Architect Dame Zaha Hadid dies at 65 after heart attack in Miami

Architect Zaha Hadid
Photo courtesy: Mary McCartney
The world-renowned architect and the first woman to win the Pritzker prize, Zaha Hadid has unexpectedly passed away on Thursday (31st March 2016) due to a heart attack while in hospital in Miami where she was being treated for bronchitis.

Died at the age of 65, Hadid is largely regarded as the most influential female architect in history, who made a mark in the world with extravagant buildings that embraced organic curves, fluid lines, and often hefty price tags. Best known for designs such as the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the Guangzhou Opera House, she was recently awarded the RIBA's 2016 royal gold medal, the first woman to be awarded the honor in her own right.

A statement released by her company said: "It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects 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."

Fellow architect Daniel Libeskind said in reaction to the news, "She was a good friend. It's devastating news. I'm so, so sad. It's as if a star has gone out in the firmament of architecture. It's a sad loss that I think is irreplaceable because she was a unique architect. I think she was really a pioneer because as we all know it's very difficult for women to succeed in a male dominated field and she was an example and an inspiration to many women in architecture. I think she had a very important role in engendering a sense that equality is coming and must come."

RIBA President Jane Duncan said, "This is absolutely terrible news. Dame Zaha Hadid 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. She leaves behind a body of work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, that delight and astound people all around the world. It was only last month that I had the enviable task of awarding Zaha the 2016 Royal Gold Medal for architecture -- she was delighted to receive the recognition and adds the medal to an amazing collection of awards, not least winning the RIBA Stirling Prize two years running. The world of architecture has lost a star today."

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