Frank Gehry: “She was a great architect and a great friend. I will miss her.”
Richard Rogers: “Zaha Hadid was a radical genius – an architect far ahead of her time. I loved Zaha and will miss her”
Norman Foster: “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.”
Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, whose designs included the London Aquatic Centre, died Thursday at the age of 65, a representative said. A statement from her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, confirmed that Hadid was being treated for bronchitis at a hospital in Miami and died of a heart attack in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Born in Baghdad in 1950, Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before joining the Architectural Association in London in 1972. She went on to establish her own practice in London in 1979.
Fellow architect Daniel Libeskind said in reaction to the news: “She was a good friend. It’s devastating news. I’m so, so sad. It’s as if a star has gone out in the firmament of architecture. It’s a sad loss that I think is irreplaceable because she was a unique architect.
“I think she was really a pioneer because as we all know it’s very difficult for women to succeed in a male dominated field and she was an example and an inspiration to many women in architecture. I think she had a very important role in engendering a sense that equality is coming and must come.”
In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the design of the MAXXI Museum in Rome and in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy in London. In 2016 she was awarded RIBA’s Gold Medal for her work.
Speaking today RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “This is absolutely terrible news. 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.
“It was only last month that I had the enviable task of awarding Zaha the 2016 Royal Gold Medal for architecture – she was delighted to receive the recognition and adds the medal to an amazing collection of awards, not least winning the RIBA Stirling Prize two years running. The world of architecture has lost a star today.”
Hadid held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Hadid also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993). She went on to design other notable projects i subsequent notable projects including the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) and Galaxy Soho in Beijing (2012).