Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (born 1950), perhaps the most famous female architect, has passed away. According to an official statement by Zaha Hadid Architects, she “contracted bronchitis earlier this week, and suffered a heart attack while being treated in a hospital in Miami.” She was 65.
“Hadid’s death was “really, really terrible,” said Richard Rogers, the architect of the Pompidou Centre. “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.”
About a year ago I was in talks with Hadid’s handlers for a print interview, which fell through because she was in the middle of many, many projects and was overloaded with meetings and travel. I regret now that I hadn’t been more assertive. I do so admire this woman.
Hadid’s work is an orgy of sinuous curves in concrete and glass. Her neo-futurist approach to architecture re-imagined the human relationship to space. As a resident of New York City, presently overrun by slipshod condominium construction which provides payouts for developers in gentrifying neighborhoods, the prowess of Zaha Hadid feels aspirational. As I sit my cubicle, I feel an urge to enter a Hadid building, touch the materials, and to feel connected to her ideas..
Hadid’s architectural Reputation led to a series of fashion and design collaborations, notably, with the Nova shoe by United Nude.
Educated at the London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Hadid possessed an innate comprehension of 20thCentury avant-garde artists. Her material explorations—such as the MAXXI: National Center of Contemporary Arts in Rome—seeked to revive Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism. Hadid’s notable achievements include The London Aquatics Centre for the Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013), and the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, (2010), to name a few.
We have curated this collection of images from around the web as a sendoff for this wonderful woman. Here’s to hoping someone will rise and pick up the mantle in her wake.