Notes to editors
For further press information and full citations please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office – firstname.lastname@example.org
or 020 7307 3813/07805 173681
Images of all the shortlisted buildings are available via this link:
The RIBA Stirling Prize is the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. It is given to the architect of the building thought to be the most significant of the year for the evolution of architecture and the built environment. For detailed information about the RIBA Stirling Prize and its history, go to www.architecture.com/ribastirlingprize.
The shortlisted buildings will be judged on a range of criteria including design vision, innovation and originality, capacity to stimulate engage and delight occupants and visitors, accessibility and sustainability, how fit the building is for its purpose and the level of client satisfaction.
Judges citations for each shortlisted building are included below :
The Hepworth Wakefield
Gallery Walk, Wakefield
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Client: Wakefield Council
Structural Engineer: Ramboll UK
Services Engineer: Ramboll UK
Contractor: Laing O'Rourke Northern Limited
Contract Value: £22.8 million
Gross internal area: 5,232 sq m
Date of completion: May 2011
On arrival you are drawn across an elegant bridge surrounded by strange river craft and motley industrial buildings. The gallery works beautifully with this varied and gritty context, both suggesting it belongs and at the same time is something rather special. Its scale changes as you approach and enter it, big and dramatic where it needs to be, but welcoming where it doesn't. The carefully cast dusky mauve concrete forms make you want to stroke them as you get closer.
What appears to be a fairly random set of boxes in plan soon reveals its logic inside, with the shop, cafe, education room and offices on the ground floor radiating out from the entrance space. In the first floor galleries the circulation pattern changes subtly from radiating to radial as the promenade takes you through a series of galleries with deep walls concealing the ventilation services.
The galleries are daylight through slit rooflights and carefully placed windows which frame views of Hemsley Moor, the Town Hall, the Weir and the Chapel on the Bridge.
The building gives a sense of being made specifically for the work of Hepworth whilst at the same time being very much of Yorkshire, grounded and granite like. An affirming project on every level.
London Olympic Stadium
Queen Elizabeth Park, London E20
Client: Olympic Delivery Authority
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Services engineer: Buro Happold
Quality surveyor: Arcadis and CLM
Landscape architect: Hyland Edgar
Acoustics consultants: Vanguardia
Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
Gross Internal Area: 46,830
Contract Value: Confidential
Date of completion: March 2012
Central to the vision for 2012 London Games is to create facilities that provide not only world class venues but also form a legacy of sustainable facilities for future use by the City.
The design of the new Stadium embraces this ambition, creating a world class venue seating 80,000 spectators for the main track and field events and ceremonies, which is then capable of being transformed into a smaller scale venue. The design clearly expresses the main elements of the stadium, distinguishing between the white main structural elements, the black secondary structures and the precast concrete of the seating tiers and plinth to create a striking and legible ensemble. The demountable nature of the structures is expressed through the simple and elegant detailing of its many connections and components.
The organisation focuses very much around the ease of movement of the large numbers of people who will use the stadium during the Games. Spectators approach and move into the building from an arrival plinth that screens all of the ‘back of house’ activities below and enables level access around the full perimeter of the stadium. The bowl of the stadium provides for clear sightlines throughout and a surprisingly intimate relationship with the events for a venue of this scale.
Architect: O’Donnell + Tuomey
Client: Lyric Theatre
Contractor: Glibert Ash
Structural Engineer: Horgan Lynch
Services Engineer: IN2 Engineering
Cost: £18 million
Gross internal area: 5,026 sq m
Date of completion: May 2011
On a steeply sloping river frontage within a tightly-knit area of brick terrace houses the new Lyric Theatre is a striking new home for a theatre with a unique status in Belfast – this is Northern Ireland’s only repertory theatre. The architects respond to the considerable design challenges of its location with gusto. This is a public facility in a domestic environment and requires large volumes to accommodate the auditorium, studio and rehearsal room; it meets that challenge admirably. The line of brick terraces seems to flow into the façade, drawing the visitors inside and upward.
The theatre is modest and self-confident, deferential and assertive. The dramatic entry stairs, the areas for gathering, the tactility of the fittings all lead to the enveloping, dark and dramatic space of the timber-lined, intimate 380 seat auditorium. The quality of the interior spaces, its sensitive response to a challenging site and the expansion of the Lyric’s ability to function literally behind the scenes make this a stunning accomplishment and a pleasure to spend time in. In its acoustics, in the quality of its backstage as well as its front of house facilities the new Lyric has drawn praise from many international performers and given Northern Ireland a national theatre of its own.
