Top architect Dame Zaha Hadid dies of heart attack aged 65

Dame Zaha Hadid was honoured by Queen in 2012. Picture: Getty

Dame Zaha Hadid was honoured by Queen in 2012. Picture: Getty

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Architect Dame Zaha Hadid, known for designs such as the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, has died from a heart attack aged 65.

Earlier this week, while visiting Miami, she contracted bronchitis and died in hospital yesterday morning.

Her company issued a statement saying: “It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours.

“She had contracted bronchitis and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.”

Ms Hadid won acclaim in Scotland for designing the popular Riverside Museum in Glasgow, known for its distinctive roof.

Muriel Gray, chair of the board of governors at the Glasgow School of Art, tweeted a picture of the Riverside with the message: “Horrible shocking news that Zaha Hadid, incredible architectural trailblazer has just died. Huge loss to design.”

Dame Zaha also designed Maggie’s cancer centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in 2006, her first design in the UK to result in a permanent building.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in February this year she spoke fondly of the centre, labelling it “fabulous.”

She added: “I don’t really feel I’m part of the establishment. I’m not outside, I’m on the kind of edge, I’m dangling there. I quite like it.”

“I’m not against the establishment per se. I just do what I do and that’s it.”

Elsewhere in the UK, Dame Zaha’s most recognisable works also include Cardiff Bay Opera House while, globally, her notable designs include Guangzhou Opera House in China and the Vitra Fire Station in Germany.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey tweeted that Dame Zaha “made a huge contribution to contemporary architecture”.

In 2012 she was made a dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to architecture.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was one of the first people to pay tribute to the architect, tweeting: “So sad to hear of death of Zaha Hadid, she was an inspiration and her legacy lives on in wonderful buildings in Stratford and around the world.”

Earlier this year the Royal Institute of British Architects announced that Dame Zaha would receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal. She was the first woman to be awarded the honour – personally approved by the Queen – in her own right.

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