- Award-winning British architect Dame Zaha Hadid, 65, died in Miami on Thursday from a heart attack after being admitted to a hospital for bronchitis, The New York Times reported.
- Best known for her designs of "fluid geometry," Hadid created "eye-popping" structures, whether it was a fire station in Germany — her first commission — or the London Aquatics Center built for the 2012 Olympics, what The Times called "a cathedral for water sports."
- Hadid was born in Iraq, studied mathematics at the American University in Beirut and then went on to the Architectural Association in London. Hadid started her own firm in the 1980s and has won the Pritzker Prize, Britain’s RIBA Gold Medal, the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.
Hadid’s work was also not without controversy. The firefighters in that first commissioned fire station project in Germany chose to move to another facility rather than remain in Hadid’s "winged composition," and the space is now an event venue, The Times reported. And last year, her winning design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium was scuttled by Japanese officials who criticized the cost and the futuristic design.
However, Hadid mostly impressed critics and the public alike with creations like the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, the Phaeno Science Center in Germany, the Bridge Pavilion in Spain and an opera house in Guangzhou, China.
As the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, Hadid was one of the most recognized names in architecture at a time when women continue to struggle for equal representation in the industry. A recent study commissioned by the American Institute of Architects on diversity in the profession found that women strongly believe there is not gender equity in architecture, but only half of men respondents believe women are not adequately represented.