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Zaha Hadid Architects Win Stirling Prize for Maxxi

London, UK

At a ceremony in London on 2nd October, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awarded this year’s Stirling Prize to Zaha Hadid Architects for the MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome.  The RIBA Stirling Prize is given to the project built or designed in Britain deemed to have made the greatest contribution architecture. “It’s a great honour to receive the award.” says Zaha Hadid. “It means so much to me.”

The 2010 RIBA Stirling Prize Jury released its statement on the MAXXI:

“MAXXI is described as a building for the staging of art, and whilst provocative at many levels, this project shows a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation.  The nature of the project means everything has to be over-specified – throughout the design process the architects had no idea what the series of rooms would be used to hang, so walls which will bear a ton of rusting steel might be graced by miniatures.

‘The museum, for all its structural pyrotechnics, is rationally organised as five main suites. The building is bravely day lit with a sinuous roof of controllable skylights, louvres and beams which orientate and excite the visitor and create uplifting spaces.

‘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.’

Ruth Reed, RIBA President, presented the award to Zaha Hadid. ‘In MAXXI we have a much deserved winner, and I am delighted to award Zaha Hadid Architects with architecture’s highest accolade.’ said Reed.