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After 40 Years of Hard Work Zaha Hadid Accepts 2016 RIBA Gold Medal - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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After 40 Years of Hard Work Zaha Hadid Accepts 2016 RIBA Gold Medal

After 40 Years of Hard Work Zaha Hadid Accepts 2016 RIBA Gold Medal

Zaha Hadid, a very controversial architect whom designs are seen by some as creative beyond all competition, while others find nothing special about them, just for the sake of refusing them, or perhaps because she is a woman.

Hadid believes that all those who reject her work are simply biased and have not accepted that the previously male-exclusive art domain of architecture has now honored a woman.

History puts down her name as the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the noble to the world of architecture, in 2004. Hadid is also the first woman to receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal from the Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA).

The Royal Gold Medal is usually granted to those whom are considered to have revolutionized the world of architecture and developed it sizably. The medal was previously given to architectural geniuses like Frank Gehry in 2000, Sir Norman Foster in1983, Le Corbusierin 1953, and Sir George Gilbert Scott in1859. The medal prize dates back to year 1848.

Professor Sir Peter Cook, English architect recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004, in his speech at the ceremony, said that Hadid is unique beyond comparison. Any distress caused to other architects is because, deep down inside, they envy her; the award could have been given to a good and qualified architect, but they gave the medal to Hadid because she is beyond qualification, Cook said.

RIBA President and chair of the selection committee, Jane Duncan, said:

“Zaha Hadid is a formidable and a 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.

After receiving the award, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Hadid expressed that to begin with she refused to be categorized as a female or Arabian architect. However, she now sees that it is necessary for her to accept her journey and achievements so that she is an inspiration to other females who have recently embarked into the domain or are thinking of getting into it.

Hadid explained that she is a woman, and Arab, and an architect all at the same time, and moreover, even if she had no say in the first birth given realities the third the “architect” in her evolved after 40 years of hard work. She stated that most of the difficulty inflicted on her career was not because of her incapability of production or work efficiency, the hurdles she was faced with were at a majority because she was either a woman or an Arab.

Hadid said that the increase in female students taking on architecture sets her mind at ease. Yet, she adds that acceptance is still not far-reaching before female applicants. Obstacles based on tradition and perceptual fundamentals still exist, with one difference at hand, the chance of the survival of the fittest being open for prospect female architects.