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Sheila O’Donnell wins WIA Architect of the Year 2019

01 March 2019

Sheila O’Donnell wins WIA Architect of the Year 2019

We are thrilled to announce that O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Sheila O’Donnell has been named Architect of the Year at the 2019 Women in Architecture (WIA) Awards.

The annual awards, which were presented at a prizegiving lunch today at The Savoy in London, are backed by the Architects' Journal and sister title The Architectural Review.

Also in the running were OMA partner Ellen van Loon for the Qatar National Library in Doha, Eva Prats of Flores & Prats for Casal Balaguer Cultural Centre in Palma de Mallorca, and Carme Pigem of 2017 Pritzker Prize-winning practice RCR Arquitectes for De Krook Library in Ghent.

Sheila O’Donnell has won Architect of the Year for her work on the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, by O’Donnell + Tuomey. The scheme adds a new building, including a lecture theatre, cafés, offices, classrooms and a library, to an existing structure which has been transformed with bold interventions such as a dramatic pitched glass roof and sculptural red steel staircases. The buildings adopt the city’s architecture of courtyards and rhythmic stone facades, conversing with the surrounding buildings. The university, dedicated to open minds, borders and society, is at risk of closure following calls by the country’s president Viktor Orbán.

‘O’Donnell’s passion for the buildings of the Central European University was rewarded with an exceptionally high-quality building which she evidently fought hard for.
‘She is a role model for young women in architecture. Sheila O’Donnell did not have to break the glass ceiling – her and John Tuomey created a new reality.

The Women in Architecture Awards jury

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