The Architect Behind London 2012 Aquatics Centre Leaves £67m Fortune

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The British-Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid, left a fortune worth £67 million, after she suddenly died in March 2016. The architect behind Guangzhou opera house, London Olympics aquatics center and buildings all around the world including Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, left to her business partner Patrik Schumacher a sum of £500,000. She also made her four nieces and nephews richer by £1.7 million and her brother Haytham Hadid by £500,000. Zaha Hadid didn’t have a husband and she didn’t have any children. In 2012 she was made a dame.

Hadid’s mathematically inspired curving buildings made her one of the most famous architects in the world. She was on a holiday in Miami when she had a heart failure and died. She was 65 years old at that time. The Architect Journal showed, as stated in Hadid’s will, the net value of her estate was £67,249,458.

Hadid’s London-based practice has been taken over by the German architect Patrik Schumacher. In November last year, he made a provocative speech that advocated abandoning the closure of art schools, building over the Hyde Park and social housing. By doing that, Schumacher angered other executors of Hadid’s will. the architect’s niece Rana Hadid, the artist Brian Clarke and the property developer Peter Palumbo were other executors of the will and they judged Schumacher in a public statement saying:”Zaha Hadid would have been totally opposed to these views”.

Executors were given the power, by Hadid, to distribute the income from some of her businesses to a wide range of parties. Office holders of the companies and the future, present and past employees are included, but also the Zaha Hadid Foundation. The Foundation was made to promote exhibitions of Hadid’s work and architectural education. Charities and family members are the others who could benefit from it.

One of the things that was stated in the will is that the trustees, “for the moment” are her executors Brian Clarke, Peter Palumbo, Rana Hadid and Patrik Schumacher.

Hadid’s birth town is Baghdad and she was born in 1950. Even though she had many struggles for many years to win the commissions in the UK, she became a revolutionary force in British architecture. Before her rich architectural career was launched at the Architectural Association in London, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut.


Zaha Hadid Architects is the practice that she established in 1979 by herself in London. Kurfürstendamm 70 in Berlin (1986), the Peak in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay opera house in Wales (1994) were her fascinating theoretical works that gave her a reputation all over the world. A fire station in Weil em Rhein in Germany called the Vitra, was Hadid’s first major build commission that gave her a well deserved international recognition. That was in 1993. At that time, she also had the scheme to build the Cardiff opera house. Unfortunately, that idea wasn’t a success and actually the first major building in the UK that she produced was the Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow. It was completed in 2011.

Hadid won the RIBA Stirling prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, twice and in 2004, she became the first female winner of the Pritzker architecture prize.