The world’s most famous female architect Zaha Hadid, whose works include the aquatics centre used in the 2012 London Olympics, died on Thursday from a heart attack aged 65, her company said.

“It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning,” said the statement from the firm.

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid
Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid

The Iraqi-British architect’s other notable projects include the Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.

Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before coming to London to study in 1972.

She became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize and twice won Britain’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011.

Queen Elizabeth II honoured her with a dame hood in 2012, and only last month she became the first woman in her own right to be awarded RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal.

“Surely her work is special,” renowned architect Peter Cook said at presenting the award. “For three decades now, she has ventured where few would dare”.

“How lucky we are to have her in London,” he added. “Our heroine.”

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