Sheila O’Donnell was named Architect of the Year at the Women in Architecture (WIA) 2019 awards for her design of CEU’s new buildings. The O’Donnell + Tuomey firm’s design also won the Best International Architecture Project in RIAI Awards in 2017, among other prizes.
The Women in Architecture Awards jury, which included Pritzker Prize chief Martha Thorne and academic and novelist Lesley Lokko said: “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 annual awards were presented at a prizegiving lunch on March 1 at The Savoy in London.
Accepting the award, O’Donnell said: “It’s a great honour. We still need the WIA prize. It’s about celebration.There’s something very special about having a group of just women talking about architecture [today and at last night’s RIBA event]. It shines a spotlight on the problems we still have. Until we have equal pay and the other problems are sorted out we do still need the WIA awards.”
The Architect of the Year accolade rewards work on a single recently completed project and has previously been won by Peruvian architect Sandra Barclay in 2018, Mexican architect Gabriela Carrillo in 2017 and US star Jeanne Gang in 2016.