The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the first wave of their 2017 RIBA Regional Awards, beginning with the West Midlands region. Six projects were selected as winners from the region, which includes the city of Birmingham and its surrounding area.
“This year's winning projects prove that a good architecture should allow its user a space and time to absorb and to reflect,” commented Regional Jury Chair, Natalia Maximova. “The selected designs frame our experience of the buildings and spaces rather than dictate it. They highlight the fact that there is no true architecture without a clear vision and a strong concept. Originality remains a highly valued commodity and a source of inspiration for others and therefore should be recognised.
Another year, another RIBA Stirling Prize winner that seemingly nobody expected. In spite of being the unanimous favorite of the RIBA's Stirling Prize jury, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)'s Burntwood School won out over the BBC people's choice, MUMA's Whitworth Gallery and ArchDaily readers' own favorite, Heneghan Peng Architects' Greenwich University (although AHMM came in second place with 21% of the vote), as well as Reiach and Hall's Maggie's Lanarkshire, Níall McLaughlin's Darbishire Place, and RSH+P's NEO Bankside.
But despite the apparent surprise, was AHMM's Burntwood School a suitable winner of British architecture's highest award? Read on to find out what the critics thought.
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has won the top prize in British architecture, the RIBA Stirling Prize for their Burntwood School. Beating out competition from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P), Niall McLaughlin Architects, Heneghan Peng Architects, McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA) and Reiach and Hall Architects. Announced by RIBA president Jane Duncan, the selection was reported to have been a unanimous decision among the judges, with the school described as "a grown-up building to inspire grown-up behavior."
From a shortlist of 68 buildings, 38 London projects have been awarded the 2015 RIBA London Awards for architectural excellence, the city's most prestigious design honor. The awards highlight projects that embody exceptional merit in their designs and positively impact the lives of their occupants. This year's winners include three arts and leisure buildings, 11 educational and community facilities, 16 residential designs, and eight commercial buildings.
All of these designs will be further considered for the RIBA National Awards, to be announced in June.
A total of 68 buildings have been shortlisted for RIBA London 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by AHMM, dRMM, John McAslan + Partners and Grimshaw, to Níall McLaughlin Architects, Eric Parry Architects, and Rogers Stirk Harbour. Winning projects from last year included three Stirling Prize shortlisted projects, as well as another by Haworth Tompkins who ultimately took the prize in 2014 for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.
See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.