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RIBA Stirling Prize 2013 shortlist announced

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For the first time, half of Stirling Prize-shortlisted firms have women directors

The AJ can reveal the six contenders shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize – the most prestigious accolade in British architecture.

It is the first year in the prize’s 18-year history that half of the shortlisted firms have women at the helm: Alison Brooks Architects (ABA), Grafton Architects and Heneghan Peng.

ABA-founder Brooks is also the only architect to have been on the list before. The Canadian jointly won the Stirling Prize in 2008 with the ground-breaking Accordia housing development.

This year she has been nominated for her be:Newhall housing scheme in Harlow, which has already picked up a number of awards, including Supreme Winner at the Housing Design Awards.

Be:Newhall is joined by Grafton’s Limerick Medical School, Heneghan Peng’s Giant’s Causeway visitor centre, Witherford Watson Mann’s revamp of 12th century Astley Castle and the regeneration of Sheffield’s 1960s Park Hill ‘streets in the sky’ estate by Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West.

The shortlist is completed by Niall McLaughlin’s ‘beautifully crafted’ Bishop Edward King Chapel – bookmaker William Hill’s’ favourite at 9/4.

The six were chosen from this year’s 52 RIBA Award winners. Among the surprise omissions are Zaha Hadid’s Pierresvives scheme in Montpellier, France, and Hackett Hall McKnight’s MAC in Belfast.

RIBA president Angela Brady said: ‘The Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the biggest contribution to the evolution of architecture, and nowhere is the need for fresh-thinking needed more than in housing. The UK is blighted with unimaginative, poor-quality houses that people don’t want to live in but have little other choice, so I am delighted to see two amazing and highly original housing projects on this year’s shortlist. These projects show how, when talented architects and clients work together and focus on quality, affordable and desirable new homes can be created. They shine a light on what the future of UK housing can be.’

The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on the evening of Thursday 26 September at Central Saint Martins, King’s Cross, designed by last year’s RIBA Stirling Prize winner Stanton Williams.

This year’s judges are: RIBA President Elect  Stephen Hodder; Sheila O’Donnell of O’Donnell + Tuomey; Paul Williams of Stanton Williams; philanthropist and chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation,Vivien Duffield; journalist and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff.

The shortlist

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre by Heneghan Peng

Click on the image to see more images and drawings of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre by Heneghan Peng in the AJ Buildings Library

Architect Heneghan Peng

Budget £18.5 million

Judges’ citation Breaks the mould of the traditional visitor centre. This highly imaginative and sculptural piece of ‘land art’ offers visitors an experience that is physical and interactive, like the causeway itself

Park Hill Phase 1, Sheffield 


Click on the image to see more images and drawings of Park Hill Phase 1 by Hawkins\Brown with Studio Egret West in the AJ Buildings Library

Architect Hawkins\Brown with Studio Egret West

Budget £36.5 million

Judges’ citation The reinvention of the ‘loved or loathed’ Grade II*-listed ’60s estate, stands as a beacon for imaginative regeneration, quality mass housing and the bold reuse of a listed building

be:Newhall, Harlow

Courtyard House Terrace development in Newhall, Essex by Alison Brooks Architects

Source: Paul Riddle

Click on the image to read Alison Brooks’ description of be:Newhall from the AJ More Homes Better Homes issue

Architect Alison Brooks Architects

Budget £12 million

Judges’ citation The radical re-thinking of the shape and interior of the UK house is tackled masterfully with these 84 new homes. The scheme illustrates that good design and committed developers can transform lives

Astley Castle, Warwickshire

Astley Castle by Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Click on the image to see more images and drawings of Astley Castle by Witherford Watson Mann Architects in the AJ Buildings Library

Architect Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Budget £1.35 million

Judges’ citation A beautiful contemporary Landmark Trust holiday home installed in the ruined walls of a 12th-century manor. It is a prototype for a new attitude to restoration and reuse

Project Bishop Edward King Chapel, Oxfordshire

Completed interior: Niall McLaughlin Architects has completed this £2 million chapel for Ripon Theological College in Cuddesdon

Project Bishop Edward King Chapel, Oxfordshire by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Architect Niall McLaughlin Architects

Budget £2.03 million

Judges’ citation An uplifting spiritual space of great potency, described by the client as ‘what we dreamed of, but didn’t think we would get’. An incredible showcase for British craftsmanship

University of Limerick Medical School, Ireland

Uni of Limerick Grafton

University of Limerick Medical School by Grafton Architects

Architect Grafton Architects 

Budget £1,060/m

Judges’ citation An exceptional example of how to create vibrant public space through careful design and placement of buildings. High-quality, beautiful and dramatic buildings that punch far above their budget

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