Hail the Zaha
London based Zaha Hadid has won the 2006 Jencks Award. The award is given to an individual who has recently made a major contribution simultaneously to the theory and practice of architecture. Previous recipients include Cecil Balmond, Foreign Offices Architects and Peter Eisenman. The award was given at the RIBA’s London headquarters in London this week by Charles Jencks. In the presentation speech Jencks described how Zaha had transgressed mere architecture to become a “brand”. This was evidenced by the increasing use of the terms la Zaha or the Zaha…. In typical style the magnificent Zaha rebuffed recent comments in the Guardian by announcing that, if anything, she is too nice rather than an ogre. Her coy expression during this delivery won over the audience even if they didn’t believe a word. Not shy of utilizing her platform fully, the evening would not have been complete without a snipe at Cardiff (the stolen opera house) or Frank Gehry (*****). The audience were not disappointed on either count.
Download the exclusive highlights of the evening: RIBA TRUST PODCAST (20MB).