can get

darlene
darlene

If a guy had of designed this he would have publicly announced that it's a vagina.

isaac
isaac

Oh, it's a stadium?

LoveniaJohnson
LoveniaJohnson

Well,it's certainly not her vagina.That stadium looks nothing like a dried out Arby's roast beef sandwich.

BobbyJean
BobbyJean

Flight of the Navigator ...it is virtually a replica of the alien spacecraft designed by Omnibus Computer Graphics for the 1986 Disney film.  Even the roof opening is the same shape as the spacecraft's hatch.  

TrishaLynnDragon
TrishaLynnDragon

It looks like a vajayjay lady. I realize she's embarrassed and...she should be. Not so much for the structure but for the lame arse whiny little girl with sand in her panty response.

The vajayjay isn't exactly a bad thing and that whole region could do with some vajayjay. Less jihad more "kitty kitty" for the menfolk and I bet we put a big old dent in their terrorist issue.

Zaha Hadid could well win a nobel peace prize for this stadium design. Be proud sister!

JoeBelkin
JoeBelkin

People are always complaining that men architects make phallic shaped buildings so she should stop complaining - and of course, if a guy designed a labia building, we'd be on it ...er, metaphorically. Obviously she cannot admit she was tweaking the culture by making it a giant vagina - it is what it is. Even if she did it in America, she cannot come out and say it either so accept it for what it is.

madhouse637
madhouse637

if she wants to convince us it's not a massive vagina, fine...go nuts. but to say it's somehow derived from the sail of a dhow? that's some hilarious second-year level post rationalization.

Jabe
Jabe

I've seen some vajayjay some are even up close and nothing gets closer to the stadium...I guess Jon haven't seen the real thing?....well, it will take a whole big penis stadium to break this one..hahahaha

zaglossus
zaglossus

Whatever this architect can disclaim, this stadium will be a standup joke for as long as it exists.

DixonThinks
DixonThinks

A meme in pop-feminism that has been around for a while is that skyscrapers that are actually phallic symbols; Penis monuments drawn from the deep psyches of the men who financed, designed, and "erected" them. So what does a woman architect design?... Regardless of what her intentions were, or whatever was deep in her subconscious, once you put a work of art out in the world it becomes whatever the public sees. No one  would ever associate a fishing boat with a place that is perceived to be part the desert... No one outside of Dubai that is. It totally looks like the vagina of a blow up doll designed by NASA.

Kilburn
Kilburn

Soccer ball is rubbish.

JosephUriogheneAbuRorobi
JosephUriogheneAbuRorobi

if you so called 'expert' have a wider horizon including Zaha, you will notice that she has created a Cowrie Shell semblance and nothing more !!!

LeeYongEn
LeeYongEn

@RhiannonWelles Yes, it is a big, beautiful vagina. I like sports, but I don't know why you'd consider me misogynistic.

you7joe
you7joe

@BenFranklin well first of all in Qatar women can drive by themselves stop the nonsense they teach you at school you look very retarded.and i agree with the second part.

BobbyJean
BobbyJean

@JosephUriogheneAbuRorobi   Aye, in a way.  She copied the design of an alien spacecraft from the movie "Flight of the Navigator" ...which was influenced by a cowrie shell.    If this stadium were translated to film or the written word, it would be plagiarism.