RIBA announces shortlist for Stephen Lawrence Prize

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) today announces the shortlist for the Stephen Lawrence Prize - an award that recognises fresh talent and smaller construction budgets.

Drawn from RIBA award-winning buildings presented earlier this year, the winner will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize party on Thursday 26 September in London.

The Stephen Lawrence Prize, sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million. The prize, set up in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993, is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets. The judges included for this year’s prize were: Baronness Lawrence; Marco Goldschmied, architect and Mary Duggan, architect and winner of the 2012 RIBA Manser Medal.  The winner receives £5000.

The 2013 shortlist is:

  • 25 Tanners Hill (private home and gallery), London by Dow Jones Architects
  • The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, Edinburgh, by Simpson & Brown Architects
  • Church Walk (housing), London by David Mikhail and Annalie Riches
  • The Filling Station, London by Carmody Groarke
  • Montpelier Community Nursery, London by AY Architects
  • Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects

The Architects’ Journal is media partner for the RIBA Awards and special awards and trade media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Notes to editors

1. For images of the Stephen Lawrence Prize shortlisted buildings go to: https://app.box.com/s/1kp1bcw7935uhj97po62

2. For interviews and more information about the RIBA special awards please contact Beatrice Cooke at the RIBA on 020 7307 3813; or beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org

  1. The RIBA Awards have been running continuously since 1966 and are judged and presented locally.  No matter the shape, size, budget or location, RIBA Award winning schemes set the standard for great architecture all across the country. RIBA Awards are for buildings in the UK by RIBA Chartered Architects and RIBA International Fellows. Winners are considered for the RIBA Stirling Prize.
  1. Stephen Lawrence Prize judges citations:

25 Tanners Hill

Architect:  Dow Jones Architects 

Client:  Private

Structural Engineer:    Momentum 

Contractor:  E. Fuller & Son: Fullers (Builders) Ltd 

Contract Value:  £210,000 

Date of completion:    August 2012   

Gross internal area:     180

This beautifully executed project, in which a humble bicycle workshop has been transformed, as if by alchemy, to create a home and gallery with a richly layered collection of spaces. The architecture is made as much by what is stripped away and revealed as by the elements that are added.

The relationship between exposed plaster, timber walls and a new winder staircase are handled with restraint and confidence. Interior spaces open onto one another with fluidity and the experience is one of space continually unfolding.

Empathy with the Grade II listed structure is evident throughout. The decision to leave uneven timber floors to allow the character and history of the structure to be revealed demonstrates empathy towards the existing building and shrewd budget management.

The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great

23-24 George Square, Edinburgh

Architect:   Simpson & Brown Architects

Client:   The Order of Preachers

Structural Engineer:    Elliott & Company

Services Engineer:   Irons Foulner

Contractor:   Ashwood (Scotland) Ltd

Contract Value:   confidential

Date of completion:    October 2012

Gross internal area:     140 sq m (Chapel only)

The Chapel for The Order of Preachers, a Dominican Order, is situated in the garden of one of Edinburgh University’s Georgian townhouses.  The new garden chapel is conceived as a space of tranquillity, for reflection and worship.

There is no concession in this garden pavilion to the rubble-built rear elevation into which it plugs. The building form and materials contribute to a calm, peaceful space and connect the building to its garden setting.  Deep, angled window reveals bring natural light gently within a space characterised by the warmth of the timber pews and the beautifully crafted timber ceiling which also extends outdoors, beyond the west window. The arc of the roof and the corten steel ‘trees’ add a sculptural drama. The sedum planted roof further melds the building to the garden.

Church Walk

Church Walk, London N16

Architect:  David Mikhail Architects

Client:  Private

Contractor:  Eurobuild Contractors

Structural Engineer:  BTA Structural Design

Contract Value:  £800,000

Date of completion:  July 2012

Gross internal area:   377 sq m

The architects-cum-developers brought their particular skills in the housing sector to bear on this block of four dwellings and demonstrated how such schemes should be delivered – beautifully. They were so pleased with the results that they decided to live in one of them.

The external treatment is broken down by the functions, with brick to main living areas, Siberian larch cladding to main bedrooms and expanded mesh to the balconies. The interiors are dynamic with split levels and top lit spaces.

The selection of materials is consistent throughout, with not a detail left to chance. Every junction was clearly considered and the attention to the finishes, especially the striking flush lime-pointed brick fac¸ade, demonstrates an exemplary knowledge and skill with materials.

The Filling Station

Goods Way, London N1

Architect:  Carmody Groarke

Client:  Argent Estates

Contractor:  Carillion

Fibreglass fabricator:   Stuart Pease

Services Engineer:  SES

Contract Value:  confidential

Date of completion:    May 2012

Gross internal area:     200 sq m

The ambition for the project was to create a temporary use for the site – a corner of the Kings Cross lands currently under phased re-development by client Argent. The small structure accommodates an events space facing the Regents Canal, a diner-style restaurant and a marketing suite.

The architects came up with the idea and with restaurateur, Bistroteque, pitched the idea to Argent. A reduction in the height of this wall was key to unlocking the site.

A backlit perimeter screen is used to soften an awkward tight corner opening out on to an open public space overlooking the canal. The history of the site remains in the form of the old filling station canopy relic, thus embracing the slow transition of temporary to permanent.

Montpelier Community Nursery

Brecknock Road, London N19

Architect:  AY Architects

Client:  Camden Community Nurseries

Contractor:  Forest Gate Construction Co

Structural Engineer:    Price & Myers

Services Engineer:  King Shaw Associates

Contract Value:  £429,000

Date of completion:    April 2012

Gross internal area:     136 sq m

The school takes the form of a pavilion opening on to a part-sheltered play area with a park beyond.

The selection of materials is a key part of the scheme’s success. The black stained Siberian larch sits inconspicuously in the trees and contrasts with the white-washed internal woodwork. All the details are well controlled, from exposed conduits to the selection of nursery furniture and material finishes. Simple decisions made for an all-encompassing education experience: thoughtful pushchair stores and recessed entrances takes some of the madness out of drop-off and pick-up times; the door on to the park allows quiet surveillance; and there is a seamless link to the outer play area and garden.

Slip House

Architect:  Carl Turner Architects

Client:  Private

Structural Engineer:    Structure Workshop   

Contractor:  Carl Turner Architects 

Contract Value:  £450,000 

Date of completion:    Sept 2012 

Gross internal area:     195sqm

This elegant and confident project is a prototype house composed of multiple standard elements. Yet the executed design is a highly personal solution, which results in a humane interior environment. A standardised and semi-industrial material palette is employed throughout. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution.


The project demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low-energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design.

Solar thermal panels are linked to the ground source heat pump to increase efficiency, utilising multiple piled foundations. But at no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created.


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