Female architect who left mark on China, dies at 65

Updated: 2016-04-02 02:41

By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in London(China Daily)

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Female architect who left mark on China, dies at 65

Zaha Hadid Photos by Reuters and Chen Jun

Zaha Hadid, the famed female architect known around the world for her works with sweeping curves and who drew occasional controversy when projects hit huge cost overruns, died on Thursday at the age of 65, her company said.

The award-winning Iraqi-British architect was best known in China for designing the Guangzhou Opera House, the Wangjing SOHO building in Beijing and the capital's Galaxy SOHO development. She also created the unusual aquatics center used for the 2012 London Olympics.

Hadid faced criticism last year after her futuristic $2 billion design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium was scrapped amid spiraling costs and complaints about the design.

Born in 1950 in Baghdad, where her father was a politician, Hadid forged a career in the male-dominated world of architecture, bringing her curvaceous, radical designs to life in glass, steel and concrete.

"It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning," her firm said in a statement, adding that she had suffered a heart attack after contracting bronchitis this week.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi paid tribute to Hadid, describing her death as a loss for the "whole world".

She had "served the world through her creativity and, in losing her, the whole world has lost one of the great energies that served the community", al-Abadi said in a statement.

Hadid's other notable works include the Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States.

"I believe that the complexities and dynamism of contemporary life cannot be cast into the simple platonic forms provided by the classical canon," she said in her speech when she accepted the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture, in 2004.

"The initial sense of abstractness and strangeness is unavoidable," she said of people observing her work. But she added that this was "not a sign of personal willfulness".

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