Zaha Hadid was one of architecture’s greatest narcissists

Zaha Hadid was one of architecture’s greatest narcissists
© Getty

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Zaha hadid was one of architecture’s greatest narcissists
© Getty

Don’t speak ill of the dead and all that – but, after Zaha Hadid’s sad, premature death at 65, we’ve only had oceans of praise. Over the last few days, the usual suspects, Richard Rogers and Anish Kapoor, have weighed in to testify to her genius and charm.

Well, they would praise Hadid, wouldn’t they? They were her close friends, from the same clique of megastar modernist architects/sculptors, whose grand-gesture works are all the rage these days. If you weren’t in that clique, the truth is rather different – as I found out when I interviewed Zaha Hadid five years ago.

In my 16 years as a journalist, she was the rudest interviewee I’ve ever met. She kept me waiting for an hour at her Clerkenwell office, before rearranging the interview for another day. And then she rearranged it twice more. Not that she did any of the rearranging – her extremely polite assistant did all that sort of thing.

When I finally got to see her, she never apologised for summoning me to her office and then putting me off. She was like a spoilt, medieval queen: grumpy, humourless, entitled, used to her orders being obeyed instantly, careless of the disruption those orders created. […]


  1. Now is not the time to share your long held grudge waiting to get even. I worked with architects in my career. It is a job that demands patience with many delays and changes. Zaha was brilliant and we benefit from her incredible body of work. Now get over your pathetic grudge.

  2. poor little thing. You waited hour and than had to come again for a very busy and creative
    woman who carry the world on her shoulders. Meaning, Fighting to create great things for human
    being in the short time span that she destined to live. Some woman, lack the capacity of giving and receiving love. All you need to do is leave a nice card and a flower on her desk or, if you know her
    better, just give her a warm hug to calm her down.

    You, men, are lacking warmth and above all, you are immersed in a false manhood, that can not discriminate between ignorance and compassion. Alma

  3. well i believe what media should be treated because as i believed today media is on a big LIE GAME so as this report ……and if its true so architecture is the field where you give all the blood in birth of a feelings in a reality structure where client actually experienced his inner emotions so its normal ……

  4. What a pathetic sniveling boy – aspiring to be a journalist. One’s fragile ego slighted by a somebody.
    A pretentious writer ranting about someone who is no longer around; that somebody who could easily squash these “affront” to his sensibilities.
    You should have published these “supposed” rudeness when Zaha was still alive, so that she could rectify your buffoonery herself. Just ask the Reviewer about the defamation they had to settle out of court.
    Sniveling coward!


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