Jeanne Gang Named Architect of the Year in AR's 2016 Women in Architecture Awards

The Architectural Review has announced the final winners in its 2016 Women in Architecture awards, awarding Mexican architect Gabriela Etchegaray with the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, and Jeanne Gang with the Architect of the Year award. In honoring Gang and Etchegaray, the AR noted that both "have demonstrated excellence in design and a commitment to working both sustainably and democratically with local communities." The pair join other Women in Architecture Award winners Odile Decq and Julia Peyton-Jones, who last week received the 2016 Jane Drew Prize and Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, respectively. Read on for more about the awards.

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Studio Gang. Image © Steve Hall for Hedrich Blessing

In judging the awards, the jury highlighted Studio Gang's Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, a building which was recognized for its participatory design process, as well as its "wood masonry" external walls, which provide a more sustainable alternative to other forms of masonry but also "stands apart from the move in architecture to lean on high-tech materials and 3-D printing."

"In the past social justice and social justice activism seems like it’s always happened in invisible places," explained Jeanne Gang, describing her design for the Arcus Center. "With this project there’s an actual building, something that embodies the idea of social justice in every way from its outside to its inside."

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Studio Gang. Image © Iwan Baan

Similarly, Etchegaray was commended for the renovation of a Mezcal factory in Oaxaca into the Milagrito Mezcal Pavilion, a design which required "a detailed understanding of the production line to create means of making the production more efficient while maintaining the much revered artisanal process." 

Guanajuato Building / Ambrosi Etchegaray. Image Courtesy of The Architectural Review

Norman Foster, one of the judges of the award, commented: "The impression you leave with is – wow, there is so much talent out there. And the younger generation of architects, as well as more established names, is impressive. The Women in Architecture Awards is a great initiative. There is such an extraordinary wealth of talent – and also there is a fresher perspective that is very much there."

The Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture includes a £10,000 prize fund, which will aid Gabriela Etchegaray in her continuing professional development.

The jury for the 2016 Women in Architecture Awards consisted of:

  • Gokhan Avcioglu (GAD Foundation)
  • Sir Terry Farrell (Farrells)
  • Lord Norman Foster (Foster + Partners)
  • Marta Galinanes-Garcia (AKTII)
  • Edwin Heathcote (Financial Times)
  • Eva Jiricna (Eva Jiricna Architects)
  • Sir Mark Jones (Master of St Cross College and former director of the V&A)
  • Laura Lee (Maggie’s Centres)
  • Karen Livingstone (Science Museum)
  • Christine Murray (The Architectural Review)
  • Colette O’Shea (Land Securities)
  • Philippa Stockley (London Evening Standard)
  • Martha Thorne (The Pritzker Architecture Prize)
  • Victoria Thornton (Open City)

About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Jeanne Gang Named Architect of the Year in AR's 2016 Women in Architecture Awards" 04 Mar 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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