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‘Visionary’ pioneer  Jane Priestman wins Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

The inaugural Ada Louise Huxtable Prize has been awarded to ‘visionary’ client and architectural patron Jane Priestman

The panel of judges, which included architects Patty Hopkins, Eva Jiricna and John McAslan, described the 85-year-old as ‘straight-talking’ and ‘amazingly supportive’.

The lifetime achievement award, which was launched earlier this year, recognises non- architects who have made a significant contribution to the architectural profession.

Priestman was general manager in architecture and design at the British Airports Authority for 11 years, during which time she commissioned Norman Foster’s Stansted airport terminal.

In the mid-80s she went on to become director of architecture, design and environment for the British Railways board for five years. Her portfolio included more than 2,800 stations, many of them listed. During her tenure, she commissioned Grimshaw to work on Waterloo International station.

‘Her contribution to future generations is immeasurable,’ said the judges.

‘She promoted good British design, and it is hard to imagine what would have happened without her. She set a benchmark.’

The panel added: ‘Priestman had the belief that architecture could change people lives, and wanted to work with architects who could help her do it.’

Priestman will be recognised with the accolade at the AJ Women in Architecture Luncheon on 27 February, where the winners of the Emerging Woman Architect of the Year and the Woman Architect of the Year will also be revealed.

Priestman’s career

1975 - 86 Worked as design manager for the British Airports Authority

1981 Appointed Norman Foster to work on Stansted Airport

1985 - 88 Became a member of the London Regional Transport Design Panel

1985 Made an honorary fellow of the RIBA

1986 - 91 Appointed as director of architecture and design for the British Railways Board

1989 Commissioned Grimshaw to work on the International Terminal at Waterloo station

1991 Foster’s Stansted Airport, which she commissioned, was completed

1991 Awarded an OBE

1992 - 2010 Chair of Open City

1993 Grimshaw’s International Terminal at Waterloo station completed

1996 - 2000 Named a member of the Design Council

2001 Appointed as an enabler at CABE

Readers' comments (1)

  • Congratulations Jane. Very Well deserved recognition for a life time dedication to promoting highest standards of design and architecture. Owen Luder CBE Past President RIBA.

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