Jane Drew Prize Goes to Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014)

Kathryn Findlay. Image Courtesy of Ushida Findlay Architects

Kathryn Findlay, educator and co-founder of Ushida Findlay Architects, has been named winner of the 2014 Jane Drew Prize. This announcement comes shortly after the news of Findlay’s death, which was unknown at the time of the jury’s decision. Known as “one of the most talented people in British architecture,” Findlay will be remembered for her “outstanding contribution to the status of .”

Eva Jiricna Awarded 2013 Jane Drew Prize

The -designed Knightsbridge apartment in west London. © Flickr user mobilix

Czech-born architect Eva Jiřičná has been announced, by unanimous decision of the esteemed AJ Judging Panel, as the Winner of the 2013 “for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.” Zaha Hadid, prize judge and winner of last year’s Jane Drew Prize, lauded Jiřičná’s for redefining the idea of retail space with her innovated use of industrial materials and famous steel and glass staircases.

Fellow judge Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners agreed, stating: “If you walk into any Apple store today, in the end, they all started with Eva.”

In addition to this, Jiřičná’s dedicated mentorship of numerous students and colleagues throughout her career has proved to be “incredibly influential” to the advancement of the profession and women in architecture.

Jiřičná, who judged the inaugural Jane Drew Prize in 1998, said: “I feel very humbled and honoured to win this award. Jane Drew was one of my major heroines. When you are starting out you look at the lives of women in your and other professions. As you progress you appreciate what these women achieved – how courageous they were. Jane Drew was one of those women. She was a pioneer.”

More on Eva Jiřičná after the break…

Is Zaha’s Latest Prize Really an Advancement for Women?

© MARCO GROB FOR TIME

“I have practised Architecture at a time when Architects were full of hope and optimism. At a time when we felt that the changes in Planning and on Architecture would change living conditions and improve the world. A time when there was great hope for the future.”

Jane Drew

Zaha Hadid has been announced, by unanimous decision of the AJ Women in Architecture Judging Panel, as the Winner of the Jane Drew Prize “for her outstanding contribution to the status of .”

The panel has cited Hadid’s many accomplishments (she was the first female architect to win the Pritzker Prize, designed the Sterling Prize-winning MAXXI Museum in Rome and the Guangzhou Opera House in China) as evidence that she ”has broken the glass ceiling more than anyone and is practically a household name. Her achievement is remarkable.”

However, the choice of Hadid, always a controversial figure, brings into question the aim of the Prize, and forces us to explore what is really needed to improve the state of women in Architecture today.

Read More on Hadid and the controvery surrounding the Prize after the break…