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Mercurial Master Hadid Dead at 65

Mercurial Master Hadid Dead at 65

Tempestuous trailblazer: Hadid was a mathematician before studying architecture under Rem Koolhaas.

Tempestuous trailblazer: Hadid was a mathematician before studying architecture under Rem Koolhaas.

   Architect Jeanne Gang weighed in via Twitter.

   Architect Jeanne Gang weighed in via Twitter.

by ROB McMANAMY | March 31, 2016

Arguably the world's most acclaimed and controversial architect died suddenly this morning in Miami. Dame Zaha Hadid, 65, suffered a fatal heart attack while hospitalized for bronchitis, according to an announcement posted by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), the award-winning design practice she started in London in 1979.  Legendary for both her talent and temper, the Iraqi-born British architect last month became the first woman to win the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2016 Royal Gold Medal. The honor came 12 years after Hadid had also become the first woman ever to win the international Pritzker Architecture Prize

"The world of architecture has lost a star today," said RIBA President Jane Duncan in a statement. "She 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," added Duncan. "She leaves behind a body of work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, that delight and astound people all around the world." 

Tokyo stadium last fall was a rare setback.

Tokyo stadium last fall was a rare setback.

The latest honor no doubt took much of the sting out of last summer's high-profle controversy in Japan, which saw ZHA withdraw as designer of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Stadium. As owner, the Japanese government had complained that the costs were too high. Initially, ZHA had reworked its design, and then even teamed with a veteran Japanese firm to ground its efforts locally. But in the end, Zadid, famous for not suffering fools gladly, just walked away. 

"The Pritzker Family (is) deeply saddened by the passing of Dame Zaha Hadid," said the Pritzker Architecture Prize organization in a Facebook post earlier today. "She was truly a pioneer... (and) represents the highest aspirations of the Pritzker Architecture Prize... She will be remembered for her talent, creativity, commitment, loyalty and friendship."

In a statement released this morning, ZHA described Hadid this way: "Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms."

For a fuller list of Hadid's projects and accomplishments, click here. For a sample of her work, click through the gallery below...

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