Zaha Hadid awarded 2016 RIBA Royal Gold Medal – and cuts BBC interview short

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced that Baghdad-born designer Zaha Hadid will receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal in recognition of her lifetime’s work.

Jane Duncan, the president of the RIBA and chair of the selection committee, said: "Zaha Hadid is a formidable and 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."

Hadid said: "I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right.

"Part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards.

Let’s stop this conversation right now, I don’t want to carry on. Thank you very much– Zaha Hadid to the BBC

Earlier today, Hadid was interviewed about the Gold Medal but cut the conversation short when pressed about other matters.

During the interview with Sarah Montague on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she was asked about deaths on a Qatari World Cup venue that her practice designed, Hadid said: "There have not been any problems there, I have to put you right".

She went on to say that reports about migrant worker deaths at the stadium were "inaccurate" and "there have been no deaths on our site whatsoever".

In August last year, Hadid sued The New York Review of Books and architecture critic Martin Filler for defamation, after he accused her of not caring about construction workers in Qatar.

During the Radio 4 interview, Hadid also defended herself over the scrapped design for Japan’s National Stadium, which would have hosted the 2020 Olympic games.

When pushed on the subject Hadid said: "Let’s stop this conversation right now, I don’t want to carry on. Thank you very much."

The RIBA Gold Medal is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence "either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture". Past winners include Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, aka Le Corbusier, (1953), Norman Foster (1983) and Frank Gehry (2000).

ZHA recently entered a new design for the Tokyo stadium contract.

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. Sounds too pompous to be my Architect, trouble is too many think they’re God – fortunately they’re not!

  2. Congratulations to Zaha Hadid for winning the Royal Gold Medal. Zaha was quite right to have called time on the BBC interview. The scrapped design of Japan’s National Stadium was sensational.

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News