Architect Dame Zaha Hadid, has sadly passed away aged 65. Iraqi-born architect was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) Gold Medal in recognition of her work.
She died following a heart attack on Thursday in a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for bronchitis. Her designs have been commissioned around the world, including Hong Kong, Germany and Azerbaijan. Collecting her Gold Medal in February, Dame Zaha said she was proud to have been the first woman to win in her own right.
Born in Baghad, she studied maths at the American University of Beirut – where she later designed a building on campus which was completed in 2014 – before embarking on her career at the Architectural Association in London. In 1979 she set up her own company – Zaha Hadid Architects. Her first major commission to be constructed was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany.
The striking London Acquatics Centre in Stratford, which resembles a wave, features two 50-metre pools and a diving pool. After being used for the Olympics and Paralympics it was opened to the public in 2014. She won the Stirling Prize for architecture twice and was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture – Dame Zaha was an extraordinary woman considering where she came from and what she made of her career.
It was very much a man’s world but she was determined to shape it and bend into the way she saw it, into Zaha Hadid’s world. Her architecture was modern and futuristic with very noticeable sensuous lines, she brought a femininity to Modernism.
Today we mourn the loss of one of the greats of out our time that truly reshaped architecture and design.