Zaha Hadid 1950 - 2016

Dame Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack today. here are some of the great buildings she's left us
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Zaha Hadid - photo by Mary McCartney
Zaha Hadid - photo by Mary McCartney

It's been confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid died today from a heart attack after being treated for bronchitis. She was 66. A statement just released by her office reads:

It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning. She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.

 

Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
 

Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London.

 

Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton
Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton

By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

 

Pierresvives, Montepelier
Pierresvives, Montepelier

Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

 

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul

Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space.

 

MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rom
MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rom

Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.

 

Vitra Fire Station, Germany
Vitra Fire Station, Germany

In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.

 

Hungerburgahn, Innsbruck
Hungerburgahn, Innsbruck
 

 Zaha Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.

 

Guangzhou Opera House, China
Guangzhou Opera House, China

She held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Hadid also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

 

Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg
Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg

Zaha Hadid was recently awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. 

 

London Acquatics Centre
London Acquatics Centre

 


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