Achneider Architect Zaha Hadid died following a heart attack on March 31st in a Miami hospital. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture.
Born in Baghad, she studied math at the American University of Beirut – where she later designed a building on campus which was completed in 2014 – before embarking on her career at the Architectural Association in London. In 1979 she set up her own company – Zaha Hadid Architects.Her architecture was modern and futuristic with very noticeable sensuous lines, she brought a femininity to Modernism.
Her first major commission to be constructed was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany. The striking London Acquatics Centre in Stratford, which resembles a wave, features two 50-metre pools and a diving pool. After being used for the Olympics and Paralympics it was opened to the public in 2014. She has designed one of the stadiums that will take centre stage at the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Her designs have been commissioned around the world, including Hong Kong, Germany and Azerbaijan.
Zaha twice won the RIBA Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. In 2010 she won for the Maxxi Museum in Rome, winning again in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton. Some of her other notable creations include the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, the Riverside Museum at Glasgow’s Museum of Transport, and Guangzhou Opera House in China.