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RIBA Gold Medal 2016

Zaha Hadid


The Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is the new winner of the gold medal that the Royal Institute of British Architects confers annually on a professional whose work has had a significant influence on the advancement and dissemination of architecture. Jane Duncan, current RIBA president and chair of the selection committee for the award, described Hadid as “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.” The architect, who has worked intensely since first setting up her London practice back in the year 1979, is the author of works as resounding and recognizable as the MAXXI museum in Rome, the London Aquatics Centre, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art museum in East Lansing, Michigan, or the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. This is the latest in a list of important awards that Hadid has received in the course of her career, including the Hyatt Foundation’s Pritzker Prize in 2004 and the Praemium Imperiale of the Japan Art Association in 2009. In 2011 she was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). As with the Pritzker, and despite the RIBA Gold Medal’s being around since 1848, Zaha Hadid is the first woman ever to win it solo, not as part of a team. In accepting it she joins a hall of fame that includes the likes of Rafael Moneo, Álvaro Siza, David Chipperfield, or Peter Zumthor.

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