Six projects will be competing for the 2017 Stirling Prize, the most coveted prize for architecture in the United Kingdom. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) gives this award to the building “that has made the biggest contribution to the evolution of architecture in a given year.”
The finalists are selected from the list of national award winners.
According to RIBA’s president, Jane Duncan, the buildings are products of their time with nothing superfluous in the design. “Commissioned at the end of the recession, they are an accolade to a creative profession at the top of its game. Each of these outstanding projects has transformed their local area and delights those who are lucky enough to visit, live, study or work in them.”
The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced on October 31st.
The buildings on the shortlist are:
Barrett’s Grove by Groupwork + Amin Taha
Barrett’s Grove is an apartment block built with, said the judges, “the fairy-tale materials of brick, wood and straw.” The quality and workmanship of the finishes were commended and the building itself described to rather be “a large house split into many homes” than a block of apartments. The building’s exterior is a patterned brick design with wickerwork balconies.
British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Built in Bloomsbury, London, as part of the British Museum, the complexity of the brief and the clever way in which the spatial challenges, technical requirements, and engineering technologies were addressed, were commented on. Five functions five – a new exhibition gallery, laboratories and conservation studios, storage, and facilities to support the Museum’ logistical requirements and loans programme – are located in five vertically linked pavilions.
Command of the Oceans by Baynes and Mitchell Architects
A visitor’s centre new entrance to a group of historic buildings, the building’s striking difference from the existing, immediately catches the eye. However, the dissimilarity in material used, colour and even roof pitch does not overshadow the historic buildings. The judges remarked: “The modest entrance is immediately obvious to the visitor on arrival in the large car park, which sits above the old mast pond; and yet in certain lights it seems to disappear and becomes very much subservient to the adjacent listed structures.” The building was also awarded the RIBA South East Conservation Award 2017 for the sensitive way in which it deals with the existing buildings and the “deep understanding of the historical significance of this group of buildings.”
City of Glasgow College – City Campus by Reiach & Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects
City Campus is one of two new campuses for the City of Glasgow College. City Campus is more than 60 000m2 in size and brings together six major faculties in 300 high-tech classrooms, multi-purpose lecture theatres and specialist teaching facilities. A very challenging brief, the judges were impressed by the “considerable architectural skill is demonstrated in its realisation; not just in resolving the brief, but in the contribution to the city – in massing, composition and the generosity of the public route through the grand stepped atrium space. This architectural skill extends beyond the cityscape through to the detailed care taken in the organisation of student spaces, encouraging social interaction across disciplines, to the considered approach to materials and detailing.”
Hastings Pier by dRMM Architects
The judges said: “It has taken a seven-year heroic collaboration to turn a smouldering pier in disrepair and decline into a vibrant public space with a palpable sense of ownership. This collaboration has been between the community, the Council, the engineers and the architect and it is the architect’s vision which has been vital throughout to steer the process. After extensive stakeholder consultation, it was clear to dRMM that the pier would be expected to host many different populist scenarios.” To satisfy so many different stakeholders, all with very different expectations, “lateral thinking was required”. Moreover, the project was paid for through crowd funding, a process the architects where involved with.
Photography Studio for Juergen Teller by 6a architects
The project comprises three buildings: a new studio, offices and archive. The brief asked for light-filled, flexible, informal and welcoming spaces, as required by the photographer it was built for. The long and narrow plot led to a design where north light is introduced through roof lights and three courtyard gardens. “Detailing throughout is exquisite; from the in-situ concrete of the finely formed stairs, to the seamless brass balustrades. Large but delicately beaded timber window frames, add refinement to an otherwise minimal material palette. The building is an exemplar of fabric first and low energy design. The integration of services is expertly handled,” the judges found.