Zaha Hadid, award winning architect, has died

Zaha broke the boundaries of traditional architecture as a woman and as an artist. -Nichelle Cole

Ms Hadid was described as a path-breaking architect who handled building spaces with a breath- taking freedom in totally new ways. Hadid’s buildings were commissioned around the world and she was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects gold medal. With all of her achievements she never felt like she was on the inside,”I’m kind of on the edge”, she’s said,”… I quite like it”.

In the wake of her death her peers and admirers take to social media to speak on the legacy of the artist, the trailblazer and the woman.

Lord Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside

“Among architects emerging in the last few decades, no one has had 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.” Lord Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside, a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs in high-tech architecture.

“Queen of the Curves” Zaha Hadid Architects

Graham Morrison, Leading architect

“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.”

Ed Vaizey, British Culture Minister

Ed Vaizey posted on Twitter, saying he was “stunned” at the news and praised her “huge contribution to contemporary architecture”.

Hadid, born in Baghdad in 1950, became a revolutionary force in British architecture even though for many years she struggled to win commissions in the UK. The Iraqi government described her death as “an irreplaceable loss to Iraq and the global community”.

Jesolo Magica Retail and Business Centre in Italy

She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before launching her architectural career in London at the Architectural Association.

By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – and gained a reputation across the world for 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).

The first major build commission that earned her international recognition was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993). 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.

Some of her most notable buildings include the Rosenthal Centre of Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) were also hailed as architecture that transformed ideas of the future.

The central atrium of Moscow’s Dominion Office Building by Zaha Hadid Architects (2015)

She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize. Other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and Japan’s Praemium Imperiale.

And the artist made headlines in fashion with collaborations from jewelry, to watches to shoes.

Zaha Hadid’s Silene cuff (left) is set with 1,048 white diamonds

Zaha Hadid, who collaborated with Pharell Williams on a pair of trainers as part of his collection for Adidas left a fan in her wake.

American musician and mogul, Pharrell Williams

“I’m a huge fan of Zaha’s, I’ve always been,” said Williams in the promotional video for the trainers. “I would venture to say that she’s one of the most talented architects of our time, and of history in my opinion.”

3-D shoes; Zaha hadid x Rem d Koolhaas

Zaha last spoke in February on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, where she said: “I don’t really feel I’m part of the establishment. I’m not outside, I’m on the kind of edge, I’m dangling there. I quite like it. She added: “I’m not against the establishment per se. I just do what I do and that’s it.”



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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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