Zaha Hadid: internationally renowned Iraqi-British architect dies aged 65

Pritzker Prize winner designed buildings in Hong Kong and China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 March, 2016, 11:58pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 April, 2016, 12:00am

Internationally renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, whose designs included Hong Kong’s Innovation Tower and Beijing’s Galaxy SoHo, has died aged 65.

Born and raised in Baghdad, Hadid studied in Beirut and London, where she based the architectural firm that bore her name.

She designed buildings around the world, including the Innovation Tower at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University in Hung Hom, and Beijing’s Galaxy SoHo.

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She also designed the stadium for Tokyo Olympics but it caused a huge controversy in Japan, and her design was eventually abolished.

Her successful designs included the London Aquatics Centre used in the 2012 summer Olympics; a BMW facility in Leipzig, Germany; sleek funicular railway stations in Innsbruck, Austria; and the strikingly curved Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.

She twice won Britain’s Stirling Prize for architecture and in 2004 became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, known as the “Nobel prize of architecture.”

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The Pritzker jury praised her unswerving commitment to modernism and defiance of convention.

“It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning,” her company said in a statement on Thursday.

“She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.”

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Her projects also include the MAXXI museum in Rome, the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, and a condominium along Manhattan’s High Line park.

“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,” London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter.