The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize - an award that recognizes “fresh talent” working with construction budgets less than £1 million.
The 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize shortlist includes:
25 Tanners Hill, London / Dow Jones Architects
This beautifully executed project, in which a humble bicycle workshop has been transformed, as if by alchemy, to create a home and gallery with a richly layered collection of spaces. The architecture is made as much by what is stripped away and revealed as by the elements that are added.
The relationship between exposed plaster, timber walls and a new winder staircase are handled with restraint and confidence. Interior spaces open onto one another with fluidity and the experience is one of space continually unfolding.
Empathy with the Grade II listed structure is evident throughout. The decision to leave uneven timber floors to allow the character and history of the structure to be revealed demonstrates empathy towards the existing building and shrewd budget management.
The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, Edinburgh / Simpson & Brown Architects
The Chapel for The Order of Preachers, a Dominican Order, is situated in the garden of one of Edinburgh University’s Georgian townhouses. The new garden chapel is conceived as a space of tranquillity, for reflection and worship.
There is no concession in this garden pavilion to the rubble-built rear elevation into which it plugs. The building form and materials contribute to a calm, peaceful space and connect the building to its garden setting. Deep, angled window reveals bring natural light gently within a space characterised by the warmth of the timber pews and the beautifully crafted timber ceiling which also extends outdoors, beyond the west window. The arc of the roof and the corten steel ‘trees’ add a sculptural drama. The sedum planted roof further melds the building to the garden.
Church Walk, London / David Mikhail and Annalie Riches
The architects-cum-developers brought their particular skills in the housing sector to bear on this block of four dwellings and demonstrated how such schemes should be delivered – beautifully. They were so pleased with the results that they decided to live in one of them.
The external treatment is broken down by the functions, with brick to main living areas, Siberian larch cladding to main bedrooms and expanded mesh to the balconies. The interiors are dynamic with split levels and top lit spaces.
The selection of materials is consistent throughout, with not a detail left to chance. Every junction was clearly considered and the attention to the finishes, especially the striking flush lime-pointed brick façade, demonstrates an exemplary knowledge and skill with materials.
The Filling Station, London / Carmody Groarke
The ambition for the project was to create a temporary use for the site – a corner of the Kings Cross lands currently under phased re-development by client Argent. The small structure accommodates an events space facing the Regents Canal, a diner-style restaurant and a marketing suite.
The architects came up with the idea and with restaurateur, Bistroteque, pitched the idea to Argent. A reduction in the height of this wall was key to unlocking the site.
A backlit perimeter screen is used to soften an awkward tight corner opening out on to an open public space overlooking the canal. The history of the site remains in the form of the old filling station canopy relic, thus embracing the slow transition of temporary to permanent.
Montpelier Community Nursery, London / AY Architects
The school takes the form of a pavilion opening on to a part-sheltered play area with a park beyond.
The selection of materials is a key part of the scheme’s success. The black stained Siberian larch sits inconspicuously in the trees and contrasts with the white-washed internal woodwork. All the details are well controlled, from exposed conduits to the selection of nursery furniture and material finishes. Simple decisions made for an all-encompassing education experience: thoughtful pushchair stores and recessed entrances takes some of the madness out of drop-off and pick-up times; the door on to the park allows quiet surveillance; and there is a seamless link to the outer play area and garden.
This elegant and confident project is a prototype house composed of multiple standard elements. Yet the executed design is a highly personal solution, which results in a humane interior environment. A standardised and semi-industrial material palette is employed throughout. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution.
The project demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low-energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design.
Solar thermal panels are linked to the ground source heat pump to increase efficiency, utilising multiple piled foundations. But at no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created.
- Baronness Lawrence
- Marco Goldschmied, architect
- Mary Duggan, architect
- 2012 RIBA Manser Medal winner: christian pottgiesser architecturespossibles (CPAP)
The winner will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize party on Thursday, September 26 in London.