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Judges announced for Women in Architecture Awards 2019

Leading industry figures, including previous Jane Drew prize winner Eva Jiřičná and writer Lesley Lokko, will judge next year’s Women in Architecture Awards

The jury includes Michál Cohen and Cindy Walters, who jointly won the inaugural AJ Woman Architect of the Year title in 2012, engineer Albert Williamson-Taylor of AKTII and the Science Museum Group’s director of masterplan and estate, Karen Livingstone.

It is completed by Victoria Thornton, the founder of Open House and Open-City, and Tracy Meller, a partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Now in its eighth year, the Women in Architecture campaign is an annual survey, a partner programme and a series of events and awards that promote role models for young women in practice. In partnership with our sister title The Architectural Review, the AJ seeks to change the profession for the better.

The Women in Architecture Awards are a crucial touchstone of the campaign. The awards are cherished by our winners, judges and luncheon guests, who find the celebration a very special occasion. Their reach is considerable, and while it is our winners and shortlisted entrants who make the headlines, all of the nominees are making a very real difference. 

After extending the reach of the programme to the international scene, in association with the AR since 2015, the campaign will continue to build on the successes we have had to date. Alongside our practice partners, who are making a public commitment to equality, we are continuing the work to raise the profile of women in architecture worldwide, inspiring change as a united voice of this global call for respect, diversity and equality.

We look forward to the year ahead, joining forces and celebrating the outstanding contribution women architects make to the wider profession.

Now we are inviting you to put forward talented women for the Women in Architecture Awards categories of Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize – or you can nominate yourself.

Winners will be honoured at a gala luncheon on Friday 1 March 2019 in central London. Full details of how to enter can be found below.

Architect of the Year

This annual award recognises excellence in design with an emphasis on a single built project lead or co-lead by the nominee completed in the last 18 months. Candidates must be qualified architects in their country of study. You may be running your own practice or in partnership, in a small design-led practice or a large commercial firm. Joint entries are also accepted, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to present in person to our world-renowned judging panel. 

In 2018, Sandra Barclay was recognised with the accolade for her work on Peru’s Museo de Sitio de Paracas, designed by Barclay & Crousse to blend into its harsh desert surroundings as well as withstand them. Previous winners include: Taller de Arquitectura’s Gabriela Carrillo (2017); Studio Gang’s founder Jeanne Gang (2016); Pollard Thomas Edwards’ Teresa Borsuk (2015); Mecanoo’s Francine Houben (2014); ABA founder Alison Brooks (2013); and Michál Cohen and Cindy Walters, founders of Walters & Cohen (2012).


Moira Gemmill Prize

This award recognises excellence in design and a bright future for women designers under the age of 45, with an emphasis on achievements and completed projects. Renamed in memory of the late Moira Gemmill, the £10,000 prize fund aims to support the continuing professional development of the winner/s. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to present in person to our world-renowned judging panel.

This year, partner at Gabinete de Arquitectura Gloria Cabral received the prize for a series of projects combining rational yet innovative construction techniques with humble materials, such as Paraguayan brick, inviting a challenge to conventions. Previous winners include: Rozana Montiel (2017); Gabriela Etchegaray, co-founder of Ambrosi Etchegaray (2016); vPPR founders Tatiana von Preussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds (2015); sole practitioner Julia King (2014); Spanish architect Olga Felip (2013); and John McAslan + Partners’ Hannah Lawson (2012).

In addition to the Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize, we will also be awarding two further prizes for lifetime achievement. We will invite suggestions of names for these prizes in the WIA survey, which will launch shortly. The winners will be chosen by the awards jury. 

Jane Drew Prize

The Jane Drew Prize recognises an architectural designer who through her work and commitment to design excellence has raised the profile of women in architecture.

The prize is named after Jane Drew, who was a spirited advocate for women in a male-dominated profession. She graduated from the Architectural Association in 1929 into a profession that was unwelcoming to women at best. She started her own practice after the Second World War, and her work played a substantial role in introducing the Modern Movement into the UK. 

This year, the prize was given to architect and founder of AL_A, Amanda Levete, whose independent practice has blossomed internationally. Past winners include Denise Scott Brown, Odile Decq, Grafton Architects’ founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Zaha Hadid, Kathryn Findlay of Ushida Findlay and Eva Jiřičná. 

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Jane Drew Prize winners Amanda Levete and 2019 jury member Eva Jiřičná

Jane Drew Prize winners Amanda Levete and 2019 jury member Eva Jiřičná

Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

This award recognises individuals working in the wider architectural industry who have made a significant contribution to architecture and the built environment. The award is open to critics, politicians, clients and planners, or anyone influencing architectural culture.

The prize is named after architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who made history by being the first full-time architecture critic at a US newspaper when she joined the New York Times, and was later awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1970.

Dutch artist and OMA co-founder Madelon Vriesendorp won the 2018 award for her observant and witty work, providing a thoughtful visual counterpoint to the world of bricks and mortar. Sculptor Rachel Whiteread, former Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones and client and architectural patron Jane Priestman are the three previous recipients of the accolade.

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