December 06, 2011 -- This is the second year running that Zaha Hadid Architects have won the RIBA Stirling Prize; last year winning with MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome.
A highly stylized zig-zag of steel and glass, the Evelyn Grace Academy is squeezed onto the tightest of urban sites. The architects received a complex brief: four schools under a single academy umbrella with the need to express both independence and unity. The architects were strongly encouraged by the client to 'think outside the box'.
RIBA President Angela Brady said:
'The Evelyn Grace Academy is an exceptional example of what can be achieved when we invest carefully in a well-designed new school building. The result - a highly imaginative, exciting Academy that shows the students, staff and local residents that they are valued - is what every school should and could be. The unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, celebrates the school’s sports specialism throughout its fabric, with drama and views of student participation at every contortion and turn. Evelyn Grace Academy is a very worthy winner of architecture’s most prestigious award and I am delighted to present Zaha Hadid Architects with this accolade.'
Peter Walker, Principal of the Evelyn Grace Academy said:
'This visually stunning building makes a powerful statement to our students every day they attend school. As a new academy setting the highest expectations for all students, it is fitting that we have such an aspirational environment. The internal structure of the building supports the innovative nature of Evelyn Grace Academy’s small school system exceptionally well.'
Zaha Hadid said:
'It is very significant that our first project in London is the Evelyn Grace. Schools are among the first examples of architecture that everyone experiences and have a profound impact on all children as they grow up. I am delighted that the Evelyn Grace Academy has been so well received by all its students and staff.'