Architect Zaha Hadid has died

zaha
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

TreeHugger has never devoted much space to the work of Zaha Hadid; she was not a big proponent of sustainable design. But she was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, the first woman to get the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal, and probably the most successful woman architect who ever lived.

Heydar Aliyev centre © Heydar Aliyev centre

Some of her work is astonishingly beautiful, but even buildings like this have been criticized because of her choice of client and the urban clearance that was done to make way for it. She was talented and always controversial.

From the obituary on her website:

It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning. She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.

...Zaha Hadid was recently awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. Sir Peter Cook wrote the following citation:

"In our current culture of ticking every box, surely Zaha Hadid succeeds, since (to quote the Royal Gold Medal criteria) she is someone “who has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of architecture…. for a substantial body of work rather than for work which is currently fashionable.” Indeed her work, though full of form, style and unstoppable mannerism, possesses a quality that some of us might refer to as an impeccable ‘eye’: which we would claim is a fundamental in the consideration of special architecture and is rarely satisfied by mere ‘fashion’.

Here is a roundup of the little bit of TreeHugger coverage of her work:

Zaha Hadid's new building and renovation at the Serpentine Gallery

serpentineBonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Some have said that architect Zaha Hadid's new project at London's Serpentine Gallery is a restaurant with a museum attached. It's true, there is a bigger wow factor to the cafe. But the renovated munitions storage for gun powder, built in 1805, has a quiet and serene beauty of its own. More in TreeHugger

A Visit to the Breathtaking Olympic Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid

zaha swimmingBonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

The Olympic Aquatics Centre, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, is the big one: the most expensive building on the site and surely the most controversial. More in TreeHugger

Zaha Hadid Does a Green Roof in Seoul

Dongdaemun Design PlazaDongdaemun Design Plaza via Dezeen/via

I have sometimes thought that starchitects like Zaha Hadid give not quite as much attention to social or environmental concerns. But Hadid has started construction on a 850,000 square foot design museum, library and educational facility in Seoul that appears quite green and social. More in TreeHugger

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