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The loneliness of the long-distance architect

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Lyn Barber, one of the world's most acerbic interviewers, shows her sentimental side in an interview for the Observer on Sunday with Zaha Hadid.

Deeply disturbed by the lack of domestic clutter in Zaha's flat (would you leave your knickers lying around if you were inviting every journalist in?), Barber says: 'I would far rather live in her car than her flat, because the car at least has comfy seats.'

Having run through the highs and lows of Zaha's career, and her notorious lack of success in the UK, Barber taxes her with not being a good role model for women because she has sacrificed her private life to her career. Zaha protests: 'No, no, I have not sacrificed my private life. It was not an issue for me. It wasn't a choice. I don't think one has to get married.'

Nevertheless, Barber concludes: 'Despite her extraordinary achievements, I came away feeling obscurely sorry for her and thinking how sad for her to have to go home alone to that awful bare comfortless flat.'

Not a dry eye in the house.

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