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Time to take stock of the state of the nation's talent

This is the time of year when the profession takes stock of what it has achieved, and rewards the very best. In this issue of the AJ we bring you the winners of the Aluminium Imagination Awards, an interview with this year's RIBA Royal Gold Medallist, the shortlisted entries for the British Construction Industry Awards and, both on these pages and our website, the full list of RIBA regional award winners.

One of these buildings will go on to win each of the main RIBA awards, including the Architects'Journal First Building Award - a new award to be given to the first completed project by a new practice - and of course, the Stirling Prize.

As an overview of national talent, the list indicates that architecture is flourishing both in London and the regions but, as ever, there will be those who feel the line-up is flawed or incomplete. Is there too much of a bias towards London and the South East? Is there too much emphasis on the work of big-name architects? Is Paul Hyett, who takes over as RIBA president this week, right to suggest that regional practices are deterred by the prohibitively high entry fee? Is there any way in which the judging process could be improved? Are there notable omissions, or, conversely, buildings on the list which really should not be there at all?

Let us know what you think, either by letter or on our online discussion forum at www. ajplus. co. uk.We are keen to hear your views, and, as soon as the shortlists are announced, will be running our own online poll to find out whether the jury's decisions align with those of the profession as a whole.

At the time of going to press, the AJ is in final discussions with the RIBA about the sponsorship of this year's Stirling Prize.We are hugely proud at the prospect of being involved with such a prestigious accolade, and look forward to working with the RIBA to bring you the very best coverage of the judging, the awards night, and the buildings themselves.

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