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'Women need to support each other' says Zaha after winning Jane Drew Prize

Zaha Hadid has urged female architects to ‘support each other’ after picking up the Jane Drew Prize for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture this afternoon (20 April)

The double Stirling Prize-winner accepted the prestigious accolade at the AJ’s inaugural Women in Architecture luncheon in front of a packed room at the Langham Hotel in central London.

Hadid 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. And they also have to help themselves.’

The prize jury, which included Richard Rogers and Laura Lee of the Maggie’s Centres, agreed with more than half of the 650 women polled in the AJ Women in Architecture survey who named Hadid as having made the greatest contribution to the status of women in architecture.

The judges said: ‘Zaha Hadid has broken the glass ceiling more than anyone. Hadid is practically a household name, which is an achievement for anyone.

‘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.’

Hadid was the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize, and has won the Stirling Prize twice, consecutively, for the MAXXI museum in Rome in 2010, and Evelyn Grace Academy in London in 2011.

On becoming the first recipient of the revived Jane Drew Prize, which existed for a short time in the 1990s, the 61-year-old said: ’Everyone tried to convince me not to become an architect. My brother wanted me to become Iraq’s first female astronaut.’

But she admitted her archiectural destiny was set after she saw a documnetary about Frank Lloyd Wright on Iraqi television in the late 1950s.

Hadid had also been shortlisted for the Woman Architect of the Year award which was also announced today. However that prize went to Walters and Cohen (see here).

Selected projects by Zaha Hadid Architects




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