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Zaha Hadid (1950 - 2016)

AP Photo / Kevork Djansezian, File

Zaha Hadid (1950 - 2016)

Award-winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid died March 31 of a heart attack, according to the BBC. She was 65.

Known as the Queen of the Curve for her distinctive style, Hadid was one of the best-known women in architectural history. The Iraqi-born British citizen brought futuristic grandeur to her art, mingling sweeping curves and stark angles to create notable buildings including the wave-shaped London Aquatics Centre, designed for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Hadid got her start in architecture as an associate of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in the Netherlands, opening her own firm in 1979.  Among her early projects was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany. As her reputation grew, her buildings found homes around the world – the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Guangzhou Opera House in Guangzhou, China; the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; the MAXXI museum in Rome, Italy.

The MAXXI was award-winning, earning Hadid the 2010 Stirling Prize, a British award for excellence in architecture. It was one of many honors Hadid would be given, including the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2004, considered by some to be the architecture world's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She was the first woman to win this notable award.


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Among Hadid's recent projects was a design for the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar. She also delved outside architecture from time to time, as when she designed a stage set for a Pet Shop Boys tour and collaborated with Pharrell and Adidas to design a line of sneakers.

Tributes to Hadid, who was born Oct. 31, 1950, in Baghdad, flooded social media after her death, calling her visionary, brilliant, and remarkable. Designer Kelly Hoppen called Hadid "an iconic architect who pushed the boundaries to another level" in a tweet, while actress Holland Taylor tweeted, "Goodbye to Zaha Hadid-- you were a daring original, who let nothing keep you from the realization of your particular genius. Too soon gone."

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