The late Zaha Hadid tops the inaugural Dezeen Hot List. Photograph by Steve Double



Zaha Hadid

Our first ever Dezeen Hot List is headed by an architect we lost this year. But the sad passing of Zaha Hadid was the most talked-about topic in architecture and design over the past 12 months and places the late architect at the top of our list.

Hadid has always been one of the most talked-about and searched-for figures among Dezeen readers. Posts about her, and her studio Zaha Hadid Architects, are regularly among the most popular on our site.

Her death on 31 March 2016 led to a huge desire among our audience to both read the tributes to her death from fellow architects and to revisit her past projects. Our story about her passing was one of the most visited, and commented, posts of the past year.

Tributes poured in from architects around the world, with Richard Rogers saying "no one had any more impact than she did".

Norman Foster described her "courage, conviction and tenacity" while in an exclusive interview with Dezeen, Rem Koolhaas called her as "a combination of beauty and strength" and said her Arab background led her to create an entirely new form of architecture.

"I see her work not necessarily as an exciting form of Western architecture and a development of Western architecture, but really something fundamentally different," he said. "That is what I think may be her biggest achievement."

Iraqi-born Hadid is one of the most successful female architects in history, and this year became the first woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture in her own right. RIBA president Jane Duncan said the honour was "totally overdue".

Hadid was arguably the most famous architect on the planet, with musician Pharrell Williams declaring himself a "huge fan" and collaborating with her on a design for Adidas sneakers.

But the past year also saw controversies for Hadid, with Japan scrapping her design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium. She walked out of live a BBC radio interview after the presenter erroneously claimed that construction workers had died at her FIFA World Cup 2020 stadium in Qatar.

Read more about the work of Zaha Hadid Architects or see our special content celebrating her life.

Top posts:

1. Zaha Hadid dies of a heart attack aged 65

2. Daniel Libeskind and Richard Rogers lead tributes to Zaha Hadid

3. Zaha Hadid buries a museum in the peak of an Alpine mountain

4. Japan scraps Zaha Hadid's Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium

5. Zaha Hadid: a life in buildings