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Zaha Hadid picks up RIBA Gold Medal 2016

September 24 2015

Zaha Hadid picks up RIBA Gold Medal 2016
Dame Zaha Hadid has become the first woman to receive a RIBA Gold Medal after being honoured last night for her ‘dynamic and innovative’ projects by the architect’s body.

The Iraqi born architect has risen to prominence in recent years on the back of an embrace of cutting edge software and technologies together with an appreciation of landscape and geology.

This work includes MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and Glasgow’s Transport Museum (2011.

Commenting on sexism within the industry Hadid said work still needed to be done, despite her win: “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.”

Buoyed by this success Hadid expressed exasperation during a BBC Today interview which focussed on recent controversies surrounding the alleged deaths of site workers building the Qatar World Cup stadium and the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympic stadium.

Hadid retorted: “It is absolutely untrue; there are no deaths on our site whatsoever. I sued someone in the press for it. You should check your facts.”

When interrupted during a line of questioning relating to the circumstances surrounding cancellation of the Tokyo stadium Hadid stormed off, saying: “Don’t ask me a question if you don’t want [me] to answer. Let’s stop this conversation right now.”

Zaha Hadid Architects was founded in London back in 1979.


Larry Adler
#1 Posted by Larry Adler on 26 Sep 2015 at 13:52 PM
Interestingly enough, zero comments so far, until this very one-

Two opposites of the same spectrum:

Zaha Hadid? Rock Superstar Legend? Does anybody care? are RIBA still ploughing on with their Mega star Lord Richard Rogers and Norman Foster types, hopelessly out of touch with this 'GOLD' Medal thingy (after all, it all turns to clay eventually)?

Interestingly enough, as an antidote to this Superstardom architecture and the commercial, commoditised world, The Turner Prize finals this year have short-listed, (as 1 of 4) a collective group of 18 people of 'architects/artists/creatives' by the name of 'Assemble', who create through real (as opposed to token) collaboration, outwith the mainstream, 'places' for public events and happenings.

It is very curious and interesting that such a low-profile, unassuming, unpretentious, sustainable hands-on long-term collective can gain recognition in such an ascetic bundle as the Turner prize (where most entrants' work needs the cultural trappings of galleries in order to exist at all) and is shortlisted under the set of human activity called ART.

For-the-times-they-are-a-changin? anyway, have a look - see which way the wind blow!?
The Bairn
#2 Posted by The Bairn on 27 Sep 2015 at 19:23 PM
And maybe next year we will find a British winner not an Iranian running in 'a vest of convenience' like Mo Farah!! Not cricket eh?
Bill S
#3 Posted by Bill S on 28 Sep 2015 at 08:54 AM
Mo Farah was born in Somalia.
#4 Posted by UReader on 28 Sep 2015 at 12:40 PM
@#2 Shouldn't we be grateful that the likes of Zaha Hadid, and since you brought him up, Mo Farah, have raised the profile of Britain in their respective fields, rather than nitpicking over their place of birth. Zaha Hadid is a British winner, who happens to have been born in Iraq, incidentally, not Iran. Fed up of casual racism!
The Bairn
#5 Posted by The Bairn on 28 Sep 2015 at 13:06 PM
#3 ...which is exactly my point , they are only 'British' to further there career and fill there pockets with dosh!!
#6 Posted by CADMonkey on 28 Sep 2015 at 13:59 PM
Mo Farah is not an architect.
Jamie B
#7 Posted by Jamie B on 28 Sep 2015 at 19:21 PM
And Zaha Hadid was born in Iraq. Just a little off the mark on both counts then, bonus small-minded points for trying though!
beelzebub's bunnet
#8 Posted by beelzebub's bunnet on 28 Sep 2015 at 21:39 PM
I would imagine that when i die and if I were to wake up in hell then this would be the sort of conversation i'd have to endure before being consumed in the vats of boiling sulphur. In fact, it'd come as a relief!
#9 Posted by Fraser on 28 Sep 2015 at 23:00 PM
This is an architecture forum for God's sake. Hadid has achieved a sufficient track record for this award. Let's discuss the architecture.
Rem Koolbag
#10 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 29 Sep 2015 at 09:05 AM
What the hell is the photo, UR?
The Bairn
#11 Posted by The Bairn on 29 Sep 2015 at 09:11 AM
#2 how dare you accuse anyone of racism!! just giving my opinion and being too realist for some people on this forum I guess...
#7 maybe we should be encouraging 'British jobs for British people' as our ex PM Gordon Brown once said...I'm sure your office has its fair share of non-UK passport holders...wake up from your slumber...
stephen miles
#12 Posted by stephen miles on 29 Sep 2015 at 12:50 PM
#9 Rem - looks like the photo is the big picture window in the Café at the top of the Riverside museum looking out at the historic river crossing point into Govan
#13 Posted by A5 on 29 Sep 2015 at 13:24 PM
Well i've seen zaha-bashing for numerous reasons, rarely for her place of birth though. I'm glad UR have shown The Bairn's comments, rather than removing them, eventhough they border on the inappropriate. Embarrassing narrow-mindedness, take a bow.
Incidentally The Bairn, I bet you that both Zaha and Farah, as foreign as you may consider them, happen to know the difference between 'their' and 'there'..
The Shamer
#14 Posted by The Shamer on 29 Sep 2015 at 13:42 PM
#9 - it's the view from the transport museum cafe space.

Rem Koolbag
#15 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 29 Sep 2015 at 14:21 PM
Very good Shamer, ta.

With architecture being such a visual medium, surely better images could be provided for this piece? (and all other articles to be honest)
#16 Posted by S D on 29 Sep 2015 at 15:06 PM
Zaha Hadid is an exceptional architect based in the UK and employing staff in the UK (regardless of nationality) on projects all over the world. Why would this be a cause for anything other than celebration within our profession.

As architects we are influenced by the work of our colleagues regardless of their location and many of us practice architecture outwith the geographic location of our practices.

We should celebrate the inclusive and international nature of our profession and the opportunities it presents to us and our colleagues to work and develop.
The Bairn
#17 Posted by The Bairn on 29 Sep 2015 at 16:39 PM
#13 I doubt it because as we all know architects are notoriously bad with their spelling as doctors are at writing prescriptions...and they probably have minions in the 'team' to do that kind of menial task...certainly stirred up the debate & comments didn't I? ...thank god for free speech and all the other benefits of living in a democracy/
Rem Koolbag
#18 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 29 Sep 2015 at 21:40 PM
Guys I know what the photo is! My point is the poor quality of image chosen for the article. Love or hate ZH architecture it should surely be easy to get a decent image?
#19 Posted by Rem-Job on 30 Sep 2015 at 09:07 AM
Is there a carbuncle award for comment threads?.....
Big Chantelle
#20 Posted by Big Chantelle on 30 Sep 2015 at 14:55 PM
UReader post #4 said:

" Mo Farah, have raised the profile of Britain in their respective fields"

Erm, wit are yoo talkin' aboot? Mo Farah trains in America wae a coach alleged by his former athletes to administer PEDs. Aw Mo Farah has done is shown is that when he lived and trained in Engurland, he couldnae reach world class level: hardly an ambassador for British long distance running is it?

#21 Posted by Sven on 1 Oct 2015 at 10:09 AM
I do not rate her as an architect at all. The new Glasgow Transport Museum is design over purpose with lots of wasted space, poor design and the building feels disconnected from the river right outside when you are inside.
Big Chantelle
#22 Posted by Big Chantelle on 1 Oct 2015 at 15:02 PM
@Sven post #21

Zaha makes wonky shapes on her computer. Big shiny wonky shapes. And it doesnae matter wit she is designing, the form of the building and her wonky shapes is aw that matters.

But then you lot encouraged this stuff. Aw yer "traditionalism is so pastiche" means you waged war on beauty and aspiration in architecture and gave power to the Zaha Hadids and Keppies ae the world.

I warned you lot. But ye didnae listen. So live wae yer zinc clad huts and value engineered white rendered luxury flats.
Larry Adler
#23 Posted by Larry Adler on 2 Oct 2015 at 08:14 AM

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