Architect Zaha Hadid, whose designs include the London Olympic Aquatic Centre, died following a heart attack on Thursday in a Miami hospital. She was 65. The tributes to this amazing woman and her work have been pouring in.
She created such an incredible it’s hard to overstate how important she was to the world of architecture. Her first major commission in 1993, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany and her other creations include the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, the Riverside Museum at Glasgow’s Museum of Transport, and Guangzhou Opera House in China.
Hadid was born in Baghad, studied at Beirut University and left for London at the Architectural Association. In 1979 she set up her own company – Zaha Hadid Architects.
Here are just some of her greatest hits.
Below, her friends and colleagues commented on the sadness and suddenness of her passing.
“The Pritzker Family and the Pritzker Architecture Prize organization are deeply saddened by the passing of Dame Zaha Hadid. She was truly a pioneer in the field of architecture. The 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, she represents the highest aspirations of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She also served on the jury for one year. Zaha Hadid will be remembered for her talent, creativity, commitment, loyalty and friendship.”
“I feel immensely privileged to have known Zaha as a very dear and loyal friend, as a confidante, and one of the most extraordinary talents of our time…. When my son was very young, Zaha showed him how to write his name in Arabic. It was the moment I realised the genesis of her remarkable architectural language. She was an extraordinary role model for women. She was fearless and a trailblazer – her work was brave and radical. Despite sometimes feeling misunderstood, she was widely celebrated and rightly so. I will miss her deeply as will the world of architecture.” –Amanda Levete
“Devastated by the loss of a great architect & colleague today. Her spirit will live on in her work and studio. Our hearts go out.” –Daniel Libeskind
“Dame Zaha Hadid was an inspirational woman, and the kind of architect one can only dream of being. Visionary and highly experimental, her legacy, despite her young age, is formidable… She leaves behind a body of work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, that delight and astound people all around the world. The world of architecture has lost a star today.” –Jane Duncan, President of RIBA
“She was a tough architect, which is needed as a woman at the top of her profession and at the height of her career. She will be sadly missed as an iconic leader in architecture and as a role model for women in architecture.” –Angela Brady, former President of RIBA
“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, Boris Johnson
“Sad news. She was astonishing, a groundbreaker, including as a powerful woman who showed that great architecture is not just a man’s game.” –critic, Michael Kimmelman
“I am so so so shocked, I have no words.” –Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design
“Shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of Zaha Hadid’s death: one of the great architectural figures of our time.” –architecture critic, Paul Goldberger
“She was a great architect, a wonderful woman and wonderful person… Among architects emerging in the last few decades, no one had any more impact than she did. She fought her way through as a woman. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker prize.” –architect, Richard Rogers
“Architecture today lost one of it’s greatest. Zaha Hadid has died. Zaha was the current Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture where she had taught regularly since 2001. She will be greatly, greatly, missed.” –Yale School of Architecture
“Zaha Hadid was, as her name signifies, made of steel. She had a radical vision and a particular sensibility about the world and she fought for its realization with courage against all odds. Her untimely passing makes us wonder what was yet to come. She will be missed.” –architect, Moshe Safdie
“I am devastated by the news of the loss of Zaha Hadid and cannot comprehend the enormity of her passing away. I became very close to her as a friend and colleague in parallel with my deep respect for her as an architect of immense stature and global significance… I think it was Zaha’s triumph to go beyond the beautiful graphic visions of her sculptural approach to architecture into reality that so upset some of her critics. She was an individual of great courage, conviction and tenacity. It is rare to find these qualities tied to a free creative spirit. That is why her loss is so profound and her example so inspirational. And, besides, she was my dear friend.” –architect, Norman Foster