Dame Zaha Hadid, recently in the news after winning the competition to design the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium (only for the competition to be re-run), has died. London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Hadid was the architect of the London Acquatics Centre in Stratford, East London, which resembles a wave – the double wave being her trademark sculptural form. The Centre, which features two 50-metre pools and a diving pool, was used for the Olympics and Paralympics and then converted and opened to the public in 2014. Hadid said at the time:
I love the London Aquatics Centre because it’s near where I live.
Hadid’s architectural practice also designed (with AECOM) the Al Wakrah Stadium, a 40,000 capacity stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is due for completion in 2018.
RIBA President Jane Duncan said in an official press release:
This is absolutely terrible news. Dame Zaha Hadid was an inspirational woman, and the kind of architect one can only dream of being. Visionary and highly experimental, her legacy despite her young age, is formidable. She leaves behind a body of work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, that delight and astound people all around the world. It was only last month that I had the enviable task of awarding Zaha the 2016 Royal Gold Medal for architecture – she was delighted to receive the recognition and adds the medal to an amazing collection of awards, not least winning the RIBA Stirling Prize years running. The world of architecture has lost a star today.