Renown architect, Zaha Hadid has accepted the 2016 Royal Gold Medal from the Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA), marking her place in history as the first female architect to win the award in her own right.

Hadid accepted the award at a London ceremony on Wednesday February 3, where she said she was proud of her achievement.

“We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy,” she said.

“Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress.”

She also touched on the significant role architecture plays in people’s lives.

“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,” she said.

“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 the tools to address these critical issues.”

In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize.