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RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2011 Announced - ArtLyst Article image

RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2011 Announced

22-07-2011
 
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The RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 is the UK's most prestigious architecture prize. Every year it is presented to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year. The prize is for projects 'built or designed in Britain'. Buildings are eligible if they are in the UK or European Union by an architect whose head office is in the UK. The prize was set up in 1996 and is named after the great British architect Sir James Stirling (1926 - 1992). It is presented in association with The Architects' Journal and Benchmark, and the winning architect receives a cash prize of £20,000.

This year is the first time the shortlist includes practices who have all previously been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize; and also includes two RIBA Stirling Prize winners: David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects. To reach the RIBA Stirling shortlist, the RIBA Awards Group study the recent RIBA Award winners and produce a list of the best buildings. This is based on reports from the juries that visited them in the earlier stage. The Awards Group go on to visit all UK based buildings (as EU visits have already taken place). Listed below are all the buildings that were chosen for this stage and competed for the final six places: The winner will announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize dinner on Saturday 1 October 2011. This year's venue is Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham, winner of the 2001 RIBA Stirling Prize. The ceremony will be broadcast on a special edition of BBC Two's The Culture Show, presented by Kevin McCloud.          

Evelyn Grace Academy - Architect: Zaha Hadid had a complex brief: four schools under a single academy umbrella and the consequent dichotomy of having to express both independence and unity. Curiously for a school whose speciality is sport, the site lacks any opportunity for significant outdoor sport but the architects have responded with guile and intelligence. The project is distinguished by its planning not its form of expression; its saltire plan solving the multiple demands of site and usage in a manner that seems effortless.Internally the academy is a functional modern school, with occasional spatial moments as reminders that this is real architecture, though not in any way at the expense of utility or value. And it makes kids run to get into school in the morning - what free school is going to do that?

Allford Hall - Architect: Monaghan Morris:
This speculative office space redefines the sector. The building is extremely well made and resolved, offering an idea of how building and working in the city might become a more dignified act.The new building retains the original structure while infilling much of the old courtyard and adding new office and retail girth around its perimeter, thereby both unlocking the development and making it more intimate with the surrounding streets. The entry sequence, with publicly accessible cafe and lounge, sets new standards for civilised explorations of the atrium form and for the animation of a commercial ground floor. A magnificent polished black gestural sculptural piece by McChesney Architects, 'Out of the strong came sweetness', adds drama and counterpoint to the Kahnian gravitas.

An Gaelaras  - Architect: O'Donnell + Tuomey
designed as a cultural centre for the Irish language on an unprepossessing narrow landlocked site in Derry, is a sculptural intervention with an intriguing vortex plan that draws the visitor inwards and upwards. The only façade and the internal courtyard structure are both of high quality boardmarked concrete, evoking a sense of the scale of the neighbouring brickwork. It lends the interior a sense of gravitas that sanctions the use of cheaper materials elsewhere, such as plywood and painted plaster. Walkways, stairs and handrails are painted in red oxide paint and these, together with the yellow window frames influenced by the yellow of scaffolding poles and blue painted walls that bring in the sky, mark out various elements in an architectural code.
               
Folkwang Museum - Architect: David Chipperfield  is a breathtakingly accomplished design. Located in Essen, in the far from rural Ruhr, it extends a beautiful late-1950s Miesian museum, developing the principles established by the existing structure, much as a jazz musician might riff on the tune of a classic song. The result is a genuinely uplifting, light-filled public space, offering a serene and yet mesmeric mixture of inward-looking courtyards and external views out. Its external cladding is of large panels of crushed recycled glass, giving a shimmering translucent finish, reminiscent of alabaster. Inside, carefully detailed top-lighting systems in the galleries blend natural and artificial light. In the large, flexible temporary exhibition space, they have co-ordinated the lighting grid with a bespoke partitioning system than can easily be assembled and remounted to meet the requirements for each show.

Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres - Architect: Bennetts Associates The brief called for the retention of Elizabeth Scott's grade II* listed theatre facade and foyer and the rebuilding of the larger theatre to form a new 1,000 seat thrust-stage auditorium, plus new facilities for actors and audience, all within a new urban masterplan.The architects' overall planning is thoughtful and cohesive. This is best shown in the formation of the new lobby, the arrangements for delivery of sets to the stage, the opening up of the path to the riverside and finally the new tower that works both as marker and viewing platform. The main auditorium has a Globe-like feel to it and an exciting atmosphere. It is historic in its references, contemporary in its design. This is a good working theatre, not a precious one. 
The Velodrome - Architect: Hopkins Architects, Quietly located to the north of the Olympic masterplan, the Velodrome exudes an aura of elegance and simplicity. The very form of the building signals the track: a continuous, sinuous shape that seems to explain the movement of the event itseThe building is made of three elements: the concourse, the plinth and the roof. The glazed concourse separates the curve of the larch-clad roof soffit and the concrete and landscaping of the plinth. The plinth contains all the service areas and the entrance. The cable net roof seems to hang in space detached from the ground, sitting low over the track, adding drama and focus to the event.The building is a consummate exercise in a simple idea, beautifully, efficiently and gracefully carried out.


The Velodrome - Architect: Hopkins Architects
, Quietly located to the north of the Olympic masterplan, the Velodrome exudes an aura of elegance and simplicity. The very form of the building signals the track: a continuous, sinuous shape that seems to explain the movement of the event itseThe building is made of three elements: the concourse, the plinth and the roof. The glazed concourse separates the curve of the larch-clad roof soffit and the concrete and landscaping of the plinth. The plinth contains all the service areas and the entrance. The cable net roof seems to hang in space detached from the ground, sitting low over the track, adding drama and focus to the event.The building is a consummate exercise in a simple idea, beautifully, efficiently and gracefully carried out.

Photo:  Evelyn Grace Academy - Architect: Zaha Hadid              

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