Heritage Forum

Stirling shortlist for 2016 announced

Aug 17, 2016 | News

The Stirling Prize shortlist has just been announced, with the new hopefuls and previous winners on the list. Two of the buildings are at Oxford University and a third forms part of the City of Glasgow College. According to Riba’s (Royal Institute of British Architects) chairperson this is a clear indication that architecture’s great patrons of the past year came from the education sector.


The winner of this prize recognising architecture in England or by a British architect, will be announced on 6 October.

The shortlist:

  • Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. One of the first buildings visitors who enter the campus from the south will see, the importance of the iconic status is a very significant aspect. This, together with the terrain and the way in which it was decided to order the interior space contributed to the building’s form that reminds of a series of spheres. In the middle of this is the building’s ‘heart’, with circulation and meeting space – formal and informal. From this viewpoint the different storeys are treated as if a series of terraces.
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Architects: Herzog & de Meuron Location: Woodstock Rd, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6GG, UKPartners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge)Area9800.0 sqmProject  Year2015Photographs – Iwan Baan

  • City of Glasgow College, Riverside campus. Architects: Michael Laird Architects + Reiach and Hall Architects. Consisting of two blocks, one for classrooms and workshops, the other for a dormitory, this building is, according to the judges, one of very few in Glasgow – known for its architecture – that engages with the river Clyde. The design reminds one of an office building in Chicago or New York early in the previous century – without the height, but with the clean, simple lines of the skyscrapers of back then. It houses large simulators and machines – a part the nautical studies course is taught here – but it never loses its human scale.

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  • Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London. Architects: Caruso St John Architects. While the inclusion of this building did not come as a surprise, the building itself did surprise friend and foe when it was opened. The architects are known in Britain for their work in the art world. But in this case their client far outshone them – nobody else than the ‘troubled spirit’ of British art, Damien Hirst. A stately, at times even inconspicuous, brick building with simple white exhibition space. The restaurant, however, is typical Hirst and described by the Guardian as ‘typical Nineties, as if the recession never happened’.
 Tasteful terrace … Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall shows he’s grown up. Photograph: Prudence Cuming/NPSG

Tasteful terrace … Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall shows he’s grown up. Photograph: Prudence Cuming/NPSG

  • Outhouse, Gloucestershire. Architects: Loyn & Co Architects. The only house on this year’s shortlist. A rectangular concrete house bedded into the earth and with beautiful views of the surroundings. The side of the house that includes a workshop has a grass-covered roof.


  • Trafalgar Place, Elephant and Castle, London. Architects: dRMM Architects. The area where this housing complex is situated was very badly damaged during WW2. The building work that followed mainly focused on the motorcar and lead to a very harsh environment. This development, the first in a series to give the area a new lease on life, consists of about 230 flats of which a quarter are destined for low-income households. The grown trees on the terrain as well as the real effort to create a people-friendly (instead of motor-friendly) environment, makes this a very accessible development.
photo : Thomas Etchells

photo : Thomas Etchells

  • Weston Library, Oxford University. Architects: WilkinsonEyre. The only building on the shortlist that is not all new-built. The New Bodleian library was designed by the well-known Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s – not his most inspiring work. The Independent describes it as ‘sort of classical, sort of modernist, sort of Arts and Crafts, sort of prison block’. WilkinsonEyre, who shot to fame with their design for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge – 2001’s Stirling winner – are modernists and this is how they approached this project. Everything that was uncertain, not sure, open for interpretation had to make way for a new library, to be known as the Weston. In a very sensible way the modern building shows sensitivity to that which is old. And therein lies the success of the project.
Shelf life: Oxford’s new Weston Library Ben Bisek

Shelf life: Oxford’s new Weston Library Ben Bisek

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