Critical Round-Up: The 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

Though O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Building for the LSE is not the bookie’s favourite, many critics feel it is most deserving of the . Image © Dennis Gilbert

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has now announced the six projects that form this year’s Stirling Prize Shortlist, the award that is the ultimate prize for any British building. As the RIBA’s most publicly prominent award, the Stirling Prize is often a prime demonstration of the tension between architecture that is widely appreciated by the general populace, and that which is lauded by architectural critics and practitioners.

This year is no exception, with perhaps the country’s highest-profile project in years – the Shard - just part of the controversy. What did the critics make of the RIBA’s selection? Find out after the break.

RIBA Announces 2014 Stirling Prize Shortlist

The RIBA has announced the six projects that will compete for the 2014 Stirling Prize, the award for the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. The six nominees will now be judged head to head for British architecture’s highest honour, based on “their design excellence and their significance in the evolution of architecture and the built environment,” with a winner announced on October 16th. See the full shortlist after the break.

RIBA Stirling Prize To Be Renamed As It Regains Cash Prize

2013 Stirling Prize Winner: Astley Castle / Witherford Watson Mann. Image © Helene Binet

The annual RIBA Stirling Prize is set to regain its £20,000 cash prize following a year of no prize money in which Witherford Watson Mann scooped the accolade for Astley Castle. Considered to be the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize is presented annually to the “building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year”. Brockton Capital have agreed to support the prize for the next three years starting from 2015, after which the prize will be known as the RIBA Brockton Stirling Prize. The lack of prize money in 2013 raised questions about the significance of the award.

Happy Birthday James Stirling

Portrait of James Stirling. Ray Williams, photographer.. Image © Canadian Centre for Architecture

On what would have been his birthday today, we celebrate and look back on British architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling, who died aged 66 in 1992. Stirling, who grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West, began his career subverting the compositional and theoretical ideas behind the first Modern Movement. Citing a wide-range of influences – from Colin Rowe, a forefather of Contextualism, to Le Corbusier, from architects of the Italian Renaissance to the Russian Constructivist movement – Stirling forged a unique set of architectural beliefs that manifest themselves in his works. Indeed, his architecture, commonly described as “non-comformist”, consistently caused annoyance in conventional circles.

According to Rowan Moore, Stirling also “designed some of the most notoriously malfunctioning buildings of modern time.”  Yet, for all the “veiled accusations of incompetence”, as Reyner Banham put it, Stirling produced a selection of the world’s most interesting and groundbreaking buildings. Notably, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ highest award, the Stirling Prize, was named after him in 1996.

AD Interviews: Stephen Hodder, RIBA President

Courtesy of Mies. UK

ArchDaily recently got the chance to speak to , current President of the Royal Institute of British Architects () at his practice in Manchester. Best known as the recipient of the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 (for the Centenary Building), Hodder was educated at the University of Manchester’s School of Architecture, he’s perhaps best known as the recipient of the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building and was awarded an MBE for services to architecture in 1998.

Having been officially in the role for only two months, Hodder spent some time with us discussing his hopes for the next two years. Find out why he described himself as a fan of Scandinavians and prog-rock after the break…

London Calling: The Man Behind the Stirling Prize

B. Braun Melsungen AG Headquarters and Industrial Complex, Melsungen, Germany, 1993. Giovanni Chiaramonte, photographer. Canadian Centre for Architecture. . Image © Giovanni Chiaramonte

A few weeks ago the RIBA doled out the 18th Stirling Prize to London-based architects Witherford Watson Mann. The decision was a good one. It was good for WWM and good for the profession – a youngish practice being recognized for a small but beautiful piece of work.

The scheme’s application of brickwork and joinery removes the work from the expediencies of modern construction technology and building products, which almost exclusively characterize the contemporary built environment. It genuinely feels like a project made at a different point in history, the result of the quite particular interests of three minds, Stephen Witherford, Chris Watson and William Mann. It is direct and personal. It reminds me of Stirling’s work..

And not just for its powerful draftsmanship, plan and restricted palette of materials, but for its intimacy. An intimacy that is apparent in much of Stirling’s oeuvre. I do not refer to the production of intimate spaces per se but the formulation of an architecture that is authored not by a factory but a few minds.

The latest Stirling prompted me to look back, and reconsider the work of Stirling himself.

Critical Round-Up: Stirling Prize 2013

/ Witherford Watson Mann. Image © Helene Binet, courtesy RIBA

Following the news that the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize was been won by Witherford Watson Mann for Astley Castle at a ceremony in London last week, the critical response to the project has been extremely positive. Joseph Rykwert (who recently won the RIBA Gold Medal) said that “Witherford Watson Mann have been gentle surgeons, saving the essential, eliminating the incidental”. Check out the critical responses from The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote, The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, Building Design’s Ellis Woodman, and the Architects’ Journal’s Rory Olcayto after the break…

RIBA Stirling Prize Winners: How Prize-Worthy Are They?

The Scottish Parliament, winner in 2005 has experienced multiple problems. Image © Dave Morris Photography

With Astley Castle winning this year’s Stirling Prize last week, Olly Wainwright investigates the fortunes of other Stirling Prize winners – finding that in many cases critical acclaim and do not necessarily translate to long term success. His study brings into question what qualities should be awarded, and seems to imply that there should be a greater focus on post-occupancy , such as the 10-year award started by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) this year, and another being considered by the RIBA. You can read Wainwright’s full investigation here.

