• Zaha Hadid awarded for contribution to the status of women in architecture

    17 May 2012

    Zaha Hadid awarded the Jane Drew Prize for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.

    The award was initially introduced in 1998 as a tribute to Jane Drew, the modernist English architect and town planner.

    It is awarded for respect of innovation, diversity – extending traditional categories valued in architecture – and inclusiveness – collaborative work – and is open to both men and women.

    More than half of the 650 women polled in the AJ Women in Architecture survey named Hadid as having made the greatest contribution to the status of women in architecture.

    The judges said: ‘Hadid has broken the glass ceiling more than anyone and is practically a household name. Her achievement is remarkable. She has successfully fostered a studio which has grown to be one of the top ten largest in the UK. The practice manages to be at the cutting edge of thinking, influencing the teaching in architecture schools worldwide, while also winning and delivering an impressive array of projects, from the London Olympic Aquatics Centre to the Guangzhou Opera House.’

    Admitting that her architectural destiny was set after she saw a documnetary about Frank Lloyd Wright on Iraqi television in the late 1950s, Hadid said that initially everyone had tried to convince her not to become an architect. “My brother wanted me to become Iraq’s first female astronaut!” On winning the Jane Drew Prize the accomplished 61 year old  said, ‘Getting to where I am is hard. But it is do-able. Women architects do need some support from others who have made that journey.”



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