RIBA has announced that globally renowned architect Zaha Hadid is to receive the prestigious 2016 Royal Gold Medal. Recognized for her innovative, fluid and dynamic projects, her consistent style has been applied across all fields of design; from footwear, furniture to cars and this marks Hadid as the first woman to be awarded this specific achievement. Already a recipient of the Stirling Prize twice and the Pritzker, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by her majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’.
RIBA President and Chair of the Selection Committee, Jane Duncan, says: ‘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. 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.’
Zaha Hadid comments: ‘I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honor in her own right. I would like to thank Peter Cook, Louisa Hutton and David Chipperfield for the nomination and Jane Duncan and the honors committee for their support. We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress… part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards. Housing, schools and other vital public buildings have always been based on the concept of minimal existence – that shouldn’t be the case today. Architects now have the skills and tools to address these critical issues.’