The AJ can reveal the six contenders shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize
Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy in south London and Chipperfield’s Folkwang Museum in Essen have been named among the finalists alongside Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ Angel Building in north London, Bennetts Associates, with its Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The shortlist for the £20,000 first prize is completed by O’Donnell + Tuomey’s An Gaeláras Irish-language arts and culture centre in Derry, Northern Ireland, and Hopkins’ London 2012 Velodrome, the bookmakers’ clear favourite (at 2/1).
Now in its 16th year, the annual Stirling Prize is awarded to the ‘building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year’. The shortlist is chosen from the 97 buildings handed RIBA Awards (AJ 16.06.11).
Paul Finch, chair of the Design Council CABE Trust and the AJ’s editorial director, hailed this year’s shortlist as a triumph for UK architecture. He said: ‘It is pleasing to see such a strong list of buildings actually in Britain by British architects. It is the first time since 2003 that only one project from outside the UK has been shortlisted.’
Among the more surprising omissions was Caruso St John’s ‘stunning’ Chiswick Park Cafe, which won this year’s coveted RIBA London Building of the Year Award ahead of both AHMM’s Angel Building and the Hopkins’ velodrome.
Tony Chapman, head of awards at the RIBA said: ‘If there is any criticism of the shortlist it is that we have gone for the big names. But in the end we have to pick the six best buildings.
‘Although this year we have the blockbuster of the velodrome, everything is just as good or else it wouldn’t be on there.’
He added: ‘Last year schools were high on the political agenda. But this year there were no political elements – we have looked at the schemes purely from an architectural point of view.’
The winner will be announced at the Wilkinson Eyre-designed Magna centre in Rotherham – which won the Stirling Prize in 2001 – on Saturday 1 October.
Stirling prize: The bookies’ odds
5/2 Evelyn Grace Academy
4/1 Royal Shakespeare Co.
5/1 Museum Folkwang
7/1 The Angel Building
8/1 An Gaelaras