Architecture editor Laura Mark takes a guess at the projects that could make this year’s Stirling Prize shortlist
This year’s crop of 46 projects is not the most inspirational of lists. There is a distinct lack of standout star projects. Normally you can pick 10 or so that you could envision making their way on to the Stirling Prize shortlist but even that is hard this year. We are clearly seeing the after-effects of the recession.
Once again not a single project in Wales has managed to pick up an award. The region has seen just one prize in the last four years. Surely it’s about time someone built something award-winning there?
With a lack of publicly funded architecture coming through this year, the universities have proved that if you want to create award-winning architecture these are the clients to work for. University-funded schemes make up more than a quarter of the winners – and that’s not even taking into account the 11 campus projects that have picked up regional accolades.
But 2016 sees no leader of the pack shouting ‘pick me for the Stirling’; there’s no Olympic venue or Maggie’s Centre.
I foresee a much more mellow Stirling shortlist, guided by calm architecture and well-considered detailing, with the exception of Peter Cook’s bright blue, in-your-face drawing studio. I’ll no doubt be wrong (I haven’t once got it right – last year I was 50 per cent there), but here’s my list: Newport Street Gallery by Caruso St John, Drawing Studio by CRAB Studio, Blavatnik School of Government by Herzog & de Meuron, City of Glasgow College’s Riverside Campus by Reiach and Hall with Michael Laird Architects, Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ Stanbrook Abbey.
And my advice to those who missed out on a national award this year: enter again next year. Even Stirling Prize finalists have been known to succeed on a second chance.