The Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid, who became the first woman and the first Muslim to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize suffered a heart attack and died on Thursday at age 65, the BBC reported. Zaha Hadid is known for the design of the London Olympic Aquatic Centre, the Guangzhou Opera House and the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria, among other neo-futuristic, breathtaking works.
Hadid also became the first woman to receive the RIBA Gold Medal in 2015.
“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,” as Roger Howie, head of press for Zaha Hadid Architects, told the Huffington Post in a statement sent by email.
He explained that she had suffered a sudden heart attack in the hospital while being treated for bronchitis, which she contracted a few days ago.
Hadid’s body of work was quite small by 2004, but she still became the first woman to win architecture’s highest honor because her designs represented a great promise for the future. That year’s Pritzker Prize jury chairman said Hadid was always a step forward existing concepts and typology, unexpectedly shifting building’s geometry.
She once said that “architecture is semi-artistic, but you are inspired by nature, landscape, biology, all living things”.
Dame Zaha Hadid’s work is so distinctive because it goes beyond the unexpected. The perfect, outstanding curves and lines of her designs have made her one of the most acclaimed architects of all times. She won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award in 2014 for the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, which has a massive curve so soft and sweeping that it appears like it had just gracefully melted.
The Design Museum wrote on its website that Hadid “defined a radical new approach to architecture with multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”
Hadid’s family gave her the first opportunities to show off her talent
The multiple award-winner said that her family led her to start her design career, according to a report by Curbed. When she was seven, she went to a furniture maker in Beirut to pick up pieces her father Mohammed had ordered for her room, which he allowed her to decorate. An asymmetrical mirror was part of the collection and that is how her passion for asymmetry emerged.
She happened to live in a Bauhaus-inspired home in Baghdad. Her cousin liked the way she decorated her room and asked her to design hers. An aunt later asked her the same and ever since she had been into the infinite possibilities of space and concepts.
The outstanding architect was also an academic and teacher at prestigious universities and schools such as Harvard, Yale, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. Zaha Hadid Architects, her firm, now has over 300 employees in a schoolhouse in the Clerkenwell neighborhood of London.
Source: Huffington Post