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Architect Zaha Hadid Dies at 65

MIAMI—Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-British architect and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, her profession’s highest honor, has died of a heart attack. She was 65.

Hadid “contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital,” said her office, Zaha Hadid Architects in London, in a statement.

Hadid’s completed projects include the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan (2013); Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010); the London Aquatics Centre, built for the 2012 Olympic Games; MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009); the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003); and the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993).

According to the New York Times, her design for the main facility for the 2020 Olympic Games, which was projected to be the most expensive ever of its kind, was scrapped last summer in a dispute over spiraling costs for the Tokyo games. It was originally expected to cost $2.5 billion, more than twice the $1.1 billion originally allocated for the stadium.

Hadid, the winner of the 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize, also designed an apartment block that will soon border the High Line in Manhattan, the elevated park in West Chelsea. The building, located at 520 West 28th St., and which was to be her first residential building in the city.

Born in Baghdad in 1950, Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural study in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London. By 1979, she had established her own practice. She was also a partner in the Office of Metropolitan Architecture with Rem Koolhaas. She also taught at Harvard and  Yale, among other schools.