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City news, 01.06.2004 14:40

Pritzker prize awarded in Hermitage yesterday

Zaha Hadid and Michael Piotrovsky The presentation ceremony for the international award in the field of architecture-The Pritzker Prize-took place yesterday in the State Hermitage. This year's prize was awarded to Zaha Hadid, a British citizen. She is the first woman to receive this prize. The award ceremony was held for the first time in Russia and was broadcast over the Internet. Today Zaha Hadid gives an open lecture in the Hermitage theatre.

Tomas Pritzker, founder of the prize, took part in the ceremony, as well as the chairman of the award jury, Lord Roths child, Russia's Minister of Culture, Alexander Sokolov, and the Director of the State Hermitage, Michael Piotrovsky. Past Pritzker laureates also attended the ceremony.

Zaha Hadid, architect, was born in Iraq in 1950. She is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture, and a winner of a host of international competitions, including: The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), The Cardiff Opera House (1994), The Richard and Lois Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio (1998) Maxxi: National Centre of Contemporary Arts in Rome (1999), and a Science Centre in Wolfsburg (2000). Her best known projects to date are the Vitra Fire Station and the LFone pavilion in Weil am Rhein, Germany (1993/1999), the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome, Greenwich, London, UK (1999), a Tram Station and Car Park in Strasbourg, France (2001), and a Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria (2002). Her work is kept in museums of modern art in New York and San Francisco, and The Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt. An exhibition of Hadid's work was held in the Museum of Applied Art in Vienna in 2003.

The annual architecture prize is analogous to the Nobel Prize. It was established by the Hyatt Foundation in 1979 with the aim of drawing attention to contemporary architects whose works have significantly contributed to the field of architecture. The Pritzker laureate receives a bronze medal and USD 100,000.

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