The building culminates in the fourth annexe, a ‘sky pavilion’ lifted above the cubic office volume to create a rooftop loggia and garden. This disengaged volume contains a series of meeting, dining and function rooms offering panoramic views across the City.
Client: Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust
Structural engineer: Sinclair Knight Merz
Services engineer: KJ Tait engineers
Landscape: Lily Jencks with Harrison Stevens
Contract value: Confidential
Date of completion: October 2011
Glasgow’s new Maggie’s Centre, like its sister projects, sets out to provide space where people can feel welcome, at home and cared for; a haven. The architect has sited the building on a slight rise, but cleverly cut it into the slope so that on two sides it looks at banked landscape. It is mostly surrounded by fairly dense tree planting, like a large cabin in the woods.
The entrance space reveals that the single-storey building is a doughnut with a fully-glazed internal walls overlooking a grassy mound. Simultaneously one is aware of a series of interlocking rectangular spaces that lead away in a jagged circle, giving a sense of permeability and promenade and most-tellingly avoiding that bane of hospital architecture – the corridor.
At the same time, there are a number of spaces for personal privacy and interaction, discrete counselling rooms or private nooks and corners, some of which have involved local artist/artisan design and fabrication. Generally there is a surprisingly rich variety of materials and skills on display here, with a particularly pleasing flush inlaid timber/concrete ceiling.
The plan looks haphazard, even chaotic, and there is a medley of different spaces and materials, but this is a masterful composition of highly-efficient spaces.
New Court St Swithin's Lane London EC4
Architect: OMA with Allies & Morrison
Contractor Lend Lease
Structural Engineer: Arup
Services Engineer: Arup
Fit-out architect Pringle Brandon
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Landscape: Charles Funke Associates/Inside Outside
Gross Internal Area: 19,125 sq m
Contract Value: Confidential
Date of Completion: October 2012
This new corporate headquarters, the fourth iteration of the Rothschild’s London home since 1809, consolidates the Bank’s previously dispersed facilities within one building but also makes a number of important urban moves. It reinstates the historic visual connection between St Swithin’s and Christopher Wren’s neighbouring Church of St Stephen Walbrook, hidden from public view by the previous New Court developments.
The new building is organised into a central cube surrounded by three adjoining annexes and a rooftop tower. It is lifted on pilotis above street level to allow views of church and churchyard through a covered entrance square. This sequence of new public realm and vistas gives a quiet public presence to this previously private institution.
The attention to detail and combination of materials used throughout the building gives a sense of understated elegance. This is heightened by the considered contrast of carefully displayed original artefacts alongside the quirky use of super-scale graphics drawn from the Rothschild’s collection of fine and decorative arts.
Bateman Street, Cambridge
Architect: Stanton Williams
Client: University of Cambridge
Structural Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
Services Engineer: Arup
Contractor: Kier Regional
Contract Value: £69.0m
Gross internal area: 11,000 sq m
Date of completion: January 2011
An architectural promenade forms the heart of a building which celebrates botanical research through interaction, communication and a connection with nature. From the front to the back, the building progresses from a grand, colonnaded façade to an open balcony and glazed public café, set within a Botanic Garden.
At ground level the entrance gently ramps down through the auditorium and meeting areas. At the upper level the scientists work on illuminated stages, with research and write-up areas forming the ends of two promenades, flanked by small spontaneous brainstorming spaces.
Sustainability through flexibility in long-term use is achieved through an adaptable façade behind the limestone pillar façade, enabling the research spaces to grow and change as required by the scientists. Despite the high energy demands of laboratories, the building has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating, aided by 1000 square metres of photovoltaic panels and extensive natural lighting even in the laboratories. These top-lit labs are arranged on one floor in an L-shape, encouraging interaction between scientists.
This building is an exciting new typology, with spaces for research juxtaposed with those for education, the private and the public and the highly-technological nurture of nature with the simple enjoyment of an extended botanic garden.
The Observer, published by Guardian News & Media, is the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper. It is celebrated around the world for its journalistic excellence, liberal values and vigorous campaigning across a wide range of issues www.observer.co.uk.
6. Established in 1895, The Architects' Journal has consistently been at the forefront of architectural publishing. Its weekly news coverage, comprehensive building studies and in-depth technical and practice features make it essential reading for the profession, and its incisive commentary makes it a must-read for opinion formers. The AJ is the UK's leading independent architectural magazine, whose authoritative voice has informed generations of architects. For more information on the RIBA Awards programme visit the AJ website at www.architectsjournal.co.uk.
7. The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. www.architecture.com.