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 women in architecture.”
Jury member and 2013 Jane Drew Prize laureate, Eva Jiřičná stated: “She is one of those talented people who always saw things differently, and had a brilliant idea. She always had a completely different viewpoint, which is why she always won every competition – because her idea was strikingly original. She influenced so many people, even though she was so modest. It is so important that her effort and her contribution is acknowledged.”
Findlay was the first female academic in the department of architecture at Tokyo University and the first foreigner to teach there since Josiah Conder in the Meiji Period. Since co-founding her practice in 1986 with her then-husband Eisaku Ushida, Findlay built a portfolio that quickly became internationally renowned for its experimental design and progressive technology.
Some of her most famous works is the Truss Wall House in Tokyo (1993), Soft and Hairy House in Tokyo (1994), Poolhouse 2 in the Chilterns (2009) and, most recently, the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in London’s 2012 Olympic Park.
After learning of Findlay’s death, 2012 prize laureate Zaha Hadid stated: “Like myself, in the early days Kathryn struggled as a woman in architecture, but she persevered. I remember her when we were both students at the AA, she was very hard working and enthusiastic. It is shame that she is not here to receive this award personally, but it is lovely that her family get to see her honored in this way.”
The Jane Drew Prize is awarded by the AJ Women in Architecture Judging Panel.
Reference: The Architects' Journal