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Accordia wins the 2008 Stirling Prize

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Accordia, the housing project in Cambridge designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS), Alison Brooks Architects and Maccreanor Lavington Architects, has won this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal.

The award was a welcome surprise for the architecture fraternity, which gathered at the Wilkinson Eyre-designed Liverpool Arena on Saturday night (11 October).

Speaking exclusively to the AJ, FCBS partner Keith Bradley said: ‘It’s fantastic. It’s vitally important that a housing project has won. It’s the ordinary stuff about towns and cities and it’s great that quality can be recognised like this.’

Accordia saw off a strong shortlist of schemes comprising Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ Westminster Academy in London; Grimshaw/Arcadis Architecten’s Bijlmer Station in Amsterdam; Allies and Morrison’s Royal Festival Hall refurbishment; Manchester Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall; and Zaha Hadid’s Nordpark Cable Railway in Austria.

The judges said of Accordia: ‘This is high-density housing at its very best, demonstrating that volume housebuilders can deliver high-quality architecture – and that as a result they can improve their own bottom line.

‘The whole scheme is about relationships: between architect and developer/contractor/client; between three very different firms of architects; and between private and public external spaces, providing a new model for outside-inside life with interior rooftop spaces, internal courtyards and large semi-public community gardens.’

The day before the event, bookkeeper William Hill placed Accordia as the rank outsider at odds of 5/1, with Westminster Academy firm favourite at 3/1.

Paul Monaghan, partner at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, said it was great that a housing project of such calibre had won the prestigious award and said it was a deserving tribute to the memory of FCBS founder Richard Feilden, who died in 2005.

Monaghan told the AJ: ‘I think it’s a very worthy winner. Richard Feilden meant a lot to me and I think it’s great for the other partners and especially for the memory of Richard.’

Read the AJ’s exclusive interview with the winners here.

See video of the Stirling Prize judging here.

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