‘Queen of Curves’ Architect Zaha Hadid, Dies at 65

April 1, 2016

Dame Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born British architect whose boldness, reflected brightly in striking buildings that punctuate cities around the world, is what the architecture world remembered Thursday after Hadid died at age 65. She suffered a heart attack on Thursday morning while being treated for bronchitis in a Miami hospital, according to her London-based firm.

Hadid became the first woman to scoop the top British architecture prize last September. Previous winners of the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) include Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hadid is best known for buildings including the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales.

She opened her own practice in London in 1979 and in 2004 she became the first female recipient of the Pritzker, considered the equivalent of the Nobel prize for architecture.

Her work, with its formal fluidity — also implying mobility, speed, freedom — spoke to a worldview widely shared by a younger generation. “I am non-European, I don’t do conventional work and I am a woman,” she once told an interviewer. “On the one hand all of these things together make it easier — but on the other hand it is very difficult.”

She was. For women, for what cities can aspire to build and for the art of architecture.

Comments are closed.