Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Australia by Grimshaw (working within the Grimshaw Jackson Joint Venture) has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize, supported by The Architectural Review, for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the UK and the European Union by an RIBA member.
The presentation of the prestigious Lubetkin Prize formed the climax of the RIBA National and International Awards dinner and ceremony, held at the London Hilton Hotel tonight (Friday 22 June 2007), during Architecture Week. Winners of the RIBA National Awards and RIBA European Awards were also announced at the ceremony.
The prize is named after the world-renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990). Lubetkin's daughter Sasha presented the winning architects with a unique cast concrete plaque, based loosely on her father's design for the Penguin Pool at London Zoo, commissioned by the RIBA and designed and made by the artist Petr Weigl.
Speaking about the building, the Lubetkin Prize judges said:
"The station is simply a big roof over a complex piece of transport infrastructure, but really its vocation is as a civic structure. It is a point of entry to the city and, critically, it makes a space connecting the new and the old parts of the town.
"The roof itself makes much of building physics. It is possible to describe the project in terms of structural forces, prevailing winds and the ventilation of diesel fumes. These environmental and structural issues are solved with great skill and they provide a fairly convincing narrative to justify the cheerful, wavy roof form. Its real significance lies in the fact that it makes a good space beneath and an extraordinary undulating landscape above."
Southern Cross Station beat off stiff competition from two other outstanding international buildings, Des Moines Public Library, Iowa, USA by David Chipperfield Architects and Hearst Tower, New York, USA by Foster & Partners.
The three shortlisted buildings were seen by a visiting jury of Niall McLaughlin, architect and chair of the RIBA Awards Group and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards, who reported to the full jury which included architects; RIBA President Jack Pringle, Edward Jones and Joanna van Heyningen.
The Associate Sponsors of the RIBA National and International Awards are Faststream Recruitment Limited and Ibstock, with support from Hobs Reprographics. The Architects' Journal is Media Partner with The Architectural Review Media Partner for the International Awards.