Zaha Hadid announced as the winner of the Royal Gold Medal 2016, the 1st female laureate.

The Royal Institute of British Architects announced Zaha Hadid as the winner of the Royal Gold Medal 2016. Since 1848 the award has been given to personalities that render outstanding services in architecture and Zaha is the first female laureate.

The jury recognised Zaha’s lifelong contribution to the advancement of the field of architecture without following trends or fashion. The Pritzker and Stirling Prizes (also RIBA) are just two of the awards Zaha has already received. UNESCO named her “Artist for Peace”, the Queen honoured her as a Dame in 2012 and Forbes Magazine counts her as one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women”.

“I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal and, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right,” Zaha says. “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 an architect’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.”