Jane Drew Prize

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The Jane Drew Prize is an architecture award given annually by the Architects' Journal to a person showing innovation, diversity and inclusiveness in architecture. It is named after the English modernist architect Jane Drew.


The Jane Drew Prize began with discussions in 1997 between the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Women Architects Group and the Arts Council of England.[1] The new prize was launched in January 1998 with a ceremony held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The award was created to recognise promotion of innovation, diversity and inclusiveness in architecture. It was named after the English architect Dame Jane Drew (died 1996)[2] who, among other achievements, had tried to set up the first all-women architecture practice and had been the first female full Professor at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3] Nominations were invited by the RIBA, after which a jury selected the winner who received a prize of £10,000.[2] The 1998 winner also received a sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi.[1]

Problems were encountered with the initial award, primarily in finding suitable candidates that met all three criteria. A forum was held on 19 May 1998 where the four shortlisted candidates (client Jane Priestman, artist Martin Richman, landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson and architectural practice Fashion Architecture Taste) were asked to give a ten-minute presentation. The evening was described as "tedious" and Gustafson didn't even turn up.[1] The award was finally presented to Gustafson on 4 June after strong disagreements and near-resignations amongst the judging panel.[1]

The prize has subsequently come under the jurisdiction of the Architects' Journal. Winners are chosen by the AJ Women in Architecture Judging Panel.[3] According to the 2013 entry guidelines, the prize recognises a "contribution to the status of women in architecture".[4]


  • 2019 - Liz Diller, architect and founder of the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro,[5] "From her wide range of work – including the High Line in New York, to The Broad art museum in Los Angeles, to the much-anticipated London Centre for Music – Diller’s brave, refreshing, innovative and often cross-disciplinary approach is an inspiration to the architectural profession."
  • 2018 - Amanda Levete, architect and principal of the firm AL_A,[6] "Amanda Levete is an architect whose career has been notable at several points, but whose independent practice has blossomed internationally, and whose independent voice has generated welcome debate and reform."
  • 2017 - Denise Scott Brown, architect, planner, writer, educator, and principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates,[7] "Denise Scott Brown’s wonderful architectural writing and thinking, her work and her wit has been an inspiring force for change. This honour squares the circle."
  • 2016 - Odile Decq, architect, Co-founder of Studio Odile Decq,[8] for being a "a creative powerhouse, spirited breaker of rules and advocate of equality."
  • 2015 - Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, architects and founders of Grafton Architects, [9] for "not being afraid to speak in a language that is feminine yet produce buildings which are robust and full of conviction."
  • 2014 - Kathryn Findlay, architect, for "her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture."[10]
  • 2013 - Eva Jiřičná, architect, for "her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture."[11]
  • 2012 - Zaha Hadid, architect,[12] for "her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture." She was described as having "broken the glass ceiling more than anyone", for example being the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.[3]
  • 1998 - Kathryn Gustafson, landscape architect, for her body of work which "straddled the boundary between individual artistic sensibility and teamwork."[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Nonie Niesewand (4 June 1998). "Prize farce at the gong show". The Independent. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Jane Drew prize launched with wit and affection". Architects' Journal. 29 January 1998. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Vanessa Quirk (16 April 2012). "Is Zaha's Latest Prize Really an Advancement for Women?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 January 2014. Originally published by ArchDaily 12 April 2012.
  4. ^ "THE JANE DREW PRIZE Entry Guidelines" (PDF). Architects' Journal. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  5. ^ Ella Jessel (28 January 2019). "Liz Diller wins 2019 Jane Drew Prize". Architects Journal. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  6. ^ Manon Mollard (1 February 2018). "Amanda Levete awarded Jane Drew Prize". Architects Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  7. ^ Laura Mark (6 February 2017). "Denise Scott Brown recognised with 2017 Jane Drew Prize". Architects Journal. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^ Karissa Rosenfield (25 February 2015). "Odile Decq Honored with 2016 Jane Drew Prize". ArchDaily. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  9. ^ Karissa Rosenfield (13 February 2015). "Jane Drew Prize Jointly Awarded to Grafton Co-Founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara". ArchDaily. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  10. ^ Richard Waite (10 January 2014). "Obituary: Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014)". Architects' Journal. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  11. ^ Karissa Rosenfield (8 March 2013). "Eva Jiricna Awarded 2013 Jane Drew Prize". ArchDaily. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  12. ^ Alex Johnson (5 April 2012). "Zaha Hadid wins Jane Drew Prize". Independent Blog. The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  13. ^ "In brief: Jane Drew prize goes to Gustafson". Architects' Journal. 11 June 1998. Retrieved 12 January 2014.

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