The world woke up this morning to the news that famed architect Zaha Hadid had passed away while receiving treatment at a hospital in Miami. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, the British-Iraqi architect was known for her trailblazing career, being the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel Prize equivalent in architecture, as well as the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture.
Dame Zaha Hadid’s iconic works span the globe, from the iconic Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, the London Aquatics Centre that hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as here in Hong Kong with the Innovation Tower on the Hong Kong Polytechnic campus. The city is also known as the place that launched Dame Hadid to worldwide fame, when she won an international design competition in 1983 for her plans for a leisure club on The Peak, though the construction never materialised.
Beyond civic structures, her portfolio also included ventures in homes, furniture and fashion, and many of her clients were among those to remember the passing of the dame, model Naomi Campbell among them. The futuristic home of Campbell’s then-partner Vladislav Doronin was designed by Dame Hadid, resembling a spaceship in the suburbs of the Russian capital.
Celebrity interior designer Kelly Hoppen and fashion designer Prabal Gurung joined Campbell in leading the tributes to the architect on social media too:
“Deeply saddened by the news of Zaha Hadid’s death. She was an iconic architect who pushed the boundaries to another level xx #ZahaHadid,” wrote Hoppen on her Twitter account.
Dame Hadid also recently collaborated with Danish silversmith house Georg Jensen to unveil a collection of sterling silver jewellery at this year’s Baselworld fair. David Chu, who worked closely on the collaboration and is chairman of the brand, offered some words of commiseration: “On behalf of everyone at Georg Jensen, I want to offer our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Zaha Hadid. In working with Zaha over the past two years, we got to know a woman of extraordinary vision who inspired all of us – myself included – to think bigger, do better and try harder. The world has lost a luminous and transformative talent.”