The RIBA has this week unveiled the 50 award winners its jurors picked to go forward and contend for the Institute's biggest honour - the £20,000 Stirling Prize. But although they include notable high-profile buildings such as the Millennium Dome, London Eye, Walsall Art Gallery, and two Jubilee Line Extension stations, there will be disappointment for respected architects including Ian Ritchie, Ted Cullinan, Michael Hopkins and Partners and van Heyningen and Haward that their building entries were deemed not good enough for inclusion.
The list of 50 buildings was unveiled by RIBA president Marco Goldschmied at the NatWest Media Centre, last year's Stirling winner from Future Systems. Goldschmied branded them all 'fantastic buildings'and revealed that there will be a sustainability award and another for innovative use of timber. 'Unless they were very good indeed they wouldn't be in the 50, ' he said. 'Quite a number of good schemes weren't.'
But although the judges praised Foster and Partners' £32.5 million Canary Wharf Station as a 'masterpiece' and MacCormac Jamieson Prichard's £70 million Southwark Station, 'elegant' and 'cathedral-like', they rejected Ian Ritchie's Bermondsey station and van Heyningen and Haward's West Ham. Both JLE stations, commissioned by Roland Paoletti - the RIBA client of the year winner in 1998 - were entered and judged, it is understood. Hopkins'Westminster station was also entered but then withdrawn. And Hopkins was unsuccessful with another of the practice's buildings - the Jubilee Campus for Nottingham University. In fact, the Institute said it did not see any buildings worthy of an award in the entire East Midlands region. Edward Cullinan and Partners' well-received University of East London campus was also rejected, it is thought. Other notable schemes failing to make the grade included ECD's Slimbridge conservation centre, Pentagram's Self Portrait Gallery in the Millennium Dome and Austin Smith: Lord's National Museum of Photography in Bradford.
Foster and Partners won four awards, excluding Foster partner Ken Shuttleworth's own £345,000 Crescent House project. The Richard Rogers Partnership got two - 88 Wood Street and the £42 million Millennium Dome. Judges praised the Dome as 'a typically flexible Rogers space', 'a small town under one roof' and 'pure science fiction, straight out of the pages of the Eagle comic'.
The Dome's Mind Zone, which was 'uncosted' but by Zaha Hadid, and the £10 million Work and Learn Zone by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/Work also won awards. Judges lavished high praise on Alsop & Stormer's Peckham Library and Media Centre, set to be a major contender for the big prize, as 'one delight after another', 'extraordinary and innovative design.' Other potential Stirling winners in the 50 include Allford Hall Monaghan Morris'Great Notley Primary School, Hodder Associates Corporation Street Footbridge, Foster and Partners' Great Glasshouse, Caruso St John's New Art Gallery in Walsall, and Marks'Barfield's BA London Eye.
The public can vote until September 1 for their favourite of the 50 at www. channel4. com/nextstep/ The building with the most votes will join others on a shortlist for the Stirling Prize, which will be announced live on Channel Four on November 4.
See pages 6-10 for images of the winners.