Renowned architect Zaha Hadid dies aged 65
Pritzker Prize-winner suffered a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis
Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid inside the newly constructed Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London in September 2013. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
A general view of the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford, the location of the London 2012 Olympic Games, designed by Zaha Hadid. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters
Dame Zaha Hadid standing in front of the Serpentine Sackler gallery that she designed in Hyde Park, London. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
The London Aquatics Centre built for the 2012 Olympic Games, designed by Dame Zaha Hadid. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire
Dame Zaha Hadid, the world-renowned architect whose designs include the London Olympic aquatic centre, has died aged 65.
The British designer, who was born in Iraq, had a heart attack on Thursday while in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis.
Hadid’s buildings have been commissioned around the world and she was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal.
A lengthy statement released by her company said: “It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE, died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning.
“She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital. Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today.”
Leading architect Graham Morrison said: “She was so distinct that there isn’t anybody like her. She didn’t fit in and I don’t mean that meanly. She was in a world of her own and she was extraordinary.”
Speaking from Mexico, Lord Rogers, the architect of the Pompidou Centre and the Millennium Dome, told the Guardian the news of Hadid’s death was “really, really terrible”.”She was a great architect, a wonderful woman and wonderful person,” he said.
“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. I got involved with her first in Cardiff when the government threw her off the project in the most disgraceful way. She has had to fight every inch of the way. It is a great loss.”
Boris Johnson tweeted: “So sad to hear of death of Zaha Hadid, she was an inspiration and her legacy lives on in wonderful buildings in Stratford and around the world.”
Hadid, born in Baghdad, became a revolutionary force in British architecture even though for many years she struggled to win commissions in the UK.
Her scheme to build the Cardiff Bay opera house was scrapped in the 1990s and she didn’t produce a major building in the UK until she built the transport museum in Glasgow, which was completed in 2011.