Architect of Eleftheria Square in Nicosia, Zaha Hadid, has been awarded the 2016 Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for her work in architecture around the world. Other projects she has done include Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, the Cardiff Bay Opera House and London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics. She is the first woman to receive the prize, which is awarded personally by Queen Elizabeth, writes Belfast Telegraph.
RIBA’s CEO and chairman of the selection committee, Jane Duncan, said: “Zaha Hadid is a formidable and a major influence in global architecture. She experiments, is demanding and rigorous, and her work on buildings, furniture, shoes and cars are very sought after by many industries and people around the world. I am very pleased that Zaha has been awarded the Royal Gold Medal and look forward to seeing what she will do in the future.”
After receiving the award Hadid made a statement: “I am very proud to have receive the award, especially as the first woman. We see more and more established female architects. That does not mean it is easy. Sometimes the challenges are major. Great changes have taken place in recent years, a trend that will continue.”
Previous winners of the Royal Gold Medal include Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and Sir George Gilbert Scott (1859).