British architect Zaha Hadid dies at 65 Tell a friend

Zaha Hadid

One of the World's Most Prominent Architects Passes Away

“This is very tragic and astonishing news,” states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine.  “Hadid was a major force shaping contemporary architecture; a major influence on many young and aspiring architects, particularly women practitioners; and this news is disturbingly and unexpectedly bleak since she left us at the peak of her great and inspiring career, changing forever the face of modern architecture and design.”

A statement released by her office said: "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."

Zaha Hadid, the designer of buildings including the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, suffered a heart attack earlier today while being treated for bronchitis at a Miami hospital.

The Iraqi-born architect is one of the most successful female architects in history, and this year became the first woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture in her own right.

Hadid was born in Baghdad in 1950. After graduating from the Architectural Association in 1977, she joined her former professors, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, at OMA. She established Zaha Hadid Architects in 1979, which she ran with Patrik Schumacher.

Significant early projects included The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986), and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994) – but she garned most attention for her Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993)

Hadid won numerous Good Design, International Architecture Awards, and American Architecture Awards from The Chicago Athenaeum through the years.

The deadbeat Royal Institute of British Architects never gave Hadid the Royal Gold Medal because of her controversial position in contemporary architecture and the Institute’s most conservative and jealous membership.  She angered and inflamed the British status quo.

“This is a very bleak and desperate day for our profession of architecture,” Narkiewicz-Laine comments.

Caption:  Portrait of Zaha Hadid by Mary McCartney.  Archives of The Chicago Athenaeum.

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