Iraqi-born British Architect Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE passed away on 31st March 2016 in Miami, Florida. She was 65.
Earlier this year she became the first sole woman to receive the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London.
Zaha Hadid Architects released the following statement:
“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. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London.
By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).
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.
Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.
In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.
Zaha Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.
She held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Hadid also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.”
Abraxas Lifestyle has a close association with Zaha Hadid Architects and has featured multiple projects by the firm – most recently an extensive look at what would have been the New National Stadium of Japan for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. One of her most recently completed projects – Messner Mountain Museum, Corones – graced the cover of the September 2015 issue. Zaha Hadid also designed home accessories – which were as iconic and futuristic as her architectural marvels.
In tribute to the greatest female architect in the world, Abraxas Lifestyle takes a look back at the projects featured in the magazine over the years…
Serpentine Sackler Gallery (June 2014)
Situated at a five minute walk from the original Serpentine Gallery, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery brought the 1805 Grade II listed former gunpowder store into public use for the first time in its 208 year history. Instrumental to the transformation into a public art gallery was the decision to reinstate the historic arrangement of The Magazine building as a free standing pavilion within an enclosure, whereby the former courtyards would be covered and become internal exhibition spaces. In order to reveal the original spaces, all non-historic partition walls were removed. The flat gauged arches over the entrances were reinstated whilst the historic timber gantry crane was maintained.