Tenders Today


Previous Next

Evelyn Grace Academy, London, United Kingdom

Monday 03 Oct 2011

An absent Zaha reigns supreme

Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom
All photos: Luke Hayes 
Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects in London, United Kingdom
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

09/10/11 ASMA, UAE
first impression about the design that simplicity is complexity, i can see the purely define verticle line integrate elements which have continual theme all over the building ending by sloped interlocking surfaces hold ZAHA signature,nice composition of sharp angles. modern abstract form forming an attractive environment.
Click for more ...

ZHA wins Stirling Prize for second year running despite high hopes for Velodrome 

This time last year we celebrated with Zaha Hadid as she received a long-awaited Stirling Prize for the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome, seemingly the only architectural gong missing from her now overflowing awards cabinet.

Few architecture firms are able to boast two Stirling Prizes (Foster + Partners, Wilkinson Eyre and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) however Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) can now add their name to this elite class of design excellence after this Saturday receiving a second title for the exquisite Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton - the first school building ever to win the Stirling Prize.

Despite her obvious elation at the awards twelve months ago Hadid was absent from Saturday’s official ceremony, instead sending her right hand man - and WAN judge - Patrik Schumacher to receive the award.

After thanking the RIBA and judges, Schumacher gushed: “It’s a wonderful feeling to come back for a second time. This one is particularly meaningful I think, because the beauty of the building was not only recognised by the jury but by the people that are living and breathing in the space.”

The response from the crowded ceremony hall at the Magna Centre, Rotherham was supportive if a little quieter than last year’s roaring accolade, potentially from the surprise that anything other than the Velodrome could steal the title. Since the announcement of the 2011 Stirling Prize shortlist in Juy, the bookie’s favourite has always been Hopkins’ sleek, dipped cedar wood Velodrome, with the practice picking up the Stirling Prize People’s Choice Award on Friday with 63% of the votes.

Although the Evelyn Grace Academy was a somewhat unexpected winner, none can fault the flawless design work from ZHA which has turned this restricted 1.4 hectare site in one of London’s most disadvantaged districts into a flourishing sports academy with world class architecture.

The Academy is run by ARK - an organisation which looks to close the achievement gap between children from affluent and more disadvantaged backgrounds - and has been closely supported by the local community, without a single objection to ZHA’s design from the building’s neighbours.

Demonstrating a resourceful approach to the difficult site the practice managed to insert a multi-use Astroturf sports pitch into the Academy’s grounds, enabling the institution to fully engage with its status as a sports academy. A 100m running track has also been introduced to the exterior space, slicing the main building volume into two sections connected by a bridge that arches over the vivid five-lane track.

The judges may have made an educated decision in selecting the Evelyn Grace Academy as this year’s title-holder, but the backlash has already begun against ZHA’s second consecutive win. Yesterday, UK architecture news source Building Design published a spiky editorial under the title Hadid’s Stirling Prize win ‘is a nasty irony’, quoting London architect Jonathan Ellis Miller as saying: “The irony is that within a couples of miles of the Magna Centre there are schools that lost their BSF funding through [education secretary] Michael Gove, and here we are rewarding the highest prize to an over-priced school. It’s a nasty irony and I think it sends a message of crass stupidity and total insensitivity.”

It is true that many schools lost out in the dissolution of the Building Schools for the Future programme, with scores of education institutions unable to afford basic regeneration projects, however this does not detract from the superb handling of space and design excellence displayed by ZHA at the Evelyn Grace Academy.

Journalists and PR reps can buff any news story to the required result however for the real honest truth one must go direct to the buildings’ users - in this case the Academy’s pupils - one of which told the Stirling Prize jury: “It doesn’t make you depressed in the mornings like the temporary one used to. In fact it’s exciting and we’re proud of it.” It may not be the people's favourite but it's a well deserved win for ZHA.

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Value 0(m€)
Zaha Hadid Architects

More projects by this architect

Port House

600 Collins Street

Qatar projects

Generali Tower

Central business district

Sberbank Technopark

Maritime Terminal

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid

Mixed-use tower

Casa Atlântica

Heydar Aliyev Center

520 West 28th

Dominion Office Building

Zaha Hadid medal win

2020 Japanese Olympic Stadium

Zaha Hadid, residential tower

Stadium video

Danjiang Bridge

Messner Mountain Museum

Zaha Hadid Architects statement

Olympic Stadium

New London Awards

Investcorp Building

Esfera City

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Bee’ah headquarters

Bee’ah Headquarters

Sleuk Rith

The David and Claudia Harding Mathematics Gallery, Science Museum


Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Jockey Club Innovation Tower

City of Dreams Hotel Tower

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Aquatics Centre

Al Wakrah Stadium

Heydar Aliyev Center

Library & Learning Centre, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Related Companies Residential Building

Design Museum

Al Wakrah Stadium

One Thousand Museum

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station

The Changsha Meixi Lake International Culture & Arts Centre

CityLife Milano

Wangjing SOHO / Meiquan 22nd Century

Japan National Stadium

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Galaxy SOHO

Pierres Vives Building

Zaha Hadid is 'Leading Woman'


Heydar Aliyev Fire

Zaha Hadid becomes a dame

NurnbergMesse Exhibition Centre

Innovation Tower, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Central Bank of Iraq Headquarters

Zaha Hadid Architects

Riverside Museum

Elk Grove Civic Center

Sheikh Zayed Bridge

Guangzhou Opera House


Aquatics Centre

Rabat Grand Theatre

Evelyn Grace Academy

Eleftheria Square

Library & Learning Centre – University of Economics & Business Vienna

Broad Museum Groundbreaking

King Abdullah II House of Culture & Art

Middle East Centre

Broad Art Museum, East Lansing

Aquatics Centre



Zaha Hadid Burnham Pavilion

J.S. Bach at Manchester Art Gallery

Seville University Library

Cairo Expo City

Stone Towers

Guangzhou Opera House

Burnham Pavilion

Regium Waterfront - Museum of the Mediterranean

Dorobanti Tower

Port House

Library and Learning Centre (LLC), University of Economics & Business

Riverside Museum

Venice Biennale

Capital Hill Residence

Farrer Road residential towers

2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre


Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion

Hermitage-Guggenheim Museum

Dellis Cay

Chanel mobile art

Madrid Civil Court of Justice

2012 Aquatic Centre

Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum

Lilium Tower

The Nordkettenbahnen funicular

Guangzhou Opera House

Innovation Tower for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Peninsula of Zorrozaurre

Glasgow Transport Museum

Serpentine Gallery

The Opus Project

City Academy Project

Expocentre Exhibition Halls and Residential Tower Project

Aquatics Centre

Nuragic & Contemporary Art Museum

The Maggie's Centre

Pierres Vives

Forest of towers

Zaha Hadid: 30 Years of Architecture

Edifici Campus

University of Seville - library

Phaeno Science Centre

Aquatic Centre

WAN Business Information

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site