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Chipperfield, Grafton and Hadid vie for debut RIBA International Prize

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The RIBA has announced the six projects in the running for its relaunched international award

Just three of the shortlisted projects are by British practices: David Chipperfield Architects’ Museo Jumex in Mexico, Stormen Concert Hall in Bodø by DRDH, and Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Centre, previously crowned the Design Museum’s 2014 Design of the Year.

Other schemes in the running for the prize include a war memorial in France by Agence d’Architecture Philippe Prost, an arts complex in the Azores by Portuguese firm Menos é Mais, and Grafton Architects’ college building in Lima.

The shortlist in full

  • The Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Universidad de Ingeniera y Tecnologia by Grafton Architects
  • Stormen Concert Hall by DRDH Architects
  • Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre by Menos é Mais Aquitectos Associados
  • Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects
  • The Ring of Remembrance, International WWI Memorial of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette by Agence d’Architecture Philippe Prost

The six finalists will now be visited by the prize’s grand jury which includes Richard Rogers, US architect Billie Tsien, chair of the RIBA Awards group Philip Gumuchdjian, partner at SOM Marilyn Jordan Taylor and NLÉ founder Kunlé Adeyemi. The winner will be announced in December.

According to the RIBA the winning building should ‘demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, while making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context’.

The new accolade replaces the Lubetkin Prize, which the RIBA scrapped last year after eight years.

That prize was open only to RIBA chartered architects and international fellows, with its shortlist drawn from each year’s set of RIBA International Award winners. This year the prize was opened up to all architects rom around the world. 

Alongside choosing the shortlist for the new accolade, the RIBA awards committee also named 21 projects that will receive an RIBA International Award for Excellence.

Comment from RIBA president Jane Duncan 

The RIBA International Prize was created to showcase the best new buildings worldwide. At its heart, the prize celebrates architectural excellence, vision, and the power of great architecture for the public good. 

The finalists selected by our jury represent an exceptional selection of buildings across the world, and notably include a number of buildings dedicated to culture and the arts, reflecting the visionary clients who have commissioned architecture of the highest calibre. It demonstrates the understanding of how a building can powerfully communicate the shared history of our cultural past and present, and become a focus of civic pride for the people that use these spaces whether for meeting and enjoyment or cultural appreciation.

This is seen in each of the buildings on our final list, including a university that specialises in engineering but which incorporates a theatre and cinema space into its campus. Whilst creating a locus for students and staff, these interventions reflect the integration of science with culture in their programme of studies.

Our panel of jurors have been particularly impressed by the way in which each building reacts to, resolves and assimilates into the varying geographies and contexts - from dense urban cities to a small town in the Arctic Circle. Each project resolves the complex demands of its context with ingenuity, exceptional detail and finishing and a sensitivity to the needs of the users and communities which will inhabit these spaces. 

The selection speaks to the positive impact of investing in culture, in quality and in architecture which has a direct impact on the communities that use them. Expanding our awards to a global network of ambitious and visionary architects has resulted in a truly valuable insight, and we look forward to announcing the winner following the Grand Jury’s visits and deliberations.

Recipients of the RIBA International Award for Excellence

  • Angdong Hospital by Rural Urban Framework
  • Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre by Menos é Mais Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto
  • Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno by Foster + Partners with Berdichevsky Cherny Arquitectos and StudioMinond
  • dlrLexicon by Carr Cotter Naessens Architects
  • Europaallee Baufeld E by Caruso St John Architects with Bosshard Vaquer Architekten
  • European Hansemuseum by Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers
  • Fine Arts Museum of Asturias by Francisco Mangado – Mangado y Asociados
  • Fulton Center by Grimshaw, HDR and Page Ayres Cowley Architects
  • Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid Architects with DiA Holding
  • Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture
  • Jockey Club Innovation Tower by Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects with Taller Abierto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo
  • Oita Prefecture Art Museum by Shigeru Ban Architects
  • Public Library of Constitución by Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos
  • The Ring of Rememberence by AAPP
  • Saint Louis Art Museum by David Chipperfield Architects with HOK
  • SkyTerrace by SCDA Architects
  • St Angela’s College Cork by O’Donnell + Tuomey
  • Stormen by DRDH Architects
  • Tula House by Patkau Architects
  • Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología by Grafton Architects
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