Haworth Tompkins' Everyman Theatre has won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2014, beating competition from Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Mecanoo, O'Donnell + Tuomey and Feilden Clegg Bradley. The result was announced last night by RIBA President Stephen Hodder at an event held at the RIBA's Headquarter's in London, with Hodder saying that "Haworth Tompkins have struck the perfect balance between continuity and change" and calling the scheme "a ground-breaking example of how to build a daring, bold and highly sustainable large public building in a historic city centre."
The Stirling Prize – considered the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, and among the most prestigious awards for an individual building in the world – is presented annually to the “building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year.” The Everyman Theatre's win was something of a surprise, with the Mecanoo's Library of Birmingham taking the people's choice award thanks to the RIBA's online vote, and O’Donnell + Tuomey's Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics reportedly the bookies' favourite.
The award is the first time that Haworth Tompkins have taken the Stirling Prize, having previously made the shortlist in 2007 for their Young Vic theatre in London, and in 2009 for their Liverpool One Masterplan. On accepting the award, Director of Haworth Tompkins Steve Tompkins described the award as "an important endorsement of our studio's ethos and an encouragement to carry on working the way we do, despite the pressures all of us are under to speed up and dumb down." He thanked his clients and the people of Liverpool for their patience during the nine year rebuilding process and for "taking the new building back into their hearts."
The award was judged this year by Spencer de Grey (Foster + Partners), MJ Long (Long and Kentish Architects), Cindy Walters (Walters and Cohen), Stephen Kieran (Kieran Timberlake), and Sir Timothy Sainsbury (architectural patron and client).
At the ceremony, the RIBA also presented the following national awards for 2014:
"House No 7 hails from a rich British tradition of buildings which are defined by the location of site and the traditional methods of vernacular construction," said the founder of the Stephen Lawrence Prize Marco Goldschmied. "The rebuilt cottage and new living spaces cleverly wrap to create an intimate daylight space at its core... It’s an intelligent and witty response to the functional and logistical challenges of location, orientation and isolation."
Manser Medal: Stormy Castle / Loyn & Co. Architects
"This is a bold design in an area of Wales where arguably more conservative design solutions usually hold sway," said Michael Manser, Chair of the Manser Medal. "I was impressed by the sustainability credentials, with a comprehensive range of energy, recycling and heating strategies incorporated into the design, which will be invaluable in dealing with such a large footprint."
"I am delighted that Manchester Metropolitan University has been recognised for its current and ongoing efforts as it continues to innovate and improve its estate," Said RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich. "The brave and exciting buildings they are commissioning will benefit this and the next generation of students who come to study in Manchester."
The ceremony also saw the official announcement of an International Award to replace the RIBA Lubetkin Prize and a new "test of time award," both to commence in 2015.