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Stirling Prize: What the judges think

Exclusive insights from Angela Brady, Peter Cook, Hanif Kara, Dan Pearson and Alison Brooks

‘Visiting the newly completed buildings was great. I always ask the public and the users of the buildings for their opinion. The panel are as much interested in how the buildings function as the aesthetic design. Sustainability and materiality is taken in to account, as well as maintenance - how do you clean that window? Such a diverse group of projects: it was like a smorgasbord of delight and joy, each building with its own special factors and idiosyncrasies.’
Angela Brady, RIBA president and chair of the judging panel

‘I don’t care a bugger what people are betting on, I have more faith in the jury than in chitter-chatter. It was an extremely well balanced and highly intelligent panel, and there were therefore no foregone conclusions. I was very agreeably surprised by at least two of the buildings. But I think it’s a frightful pity there’s nobody new on the shortlist. You’re given the six on a plate. One is always slightly suspicious of how the six were awarded from the longlist.’
Peter Cook, founder of Archigram and Crab Studio

‘It is an altogether overwhelming and humbling experience to see the six projects together. One is reminded of the efforts we all put into the industry. It was a particularly warm feeling to witness the excellent clients together with their excellent architects, both still so excited. Personally, I am glad there are well-developed riba judging criteria, as I had to keep going back to them - we are comparing apples with spoons, and each is a winner in its own way.’
Hanif Kara, co-founder of AKT II

‘The Stirling shortlist captures the huge diversity of architectural positions and approaches being produced in the uk today. What is interesting is to analyse the level of consistency and control each architect has achieved - from the scale of the overall architectural concept to the smallest detail, and to find the moments of real joy and invention.’
Alison Brooks, former Stirling Prize winner and founder of Alison Brooks Architects

‘I was interested to see how architecture can be used to improve the quality of life, create cohesive spaces for people, and reinvent buildings that no longer work. Some of the architecture is not beautiful, but it performs a function. Those that you don’t warm to immediately on an aesthetic level, you recognise what they do for people. Sometimes detailing and slick materials are a cover for something that doesn’t have so much depth.
Dan Pearson, gardening editor at the Observer

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