This year's RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist was seen by many as the strongest in years. The practice who emerged victorious, beating off competition from internationally recognised practices including Zaha Hadid Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Mecanoo, O’Donnell + Tuomey and Feilden Clegg Bradley, was Haworth Tompkins: but who exactly are they? Ellis Woodman pinned his hopes on the successful Everyman Theatre before the award was announced, uncovering the practice's rich history in designing performance spaces through a discussion with founding partner, Steve Tompkins. For Woodman, their theatre work "has left a legacy of spaces that count among the most beautiful and provocative created in Britain over the past twenty years." "It is a body of work as rich in character as that of any practice working in Britain today but strongly informed by Tompkins’s wariness of lumbering his clients with architectural monuments. These buildings feel like eternal works in progress, open to reinvention from production to production, even from night to night."
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