Zaha Hadid Wins the Stirling Prize

If you’re the betting type and you followed the bookie-backed tip we offered back in July that Zaha Hadid was the favored-to-win in the race for this year’s Sterling Prize, you’d now be collecting your winnings. This past Saturday, at a ceremony held in London and broadcast live on the BBC, the Royal Institute of British Architects awarded Hadid the prize for her much-discussed MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. The architect had been nominated for the prize three times over the past five years but had not yet won until now. Along with bragging rights, the award comes with £20,000. Here’s a portion of the judge’s statement:

This is a mature piece of architecture, the distillation of years of experimentation, only a fraction of which ever got built. It is the quintessence of Zaha’s constant attempt to create a landscape as a series of cavernous spaces drawn with a free, roving line. The resulting piece, rather than prescribing routes, gives the visitor a sense of exploration. It is perhaps her best work to date.