Astley Castle Wins the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

2013 Stirling Prize Winner: Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire / Witherford Watson Mann. Image © Helene Binet

The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize has been won by Witherford Watson Mann for Astley Castle (Nuneaton, Warwickshire). The winner was just announced at a ceremony at London’s Central Saint Martins, a building designed by last year’s winner Stanton Williams. Astley Castle was also voted as BBC readers’ favourite earlier this week. Jury-member stated that “engaging with the building was such a surprise for [the jury],” and described it as an ”unassuming” building with great “rigour.”

RIBA Shortlist for Stirling Prize Announced

UPDATED: Out of 52 exemplars of UK architecture, RIBA has chosen the six buildings that will compete for the prestigious RIBA (awarded to the building that makes the greatest contribution to British architecture that year). See the six contenders, including a video of each, after the break…

Stanton Williams’ Sainsbury Laboratory wins the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize!

2012 RIBA : Sainsbury Laboratory / Stanton Williams © Hufton+Crow

RIBA President Angela Brady has awarded Stanton Williams the 2012 for their Sainsbury Laboratory. The Stirling Prize – the UK’s most prestigious architecture award – is presented annually to the “building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year”. Sainsbury Laboratory was selected over five other shortlisted candidates, including the London Olympic Stadium which was awarded the “People Choice” in Observers’ Stirling Prize online poll.

Beautifully integrated within the University of Cambridge’s Botanic Garden, the Sainsbury Laboratory provides world-leading scientists engaging in plant science research a working environment of the highest quality that is capable of continuously adapting to the ever-evolving needs of the scientific world. Despite high energy demands, the buildings has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating with the aid of 1,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels and extensive natural lighting.

Learn more with our comprehensive overview of the Stirling Prize-winning project, here on ArchDaily.

2012 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist Revealed

Olympic Stadium, / Populous © LOCOG

The Royal Institute of British Architecture () has released the shortlist for this year’s , the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize that is presented annually to the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’. This year’s six shortlisted projects range from seemingly simple yet highly innovative London Olympic Stadium to the thoughtful and intimate Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Glasgow. The winner will be announced in October at the RIBA dinner.

Follow the break for the complete shortlist and more details about the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Zaha Hadid wins 2011 RIBA Stirling Prize

© Luke Hayes

For the second year in a row, Zaha Hadid was announced as the winner of the prestigious Stirling Prize.  Often labeled as ’s most important architecture award, Hadid will be awarded £20,000 for her design of the Evelyn Grace Academy in London.  Recognizing the ‘architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’, to be considered the project must be built in Britain or the architects head office must be in the UK.

Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize along with O’Donnell and Tuomey’s An Gaelaras, David Chipperfield Architects’s Folkwang Museum , AHMM’s Angel Building, Bennetts Associates’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the Velodrome by Hopkins Architects.  Last year Hadid was awarded the prize for her design of the MAXXI Museum of Modern Art in Rome.

This year’s award was a bit controversial; former president of the RIBA, George Ferguson’s reaction, ‘This is an appalling result and the worst decision since the Magna Centre beat Girmshaw’s Eden Project to win the Stirling Prize in 2001. It’s a great big own goal. It is also the worst possible message to send to [education secretary] Michael Gove. In fact it reinforces his case. A good school is one that can be replicated. But this can’t. It’s a one-off. The prize [has become] an award from architects for architects. It makes me angry.’

More reactions regarding the 2011 Stirling Prize can be found at the Architects Journal.

RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2011 Revealed

Evelyn Grace Academy / © Luke Hayes

The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) recently released the shortlist for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize. Presented annually to the architects of the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’ this year’s six shortlisted projects range from the most expensive city academy school every built to a 1932 refurbished theater.  The winner will be announced in October at the dinner, held at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham, winner of the 2001 .

Follow the break for the complete shortlist and more details about the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Video: King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) / Zaha Hadid Architects

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Here is a video about one of Zaha Hadid‘s latest project, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSRC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  This project has a holistic approach unifying architecture and engineering, landscape and building artist expression and environmental responsive design.  It is intended to not only be a leading research facility, but also a LEED Platinum certified building upon its completion.

We recently featured , as she won this years esteemed RIBA Stirling Prize for the design of the MAXXI National Museum in Rome. Full coverage of the along with photographs of the MAXXI can be found here.

Also you can check our previous coverage of Saudi Arabai – in particular last year ArchDaily personally visited Saudi Arabia for the opening of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an international graduate-level research institution.  Photographs and a write up on KAUST here.

RIBA Stirling Prize 2010: MAXXI Museum / Zaha Hadid

© Iwan Baan

A few weeks ago we told you about the short list for this years RIBA Stirling Prize. And once again our readers got it right, as the majority of your comments favorited ’s MAXXI Museum in Rome, which has been announced as the winner of the prestigious british award.

You can check our previous coverage of the MAXXI Museum.

RIBA Stirling Prize 2010 Shortlist

© Iwan Baan

Now in its 15th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the architects of the best new European building ‘built or designed in Britain’. The winner will be announced at the Dinner on 2 October, and broadcast live on BBC Two’s The Culture Show at 6.30pm, presented by Kevin McCloud.

Complete shortlist after the break.

Richard Rogers wins Stirling Prize for Maggie’s Centre

© José Miguel Hernández Hernández
© José Miguel Hernández Hernández

The RIBA is given each year to one selected building. And this year’s prize went to the Maggie Center by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.


Richard Rogers on the Maggie’s Center building, by The Architects’ Journal

This small buildings has a great inside/outside integration, given by the combination of several transparent planes and the independent roof, as you can see on the photos.

After the break, more photos by architectural photographer José Miguel Hernández Hernández, and a short video by AJ.