Damien Hirst’s Amazing Newport Street Gallery Wins Riba Stirling Prize 2016
The Gallery remodeled from three listed Victorian industrial buildings and the building of two new ones in Vauxhall was shortlisted in the Spring and has now taken the top prize. Architects Caruso St John was also shortlisted in 2000 and 2006. The Building's floors are connected by spiral staircases with walls made of white brick. Jane Duncan, Riba president, revealed the winner at a ceremony in London
The Stirling Prize judges called the work "a bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture".
"Caruso St John's approach to conservation is irreverent yet sensitive and achieves a clever solution that expresses a poetic juxtaposition of old and new”.
"The collection of buildings is beautifully curated, pulled together by the use of brick yet still expressive of their individuality. The playful use of LED technology gives a contemporary addition to the facade. "Internally, the five buildings are connected as a continuous and coherent sequence of light-filled gallery spaces. The simple and logical circulation is enlivened by exquisitely detailed and sensuous staircases.” The judging panel - which included Rachel Whiteread, the first woman to win the Turner Prize - said the gallery was "a generous asset to an evolving community”.
Jane Duncan, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), praised Hirst for making "an exceptional contribution to the UK's strong history of private patronage of architecture”. She said: "Not only has Damien opened up his enviable private art collection to the world, but he has commissioned a real work of art to house it in.
"Caruso St John have created a stunningly versatile space from a number of linked buildings, with beautifully crafted staircases and superb details including tactile brick facades that blend with the street externally and create a succession of wonderful gallery spaces.
"This project exemplifies the best of UK architecture - a highly considered and creative project that brings to life a previously unloved pocket of the city."
Hirst said he was "immensely proud " of the gallery and the gallery had "realised his ambition to create an unobtrusive and beautiful series of buildings that work perfectly as a space to exhibit great art"."I am immensely proud of what we achieved and the reaction it has received in its first year of opening," he added.
"It's rare for architects to be given the opportunity to realise a personal vision of the quality of the Newport Street Gallery, and for that vision to have a generous public dimension," said Peter St John of Caruso St John.
"We see the building as a palace for direct, intimate and luxurious encounters with contemporary art, and we are very pleased that this award will bring more people to see this extraordinary collection."
A partly underground house, three educational buildings, and a London estate redevelopment were also shortlisted for this year's prize.