It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Zaha Hadid on 31 March 2016. Our relationship with Zaha goes back to the very early days of our Chapter when Zaha was a jurist for our very first Design Excellence Awards, held in 1995.
The UK Chapter granted early recognition for her design talents with a Design Excellence Award (LF One, Landesgar Tensshau, Weil Am Rhein, Germany) in 2001. She then went on to win again in 2006 (Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg, Germany), 2007 (Maggie’s Centre, Fife, UK) and 2011 (Opera House, Guangzhou, China).
Zaha was a good friend of AIA UK and participated in numerous Chapter events over the years, including acting as jurist for the Student Design Charrette in 2000. During this event, she astounded the students by arriving early in the day and actively chastising them for not taking the event – and design in general - seriously enough.
On 27 Sep 2007, on the occasion of the 150th Year celebration of the AIA’s founding – and coincidentally the 15th Anniversary of the AIA UK Chapter – Zaha Hadid Architects was given the President’s Award by then President Kevin Flanagan AIA in recognition of “your office’s contribution in promoting excellence in design; as well as your past contributions of time to the AIA/UK Chapter and the AIA internationally.” She remained an Honorary member of the Chapter until her passing.