Zaha Hadid beats off five other nominations to scoop £20k prize

Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome has scooped this year’s £20,000 Stirling Prize.

Hadid beat off competition from five other nominations including two other museums - the Neues Museum in Berlin by David Chipperfield Architects and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum by Rick Mather.

The award, which is in its 15th year, was presented at a ceremony in the Roundhouse, north London. Maxxi was an early favourite to win the prize, the judges said: “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”.

The Maxxi is the first Italian public museum devoted to contemporary art and architecture. The striking design comprises of a series of jutting concrete and glass boxes while inside it is daylit by a plethora of skylights.

The Ashmolean Museum won the public vote, gaining 43.3% of the votes, while the Neues Museum came in a second with 24.1%. Hadid’s Maxxi museum was third.

As well as de Rijke Marsh Morgan’s Clapham Manor primary school in south west London the two others on the shortlist were Batemans Row, a live/work development in east London by Theis and Khan Architects and Christ’s College School in Guildford