‘Incredibly influential’ architect Eva Jiřičná has collected this year’s Jane Drew Prize at the AJ Women in Architecture Awards luncheon in London today (22 March)
Jiřičná was announced as the winner of the prize earlier this month in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.
Known for her glass and steel staircases, Czech-born Jiřičná set up Eva Jiřičná Architects in 1982 and her stellar career has seen her work with clients including Andersen Consulting, The Royal Academy of Arts and Selfridges.
The jury was unanimous in its decision to award Jiřičná, 74, the prestigious accolade, hailing her an as ‘extraordinary architect’.
Jiřičná reinvented the idea of retail
Zaha Hadid, prize judge and the winner of last year’s Jane Drew Prize (AJ 05.04.12), said Jiřičná had ‘reinvented the idea of retail’ with her 1988 flagship store for the Joseph fashion label and praised her mentorship of students and colleagues.
Rafael Viñoly described her as an ‘extraordinary architect, but also an extraordinary person’, while fellow judge Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said: ‘If you walk into any Apple store today, in the end, they all started with Eva.’
AHMM director Paul Monaghan added: ‘Her work has been incredibly influential and deserving of this important prize.’
Jiřičná, who judged the inaugural Jane Drew Prize in 1998, said: ‘I feel very humbled and honoured to win this award. Jane Drew was one of my major heroines. When you are starting out you look at the lives of women in your and other professions. As you progress you appreciate what these women achieved – how courageous they were. Jane Drew was one of those women. She was a pioneer.’
In addition to Hadid, Viñoly Monaghan and Harbour, the 12-strong jury included: Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize; Moira Gemmill, design director at the V&A; Doreen Lawrence, founding director of the Stephen Lawrence Trust; Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s Centres; Colette O’Shea, head of the London portfolio at Land Securities; Peter Rees, chief planning officer, City of London; Victoria Thornton, founding director of Open-City and chair Christine Murray, editor of the Architects’ Journal.
Jiřičná will be receiving her award, and addressing the audience, at the AJ Women in Architecture luncheon on 22 March at the Langham Hotel.
- AJ Women in Architecture is sponsored by Roca and Place Careers
Tickets are now on sale for the AJ Women in Architecture Luncheon and Awards
1939 Eva Jiřičná is born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia. She studies architecture at the Technical University of Prague before completing her postgraduate degree at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in 1967
1968 moves to London, where she worked at the Greater London Council architecture department
1969 joins the Louis de Soissons Partnership as an associate and spent 10 years as project architect for the £150 million Brighton Marina
1980 becomes group leader for Richard Rogers Partnership’s Lloyd’s Building in London, taking responsibility for all interior packages
1982 establishes Jiřičná Kerr Associates with Kathy Kerr. The practice later became Eva Jiřičná Architects. During the 1980s she is hired by designer and entrepreneur Joseph Ettedgui to design several shops across London for fashion label Joseph and later Ettedgui’s own Knightsbridge flat
Source: Image by Richard Bryant
1998 inducted into US Hall of Fame for Interior Design
1999 completes Canada Water bus station and
2005 becomes a CABE commissioner and a year later is elected an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects
2008 completes the new jewellery gallery at the V&A
2009 wins Life Long Contribution to Architecture award from Czech Ministry of Culture
Source: Image by Richard Davies
2011 convention centre in Zlin opens, designed with Prague architects AI Design
2013 wins Jane Drew Prize