Winners of 2021 Jane Drew and Ada Louise Huxtable Prizes Announced

John Hill
22. January 2021
Kate Macintosh photographed by Michael Franke and Lesley Lokko photographed by Debra Hurford-Brown (Via The Architectural Review)

Scottish architect Kate Macintosh and Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist Lesley Lokko are this year’s recipients of the Jane Drew Prize and Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, respectively, part of the W Awards given out by The Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal.

Jane Drew Prize

The award recognizes "an architectural designer who, through their work and commitment to design excellence, has raised the profile of women in architecture." AJ and Architectural Review announced the winner yesterday, describing architect Kate Macintosh as "famed for her pioneering social housing," most of which was realized in the 1960s. Though retired, she remains an advocate for social housing.

Macintosh studied at the Edinburgh School of Art, graduating in 1961 and then working for three years in Europe. She returned to the UK and worked under Denys Lasdun on the National Theatre in London. In 1965 she took a job at Southwark Council "before moving to Lambeth where she designed a housing facility for the elderly," per AJ. She later established a private practice with architect George Finch, who shared her passion for social housing.

Upon learning of the award, Macintosh said, "I am absolutely thrilled by this news, not least because I knew Jane Drew personally and occasionally we shared a platform in schools of architecture. Our values systems chimed as we discovered when we overlapped on RIBA council."

Named after architect Jane Drew, "a spirited advocate for women in a male-dominated profession," Macintosh is the tenth winner of the annual prize. Previous recipients include Yasmeen Lari, Elizabeth Diller, Amanda Levete, Denise Scott Brown, and Odile Decq.

Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

Also yesterday, architect, academic, and novelist Lesley Lokko was named the 2021 recipient of the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize for Contribution to Architecture, which "recognizes individuals working in the wider architectural industry who have made a significant contribution to architecture and the built environment."

Although Lokko received headlines last year for stepping down, in "a profound act of self-preservation," as dean of Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, a position she held for less than a year, she is undeterred, moving forward with plans to form the African Futures Institute, an independent postgraduate school of architecture in Accra, Ghana, where she grew up. Earlier, in 2015, Lokko founded the first postgraduate school of architecture in Africa, the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Upon the announcement, Lokko said: "Over the past decade, social media has blurred the lines between personal and public, fact and fiction, opinion and critique. It’s made the role of the critic more fraught, especially since criticism requires time, both to digest and to craft. Particularly in this moment, it’s such an honor to be given an award by one’s peers who look at a body of work, sometimes going back decades, long before the issues make the headlines. I’m deeply grateful."

Named after Ada Louise Huxtable, the first full-time architecture critic at a US newspaper and the first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Lokko is the seventh winner of the annual prize. Previous recipients include historian Beatriz Colomina, photographer Hélène Binet, artist and illustrator Madelon Vriesendorp, sculptor Rachel Whiteread, curator Julia Peyton-Jones, and patron Jane Priestman.

Other articles in this category