Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias awarded the Royal Academy Architecture Prize

The role of public art in inspiring architects and improving urban environments has been recognised by the awarding of artist Cristina Iglesias the annual Royal Academy Architecture Prize in London

Cristina Iglesias, Tres Aguas, Town Hall-Square, Toledo, 2014.
Cristina Iglesias, Tres Aguas, Town Hall-Square, Toledo, 2014. Photography: Attilio Maranzano
(Image credit: Attilio Maranzano)

The Royal Academy of Arts in London has announced that Madrid based installation artist and sculptor Cristina Iglesias (b.1956) has been awarded the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, supported by the Dorfman Foundation.

The esteemed jury, which included Sir Norman Foster, Royal Academician and founder of Foster + Partners, selected Iglesias for her contribution to the culture of architecture. Her organic and poetic sculptures have inspired many architects’ work and discourse and her public art plays an important role improving the quality of open civic spaces in cities.

‘I am interested in the crossings between architecture and sculpture, creating spaces and moments for contemplation and reflection in the midst of contemporary urban life,’ says Iglesias of her work and mission.

Portrait of Cristina Iglesias

Portrait of Cristina Iglesias. Photography: Jose Luis López de Zubiria

(Image credit: Jose Luis López de Zubiria)

The Dorfman Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE in 2007, also supports the Dorfman Award, which aims to champion global architectural talent. Along with the announcement of the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize winner, the finalists for the Dorfman Award award have also been announced.

The same jury selected a diverse, international group of finalists: AAU Anastas (Palestine), AOR Architects (Finland), BCKJ Architects (China) and WHBC Architects (Malaysia). The winner of the Dorfman Award will be announced on 17 March 2020, during the Royal Academy Architecture Awards Week.


Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.