Zaha Hadid dies

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Dame Zaha Hadid, the visionary and most successful woman architect ever, has died of a heart attack aged 65.

 

She used her knowledge of digital design and new building materials, and her instinctive understanding of landscape, to create buildings of flowing lines and organic shapes that they became automatic signature pieces, as recognisable as Le Corbusier.

Born in Baghdad in 1950 she did a mathematics degree before coming to London to study architecture, and in 1979 she founded her practice ion London and through the 80s established an international reputation.

Like many of the finest British architects, however, she did not have buildings built here until quite late in her career. In 1994 she was commissioned to design the Cardiff bay Opera House, but the scheme  was abandoned when the Millennium Commission, then one of the lottery god causes, withdrew. Her first building in Britain was the temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2000, and the first permanent building was Maggie’s Centre at Kirkaldy in 2006. Her next was the London Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics in 2012.

She won many architectural prizes abroad, won two Stirling Prizes in the UK and was recently awarded the RIBA’s Gold Medal , the first woman to win it. She was made a dame in 2012

 

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