On March 31, 2016, Dame Zaha Hadid died from a heart attack in Florida. The Iraqi born British architect is best known for her neo-futuristic designs, becoming the first female to earn the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the RIBA Gold Medal.
Many of her iconic designs include the London Olympic Aquatic Centre, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Through her career she has been awarded 22 prizes, being the first women to win many of them.
“I used to not like being called a ‘woman architect’: I’m an architect, not just a woman architect. Guys used to tap me on the head and say, ‘You are okay for a girl’.”
Hadid studied math at the American University of Beirut, later designing a buliding for the campus. She established her own company, Zaha Hadid Architects, in 1979. Along with owning a business and designing for many countries, Hadid began teach in the mid 1980’s at Harvard School of Design. She has also been a guest professor through the years at Yale, Columbia and Ohio State. Earning her a honorary membership to the American Academy or Arts and Letters and to the American Institute of Architects.
Many in the design world are feeling this loss saying, “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. The world of architecture has lost a star today.”
Read more here from the NY Times