Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-British architect and first woman ever to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, has passed away suddenly at the age of 65. She died of a heart attack in a Miami hospital where she was being treated for bronchitis. She was born in Baghdad, but went on to study mathematics at Beirut University and eventually began her career at the Architectural Association in London. She set up her own company, Zaha Hadid Architects, in 1979, and had buildings commissioned all over the world. Among some of her most iconic projects are the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio — her first completed work in the USA.
She had also been commissioned to design the 2022 Fifa World Cup Stadium in Qatar, a project steeped in controversy because of the poor working conditions for the migrant workers involved with the project. She defended herself from critics by saying that she had nothing to do with the working conditions, and believed this was an issue for the Qatari government to resolve. In February of this year, she had become the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal for her work. “We now see more established female architects all the time,” she said at the time, “That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress.”
So shocked and sad at the loss of bold, brilliant pioneer architect @ZHA_News! What a tragedy!
— Tina Brown (@TinaBrownLM) March 31, 2016
Zaha hadid gave me my favourite quote ever. "Men don't listen to me. That's why I have to give them hell." What a woman. @EstatesGazette
— Emily Wright (@EmilyW_9) March 31, 2016
RIP Zaha HADID 1950-2016, a great architect. pic.twitter.com/SB60JReHvG
— Manon (@Hypsoline_) March 31, 2016
Zaha Hadid has sadly died. She recently wrote a postcard to her younger self for BBC Arts with these words of wisdom pic.twitter.com/luM9YQAp9j
— BBC Arts (@bbcarts) March 31, 2016
So sad to hear of death of Zaha Hadid, she was an inspiration and her legacy lives on in wonderful buildings in Stratford & around the world
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) March 31, 2016
Read the full story at BBC News.