Ms. Hadid contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in the hospital, her office, Zaha Hadid Architects in London, said.
She was not just a rock star and a designer of spectacles. She also liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity. Geometry became, in her hands, a vehicle for unprecedented and eye-popping new spaces but also for emotional ambiguity. Her buildings elevated uncertainty to an art, conveyed in the odd ways one entered and moved through those buildings and in the questions her structures raised about how they were supported.
Her work, with its formal fluidity — also implying mobility, speed, freedom — spoke to a worldview widely shared by a younger generation. “I am non-European, I don’t do conventional work and I am a woman,” she once told an interviewer. “On the one hand all of these things together make it easier — but on the other hand it is very difficult.”
Zaha Hadid, Heydar Aliyev Center Baku
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