Zaha Hadid becomes first woman to win the UK’s Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

Architecture Awards International Professional Practice
Zaha Hadid. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

Zaha Hadid. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

The RIBA Gold Medal joins an ever-growing list of accomplishments for Baghdad-born, London-based Zaha Hadid.

Hadid has been racking up the landmark achievements for women in architecture, most notably becoming the first female winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She also twice won the UK’s Stirling Prize, for the MAXXI art museum in Rome and for the Brixton-based Evelyn Grace Academy. Her achievements in the UK are widely recognized as in 2012 she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire for achievements in architecture.Hadid started her practice in 1979 in London under the name Zaha Hadid Architects.

Speaking of the award, RIBA president Jane Duncan said: ”Zaha Hadid is a formidable and globally influential force in architecture.”

”Highly experimental, rigorous and exacting, her work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars is quite rightly revered and desired by brands and people all around the world,” Duncan said in a statement. “I am delighted Zaha will be awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 2016 and can’t wait to see what she and her practice will do next.”

After being personally approved by the Queen for the esteemed prize, Dame Hadid spoke to BBC Radio 4 speaking about the reduction of sexism in the industry. ”There are more women architects practicing and doing great projects… I think the stigma has lifted,” she said. ”I think there are areas where as a woman you cannot sort of be there … But I think it is a lot better.”

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