Architecture

Six buildings battle it out for Britain's top architecture prize

Six buildings battle it out fo...
Tintagel Castle Footbridge was designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates and is located in Cornwall. The project is one of six to feature in the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist
Tintagel Castle Footbridge was designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates and is located in Cornwall. The project is one of six to feature in the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist
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Cambridge Central Mosque was designed by Marks Barfield Architects and hosts 1,000 worshipers in a beautiful new mosque that takes its place well within a low rise, residential neighborhood
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Cambridge Central Mosque was designed by Marks Barfield Architects and hosts 1,000 worshipers in a beautiful new mosque that takes its place well within a low rise, residential neighborhood
Key Worker Housing was designed by Stanton Williams and is located in Cambridge. It consists of 264 worker homes, as well as generous social spaces and retail facilities
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Key Worker Housing was designed by Stanton Williams and is located in Cambridge. It consists of 264 worker homes, as well as generous social spaces and retail facilities
Kingston University London – Town House was designed by Grafton Architects and is located in London. The project creates a new dance studio and library in the university
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Kingston University London – Town House was designed by Grafton Architects and is located in London. The project creates a new dance studio and library in the university
Tintagel Castle Footbridge was designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates and is located in Cornwall. The project is one of six to feature in the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist
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Tintagel Castle Footbridge was designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates and is located in Cornwall. The project is one of six to feature in the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist
Windermere Jetty Museum was designed by Carmody Groarke. The multi-building project creates a new museum on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere
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Windermere Jetty Museum was designed by Carmody Groarke. The multi-building project creates a new museum on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere
15 Clerkenwell Close, by Groupwork, is a beautifully realized seven-story building in London that serves as the architects' own home and workplace
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15 Clerkenwell Close, by Groupwork, is a beautifully realized seven-story building in London that serves as the architects' own home and workplace
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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has unveiled the six shortlisted projects vying for the most prestigious prize in UK architecture, the Stirling Prize. Highlights include a footbridge that doesn't quite meet in the middle and a mosque with a stunning timber interior.

The six finalists were chosen from the 52 winners of RIBA's recent National Awards. Its judges will now decide which one of those half dozen will then become the 25th Stirling Prize winner, with the results announced on October 14.

"The 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist demonstrates the innovation and ambition that lies at the heart of exceptional architecture," says RIBA President Simon Allford. "From a busy city mosque in Cambridge to a remote coastal bridge in Cornwall, the six projects vary tremendously in their location and use – but they are united in their ingenuity and creativity, their consideration of their local environment and historical context, and their use of high-quality materials. In their architects' attention to detail, and their clients' tenacity and commitment, these six projects set themselves apart."

A total of 40,000 hand-cut locally-sourced slate tiles were used to construct Tintagel Castle footbridge
A total of 40,000 hand-cut locally-sourced slate tiles were used to construct Tintagel Castle footbridge

Tintagel Castle footbridge, by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates, is a new footbridge in Cornwall that improves access to a ruined castle dating back to the 13th century. Structurally, it actually consists of two sections of bridge that don't meet in the middle. The small gap at the center of the bridge ensures it doesn't come under undue stress.

Cambridge Central Mosque was designed by Marks Barfield Architects and hosts 1,000 worshipers in a beautiful new mosque that takes its place well within a low rise, residential neighborhood
Cambridge Central Mosque was designed by Marks Barfield Architects and hosts 1,000 worshipers in a beautiful new mosque that takes its place well within a low rise, residential neighborhood

Though its exterior is relatively modest, those who venture inside Marks Barfield Architects' Cambridge Central Mosque will find a stunning place of worship. The light-filled space is defined by a series of timber 'trees,' which provide structural support for the roof and skylights.

Kingston University London – Town House was designed by Grafton Architects and is located in London. The project creates a new dance studio and library in the university
Kingston University London – Town House was designed by Grafton Architects and is located in London. The project creates a new dance studio and library in the university

As you'd expect from the Pritzker Prize-winning Grafton Architects, the Kingston University London - Town House is defined by its superb use of concrete – in particular the detailing of its exposed concrete frame. The building serves as both a dance studio and library, and it has achieved the BREEAM Excellent green building standard for its energy efficient operation.

Windermere Jetty Museum was designed by Carmody Groarke. The multi-building project creates a new museum on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere
Windermere Jetty Museum was designed by Carmody Groarke. The multi-building project creates a new museum on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere

Cumbria's Windermere Jetty Museum, by Carmody Groarke, hosts exhibition spaces containing steam launches, motorboats, yachts and other vessels. The museum is made up of multiple buildings that are designed to look like boat sheds and take their place remarkably well next to the shore. The interiors provide light-filled spaces thanks to generous skylights.

15 Clerkenwell Close, by Groupwork, is a beautifully realized seven-story building in London that serves as the architects' own home and workplace
15 Clerkenwell Close, by Groupwork, is a beautifully realized seven-story building in London that serves as the architects' own home and workplace

15 Clerkenwell Close, by Groupwork, is a seven-story building in London. Much of the building is taken up by apartments, but there's also a double-height architect's studio on the ground and basement levels, as well as the architect's own home on the top floor. The building is clad in limestone and has different finishes, in some parts smooth and other parts very rough and unfinished.

Key Worker Housing was designed by Stanton Williams and is located in Cambridge. It consists of 264 worker homes, as well as generous social spaces and retail facilities
Key Worker Housing was designed by Stanton Williams and is located in Cambridge. It consists of 264 worker homes, as well as generous social spaces and retail facilities

Key Worker Housing in Cambridge, by Stanton Williams, is a new housing development for the University of Cambridge that consists of a total of 264 affordable homes for university staff, with carefully designed landscaping providing generous outdoor space. The project features rainwater recycling systems and its retail units and non-residential spaces were built to the BREEAM Excellent green building standard.

Source: RIBA

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5 comments
5 comments
MichaelStevensonc2504af27a7c4b68
Wow — I'm really sorry to see these monstrosities touted as anything other than targets for new-and-more-elegant design opportunities! A couple of nice ones in the list, certainly, but most of these have an incredibly dated, blocky, bureaucratic feel to them. Sad to see, but then the Edsel won lots of "awards" for design, too.
CAVUMark
The bridge is quite elegant, very nice lines. Slate tile for the walkway...?? That must be the new lightweight composite faux tile. Or the designer just went "big n heavy".
PassingBy2
That mosque interior is simply exquisite..
A chippies nightmare to put together I suspect, although I guess each segment could have been CNC cut.
Even so . . .
ljaques
Love the footbridge. Flush the rest. QUICKLY, please!
Unsold
@CAVUMark - I suspect the slate is some flexible ballast. Coastal location = high winds. Wouldn't want the pedestrians popped and snapped into the void.