Six stunning projects vying for UK's most prestigious architecture prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced its selection of projects for the 2019 Stirling Prize shortlist. Highlights include an impressively sustainable house made from cork, a gorgeous green-roofed whisky distillery, and an opera that has been sympathetically installed within a 17th century stable.
The six finalists were chosen from the National Awards revealed last month and will eventually be whittled down to the Stirling Prize winner on October 8. Recent winners of the most prestigious award in British architecture have included Bloomberg HQ, Hastings Pier, and the Newport Street Gallery.
"The RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist epitomizes the enviable global reputation of UK architecture," says RIBA President Ben Derbyshire. "These six buildings could hardly be more diverse in typology and scale – from a rustic stable block-turned-theater to a vast national railway station. But what they have in common – ground-breaking innovation, extraordinary creativity and the highest quality materials and detailing – sets them apart, rightfully earning them a chance to win the highest accolade in architecture."
Cork House, by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, in partnership with The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, is a sustainable home in Eton that's almost entirely constructed from a by-product from the cork stopper industry. The interior looks comfortable and light-filled thanks to several large skylights and despite its unusual looks, the home takes its place very well within the grounds of a listed 18th century mill.
The London Bridge Station, by Grimshaw, is a massive project that improves rail connectivity across a swathe of England, from Norfolk to the south coast. The creation of the new station concourse involved the recycling of old bricks and the repurposing of original Victorian-era railway arches. Pavements have been widened, accessibility has been improved, and dark, confined areas have been opened up into large light-filled spaces.
Two-time Stirling Prize winner Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Macallan New Distillery and Visitor Experience triples capacity for the Scottish single malt whisky producer on the same estate used by the firm since 1824. The stunning building is topped by a large undulating timber roof that's covered in greenery to help it blend into the landscape. The roof is very complex and consists of 1,800 timber beams and 380,000 individual components.
Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley's Goldsmith Street is a social housing development that's also a triumph of sustainable design. Consisting of over a hundred homes in Norwich, each has been built to the stringent Passivhaus standard, which favors high levels of air-tightness and insulation to offer impressive energy-efficiency. The use of modern brick, black glazed roof tiles, and perforated metal louvers help lend a contemporary feel to the project.
The Nevill Holt Opera, by Witherford Watson Mann Architects is an opera house in Leicestershire. The project is installed within a 17th century stable yard of Nevill Holt Hall, a listed building that itself dates back to before 1300. The architects have done a wonderful job adding the new addition to the old building tastefully and the intimate performance space with its palette of dark stained wood and board-marked concrete seems like it really does belong.
The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, by Feilden Fowles Architects, is located in the grounds of Bretton Hall, an 18th century country park estate. The Sculpture Park itself opened in the 1970s and the new Weston addition provides a much needed visitor center and gallery. The building is part concrete and also takes the form of a glazed timber-framed pavilion that offers panoramic views across the landscape.
Head to the gallery to see more information and images of each of the half dozen projects shortlisted for the 2019 Stirling Prize.