Architecture

RIBA announces 2015 Stirling Prize Shortlist

RIBA announces 2015 Stirling P...
Darbishire Place, an affordable housing project by Niall McLaughlin Architects, is one of the standout entries this year
Darbishire Place, an affordable housing project by Niall McLaughlin Architects, is one of the standout entries this year
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Burntwood School is based in London, and was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
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Burntwood School is based in London, and was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
The total cost of the Burntwood School project came in at £40,900,000 ($63,833,526)
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The total cost of the Burntwood School project came in at £40,900,000 ($63,833,526)
Burntwood School was completed in 2014
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Burntwood School was completed in 2014
"Burntwood has the collegiate air of an Ivy League campus," enthused RIBA's judges
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"Burntwood has the collegiate air of an Ivy League campus," enthused RIBA's judges
Described as "education architecture as it should be," the school boasts rooms full of natural light
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Described as "education architecture as it should be," the school boasts rooms full of natural light
Darbishire Place is based in London
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Darbishire Place is based in London
Niall McLaughlin Architects' renovation of an existing Peabody affordable housing building stands out with its refined and dignified styling
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Niall McLaughlin Architects' renovation of an existing Peabody affordable housing building stands out with its refined and dignified styling
Built on a former Second World War V2 bomb site, Darbishire Place was completed last year for a budget of £23 million (roughly US$35 million)
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Built on a former Second World War V2 bomb site, Darbishire Place was completed last year for a budget of £23 million (roughly US$35 million)
"Internally the plan naturally invites you to use the stair – and what a stair: residents must feel a million dollars," says RIBA
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"Internally the plan naturally invites you to use the stair – and what a stair: residents must feel a million dollars," says RIBA
Darbishire Place, an affordable housing project by Niall McLaughlin Architects, is one of the standout entries this year
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Darbishire Place, an affordable housing project by Niall McLaughlin Architects, is one of the standout entries this year
Darbishire Place is a beautiful building and its clever design ensures that the apartments within are relatively roomy, too
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Darbishire Place is a beautiful building and its clever design ensures that the apartments within are relatively roomy, too
This Maggie's Center, by Reiach and Hall Architects, is based is Lanarkshire, Scotland
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This Maggie's Center, by Reiach and Hall Architects, is based is Lanarkshire, Scotland
Maggie's Centers offer care for cancer sufferers
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Maggie's Centers offer care for cancer sufferers
"This is a truly memorable addition to a noble tradition of specialist health buildings," says RIBA's judges
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"This is a truly memorable addition to a noble tradition of specialist health buildings," says RIBA's judges
Maggie's Lanarkshire was completed in 2014
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Maggie's Lanarkshire was completed in 2014
The center has a total floorspace of 314 sq m (3,379 sq ft)
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The center has a total floorspace of 314 sq m (3,379 sq ft)
This Maggie's Center, by Reiach and Hall Architects, is located in Lanarkshire, Scotland
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This Maggie's Center, by Reiach and Hall Architects, is located in Lanarkshire, Scotland
Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects, was completed in 2012
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Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects, was completed in 2012
Neo Bankside is a high-end luxury apartment building that's meant to seduce the wealthy into parting with their cash
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Neo Bankside is a high-end luxury apartment building that's meant to seduce the wealthy into parting with their cash
Located on the South Bank, right next to the Tate Modern, the building boasts 217 residential units
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Located on the South Bank, right next to the Tate Modern, the building boasts 217 residential units
If you fancy moving in yourself, it'll set you back from £5,950,000 ($9,292,894) for a penthouse unit
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If you fancy moving in yourself, it'll set you back from £5,950,000 ($9,292,894) for a penthouse unit
"This is high-quality housing you would be unlikely to see elsewhere in the world in the inner city – and it is ungated," notes RIBA
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"This is high-quality housing you would be unlikely to see elsewhere in the world in the inner city – and it is ungated," notes RIBA
MUMA extended the 19th Century Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, England
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MUMA extended the 19th Century Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, England
The Whitworth is one of the two projects not located in London (Maggie's Lanarkshire is the other)
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The Whitworth is one of the two projects not located in London (Maggie's Lanarkshire is the other)
It's located on Oxford Road, University of Manchester, England
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It's located on Oxford Road, University of Manchester, England
The building was completed this year
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The building was completed this year
The building has a total floorspace of 1856 sq m (19,977 sq ft)
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The building has a total floorspace of 1856 sq m (19,977 sq ft)
"This is not just conversion or adaptation of the existing, the new architecture emerges quite seamlessly as an integral yet individualistic part of the whole assembly," says RIBA
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"This is not just conversion or adaptation of the existing, the new architecture emerges quite seamlessly as an integral yet individualistic part of the whole assembly," says RIBA
The University of Greenwich project provides the main university library and the departments of Architecture, Landscape and Arts for the university
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The University of Greenwich project provides the main university library and the departments of Architecture, Landscape and Arts for the university
The project was completed last year
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The project was completed last year
The building is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Maritime Greenwich, London
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The building is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Maritime Greenwich, London
"A nicely done gallery addresses the street inviting the public in, as do the shop and café. This is a very public university building," says RIBA
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"A nicely done gallery addresses the street inviting the public in, as do the shop and café. This is a very public university building," says RIBA

The Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) has whittled down its selection of 37 National Awards winners to just six for this year's Stirling Prize Shortlist. An overall winner will be declared the best British building of 2015 later in the year, and receive the prestigious Stirling Prize.

While last year's list was defined by huge projects like Zaha Hadid's London Aquatics Center and Renzo Piano's Shard, this year's half-dozen is arguably mildly underwhelming in comparison. We're also surprised that critic favorite The Foundry, by Architecture 00, hasn't made the cut. That said, the list is still a good selection of UK architecture.

The six shortlisted projects are: Burntwood School, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Darbishire Place, by Niall McLaughlin Architects; Maggie's Lanarkshire, by Reiach and Hall Architects; Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects; University of Greenwich, by Heneghan Peng Architects; and The Whitworth Art Gallery, by MUMA.

All but one of the shortlisted projects are located in England (Maggie's Center is in Lanarkshire, Scotland), and four are in London (the other exception being Manchester's Whitworth art gallery).

"Internally the plan naturally invites you to use the stair – and what a stair: residents must feel a million dollars," says RIBA
"Internally the plan naturally invites you to use the stair – and what a stair: residents must feel a million dollars," says RIBA

Darbishire Place, by Niall McLaughlin Architects, is an attractive and affordable residential building located on the site of a former mansion that was destroyed in the Second World War by a German V-2 rocket. Completed last year for a budget of £23 million (roughly US$35 million), it includes 13 homes and a floorspace of around 1,084 sq m (11,668 sq ft).

The building's elegant styling impressed RIBA's judges, as did its considered layout, which enables most of the apartments within to feel relatively roomy.

"Internally the plan naturally invites you to use the stair – and what a stair: residents must feel a million dollars, like stars on an ocean liner, all graceful curves, an elegant swooping hand-rail and all that top-light," says RIBA.

Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects, was completed in 2012
Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects, was completed in 2012

Moving from one facet of the London housing market to another, Neo Bankside, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with John Robertson Architects, is a high-end luxury residential tower carefully designed to part the ultra-rich with their cash in return for what the developers reckon is one of the better views in London.

Completed in 2012, the apartment building boasts an exoskeleton frame and exterior elevators, and is located next to the Tate Modern on London's South Bank. It comprises 217 residential units, six of which are penthouses, and if you'd like to grab yourself a penthouse pad, prices start at £5,950,000 ($9,292,894).

"This is high-quality housing you would be unlikely to see elsewhere in the world in the inner city – and it is ungated," notes RIBA. "Overall the scheme has a scale and a richness that is appropriate to the practice and to this important part of London."

The total cost of the Burntwood School project came in at £40,900,000 ($63,833,526)
The total cost of the Burntwood School project came in at £40,900,000 ($63,833,526)

Burntwood School, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, was completed last year at a cost of £40,900,000 ($63,833,526), and comprises a total floorspace of 21,405 sq m (230,401 sq ft). Based in Wandsworth, London, the all-girls school is a secondary school and sixth form that has academy status.

Its angular, pre-cast concrete exterior contrasts with an airy interior that boasts large, light-filled spaces, in a way that the RIBA judges liken to an Ivy League college campus.

"The rooms are gracious and full of light, and there are many double, even triple-height spaces," says RIBA. "Internal corridors all end in well-framed views. This is education architecture as it should be."

Check out the gallery for a look at the rest of the entries, and we'll be back in October to report on the competition's overall winner.

Source: RIBA

3 comments
EH
These designs are somewhat less appalling than other modern architecture, but certainly not deserving of any award, and none of them reaches the attractiveness of the average building built in 1913, let alone those of that era with similar inflation-adjusted construction costs. I think an anti-award needs to be legislated to give prison terms to modern architects who perpetrate exceptionally oppressive and hideous designs. I blame the total lack of aesthetic sense and positive creativity of today's architects on their brainwashing in architecture schools. Current schools of architecture need to have their accreditation pulled and their faculty retrained in some more useful or at least less socially harmful trade, such as perhaps pimping or telemarketing.
Fairly Reasoner
Oh, my goodness. What a sad list from which to choose.
Alexander Lowe
It's curious that 'good architecture' in Britain still appears to include flat-roofed buildings for a northern temperate country with a famously wet climate.