Zaha Hadid, photo Steve Double
Thursday 31 March 2016

ZAHA HADID 1950-2016

Rome, 31 March 2016. The totally unexpected and for all of us at MAXXI particularly painful news of the sudden death of Zaha Hadid arrived this afternoon. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied firstly in Beirut and then, from 1972, at the prestigious Architectural Association school in London. From the Hong Kong Peak Leisure Club of 1983 through to the most recent projects around the globe, during her career Hadid designed some of the most interesting buildings of the last 40 years.

Among these is our own MAXXI, a place in which each day we feel her expressive strength and capacity to create living, vital urban space.

One of Hadid’s two Stirling Prizes was in fact awarded for the MAXXI project. In 2004 she was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, while this year she was presented with the RIBA Gold Medal in London.

“I had the honour to get to know Zaha Hadid well”, says Giovanna Melandri, President of the Fondazione MAXXI. “A great woman: creative and innovative, who gifted us the remarkable architecture of “our” MAXXI. Her sudden death saddens me terribly. We shall greatly miss her flair and talent.”

“We are profoundly grateful for the contribution Zaha Hadid made to design culture”, says Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of MAXXI. “The MAXXI project defines an innovative type of art museum; it represents an inspiration and at the same a challenge for artists and curators and for museum practices.”

“I am proud to have worked with Zaha on the creation of MAXXI’s great urban campus”, says Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura. “I consider Zaha Hadid to be a genius who with her ability to look ahead anticipated the forms and dynamics of contemporary creativity.”