Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, known for such innovative and curvaceous designs as the London Olympic aquatic centre, died early Thursday morning at age 65. She had a heart attack while being treated at a Miami hospital for bronchitis.
Hadid was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She also won Britain’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011.
Among her most noteworthy projects around the world were Maxxi, the Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome; the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku; the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. She also designed a stadium for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar.
Hadid was born in Baghdad in 1950, after studying mathematics at the American University of Beirut, she went to London to study in 1972. In 1979, Hadid opened her own practice, and began her legacy of trailblazing architecture.
Her company, Zaha Hadid Architects, released a statement, noting: "Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today."
Queen Elizabeth II honored her with a dame hood in 2012.
British culture minister Ed Vaizey said on Twitter that Hadid made a “huge contribution to contemporary architecture.”