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How the RIBA Awards 2012 were judged

Rory Olcayto explains how this year’s 50 RIBA Award-winning projects were selected

There are 50 RIBA Award-winning buildings in the UK this year compared with last year’s 89 which, you might reasonably think, suggests a big drop in quality in 2012. The jury’s briefing notes, however, suggest otherwise. One passage on the regional awards, of which there are 96 this year, reads that they will ‘include some schemes which would previously have merited an RIBA Award – i.e when we were giving up to 100 RIBA Awards rather than a likely 50 or so.’

For those who think the RIBA Awards have been overtaken by politics in recent years - one third of Stirling shortlisted buildings over the past two years have been schools, despite a smallish pool of RIBA-Award winners to pick from – the guidelines are clear. The key criterion ‘is that the project should demonstrate design excellence, that it should be fit for purpose and that it should be sustainable.’

During site visits judges must consider ‘budget… the spatial experience it offers… its architectural ambition and ideas… the selection and detailing of materials…its fitness for purpose, especially in response to the brief, as reflected in the level of client satisfaction.’

There are always going to be disputes over whether one building is deserving or not. Indeed, at the 11th hour one project was ‘upgraded’ from a regional to a full-blown winner. On the following pages we present the definitive list of winners. We round off with a technical essay on envelope design that draws upon RIBA’s chosen few.

RIBA Awards juries

EAST LONDON: Gareth Hoskins, Paul Karakusevic, Rory Olcayto

NORTH LONDON: Simon Henley, Lars Teichmann, Clive Dutton

SOUTH LONDON: Patty Hopkins, Jonathan Leah, Jeremy Titchen

WEST LONDON: Denise Bennetts, Joe Morris, Richard Simmons

YORKSHIRE: Julian Marsh, Simon Baker, Kester Rattenbury

NORTH EAST: Anthony Hudson, Eric Carter, Chris Brown

NORTH WEST: Michael Squire, Andy Avery, Nicole Crockett

WEST MIDLANDS: Pierre Wassenaar, Kevin Singh, Jay Merrick

EAST MIDLANDS: Charlie Hussey, Mark Jermy, Peter Wilson

WALES: Stephen Hodder, Doug Hughes, Carole-Anne Davies

SOUTH WEST: Stuart McKnight, David Sheppard, David Mellor, Andrew Grant

SOUTH EAST: Marco Goldschmied, James Galpin, Alicia Pivaro, Martin Qualters

SOUTH: Marco Goldschmied, Warren Whyte, Alicia Pivaro

EAST: Anna Liu, Roger Shrimplin, Matt Jones

NORTHERN IRELAND: Ruth Reed, Steven Spier, William Crawley

SCOTLAND: Sholto Humphries, Robert Dye, Anne Lorne Gillies, Peter Wilson

EUROPE: Deborah Saunt, Gianni Botsford, Alison Brooks, Peter Clegg, Murray Fraser, Rob Gregory, Richard Griffiths, Philip Gumuchdjian, Shelley MacNamanra, Bill Taylor, Cindy Walters, Patrick Bellew.

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