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Design industry laments the loss of pioneer architect Dame Zaha Hadid


By Seb Joseph, News editor

April 1, 2016 | 4 min read

Tributes from the design industry have poured in for Dame Zaha Hadid, known for designs such as the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, after she died from a heart attack aged 65.

Regarded as a pioneer and an inspiration by her peers, Dame Zaha was one of the leading architects, with some of her most recognisable work including the Guangzhou Opera House in China and the Vitra Fire Station in Germany.

Speaking in February on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Dame Zaha said: “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.”

And the industry has gathered to remember and celebrate her cutting edge thinking. The Drum has collected some of the tributes below.

Stephen Bell, executive creative director at Coley Porter Bell.

I am just so very grateful that after an inordinate and embarrassing amount of years and following many successful commissions in other countries around the world someone finally decided to commission Zaha for projects here in the UK. Given the sad news it just wouldn't seem right not to have evidence of her brilliant legacy in the place she lived and worked.

Rik Moore, head of creative strategy at Havas Media UK.

"Following the terribly sad news of Dame Zaha Hadid’s passing, the one solace we can take is in the brilliant legacy she leaves behind. She was an undeniable world class talent, who broke boundaries, and leaves behind truly iconic buildings the world over, which will continue to showcase her stunning talent for generations to come. From the shimmering beauty of the interior of her Guangzhou Opera House, to the mesmeric lines of the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, her creativity transcended architecture, making her buildings true works of art. With this amazing body of work, Dame Zaha Hadid’s breathtaking talents live on, and will continue to inspire."

Alex Ririe, managing partner at Coley Porter Bell.

Zaha Hadid's work speaks for itself - it's awe-inspiring and utterly distinctive. Her abilities as an architect are unquestionable. But my admiration for her goes beyond these remarkable buildings. I am full of admiration for the legacy she has left for women who want to achieve great things, to challenge convention and to be true to themselves. Her fearsome spirit and achievements in a male-dominated industry should be acknowledged as a source of inspiration as much as her craft.

Sean Kinmont, founding partner at creative, 23red.

"Architecture is really about well-being. On the one hand it’s about shelter, but its also about pleasure.”- Zaha Hadid

So sad to hear of the death of Zaha Hadid. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited both the London Olympic Aquatic Centre as well as the Serpentine Gallery extension and experienced first hand the pleasure of these spaces. She worked on the edges of the establishment and her confidence, toughness and unquestionable talent resulted in some of the most iconic architecture of our time. There is no mistaking her work, she hated rectangles and the curving elegance of her buildings truly created a sense of well-being way beyond that of the purely functional.

She will be missed.


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