Conceived in 1848, The Royal Gold Medal for architecture has been awarded annually by RIBA on behalf of the British monarch for over 150 years and recognises the substantial contribution from an individual or group to global architecture. Globally, her notable designs include Guangzhou Opera House in China and the Vitra Fire Station in Germany.
The architect said she was “not part of the establishment”, adding: “I think I was always seen as being on the edge and I don’t mind being on the edge”. We sued somebody for writing that, saying that and it’s had to be withdrawn from the press but it’s absolutely inaccurate.
“I didn’t pull out of the Japanese project”, Hadid said, contradicting the premise of Montague’s question. “Of course the BBC has a right to explore controversial issues, but we are very saddened that the interview failed to give appropriate weight to today’s celebration – Dame Zaha being named as the recipient of one of the world’s most important honours”.
Zaha Hadid had already reached rockstar status in world of architecture.
The Post was later forced to amend the graphic to omit the comparison and print a correction reading: “An earlier version of this post, and accompanying graphic, created the impression that more than 1,000 migrant workers in Qatar had died working on 2022 World Cup infrastructure”.
Hadid, born in Baghdad, created her own architecture practice in London in 1979 and is known for work such as The Peak in Hong Kong, the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales and the Kurfurstendamm in Berlin.
Jane Duncan, RIBA president and chair of the selection committee, said she hoped Hadid’s award would blaze a trail for women in a profession with a noticeable gender gap.
She cut short her appearance on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, saying: ‘Let’s stop this conversation right now, I don’t want to carry on’.
Ms Hadid was also asked about the Japanese government’s decision to scrap the flagship stadium project that she had designed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – a move that she described as “a scandal”. “It’s a very serious story”. In 2004, she became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize. She then began a lengthy explanation of the issue and when Montague tried to hurry her, she said: “Don’t ask me a question when you can’t let me finish it. Then I won’t say anything”. “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”, she wrote.
The RIBA Royal Gold Medal is awarded to an architect who is deemed to have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture. We are sorry we didn’t make this clear in this morning’s interview with Dame Zaha Hadid.