The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for this year's Stirling Prize, with six finalists now vying for the most prestigious award in British architecture. Those in the running to be crowned the best building in the UK include a Jewish cemetery, cost-effective student housing and a reconfigured art gallery built into a coastal hillside.
Each year the RIBA's Stirling Prize highlights outstanding examples of architecture across the UK. Last year's shortlist featured a new campus at Glasgow College, an industrial-flavored photographer's studio and an apartment building bathed in natural light, with the rebuilt Hastings Pier taking top honors. This year's shortlist offers a similarly diverse set of structures.
"Years of thoughtful design, collaborative working and a desire to nurture the human spirit has resulted in six buildings of real integrity and purpose," said RIBA President Ben Derbyshire. "I am sure they will continue to inspire those who experience them, for decades to come."
Here are the six finalists in no particular order, with the winner to be announced on October 10. To see the shortlisted buildings from all angles, have a flick through our 2018 Stirling Prize photo gallery.
Bloomberg, London, by Foster + Partners
Bloomberg's new office in London covers an entire block in the English capital and accommodates all of the company's employees under the same roof for the first time. Externally, the architects have tried to create "a dialogue" with some of the older adjacent buildings. Inside, workspaces are set in clusters that can be accessed via a wonderful walkway that winds upwards from the building's center.
Bushey Cemetery, by Waugh Thistleton Architect
The design of this cemetery and prayer center is driven heavily by ideals of the Jewish faith. The cluster of ceremonial halls feature rammed earth walls that will be dismantled and the materials returned to the ground when the facility is inevitably extended. The plainness of the building is in keeping with Jewish burial traditions involving simple clothes and coffins.
Chadwick Hall, by Henley Halebrown
This new student accommodation at the University of Roehampton comprises 210 en-suite bedrooms spread across three buildings. Described by the jury as "timeless architecture," the materials used consist mainly of dark reddish brown bricks and precast concrete, with tall windows allowing plenty of natural light into the student's bedrooms. The site also features a restored historic sunken garden, with the buildings arranged around its edges to form an outdoor "theatre for the students' social life."
New Tate St Ives, by Jamie Fobert Architects with Evans & Shalev
Tate St Ives is an art gallery on the hilly south west coast of England, and this recent extension and reconfiguration aims to take full advantage of its picturesque surroundings. A new pedestrian walkway connects the hilltop to the beach below, inviting passersby to check in and enjoy the exhibits. The new underground gallery spaces are lit from the top down, where sunlight pours through the glass and granite roof built into the hillside and supported by exposed concrete beams.
Storey's Field Centre and Eddington Nursery, by MUMA LLP
This remarkable new building commissioned by the University of Cambridge is a town hall, wedding venue, concert hall, funeral home and children's nursery in one. The Community Hall features tall windows that allow an abundance of natural light inside, while the patterned brick facade is lined with outdoor seating to facilitate friendly conversation. The small windows in the adjacent nursery arranged as constellations of stars are a nice touch, too.
The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, by Niall McLaughlin Architects
This new teaching facility sits on the edge of a pristine cricket ground at Worcester College and comprises a dance studio, seminar rooms, auditorium and spacious central foyer. With high ceilings and abundant sunlight, the structure leans heavily on the use of natural materials, with huge elements like oak doors for the auditorium and huge smooth stone panes giving it a clean yet striking aesthetic.
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