British architect Zaha Hadid is to become the 2016 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal for architecture, marking the first time a woman has won the prize in her own right.

Awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the medal is presented annually in recognition of a significant contribution to the profession. Hadid is the first women without a male partner to win the award in its 167-year history.

Hadid said she was proud to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right. “We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy,” she said.

Related: Images & Report of Zaha Hadid New Tokyo’s National Stadium

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“Sometimes the challenges are immense,” she continued. “There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress. This recognition is an honour for me and my practice, but equally, for all our clients. It is always exciting to collaborate with those who have great civic pride and vision.”

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“Part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards. Housing, schools and other vital public buildings have always been based on the concept of minimal existence – that shouldn’t be the case today. Architects now have the skills and tools to address these critical issues.”

Related: Zaha Hadid Just Expanded HEr Glacial Art Collection

Know more about Zaha Hadid medal and work here.