Friday, 27 July 2012

Architecture: RIBA Stirling Prize 2012 Nominations

For many of you who are unaware the RIBA Stirling Prize is an annual prize within the field of architecture awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the best British building of that year. Here is the list of the selected six buildings as follows...

The Hepworth, Wakefield

Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Client: Wakefield Council

Set within an industrial context, The Hepworth embodies a consideration for the mineral history of Yorkshire with its granite-like composition making it inherently vernacular.

The building which is formed of what appears to be four adjoining segments sit lavishly alongside the nearby river as the building almost seemingly springs out of the ground.

The Hepworth is also no stranger to the current environmental demand for sustainable ventilation with a circulation system which operates via a series of galleries with deep walls 'to conceal the ventilation services'.


Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Architect: O’Donnell + Tuomey
Client: Lyric Theatre

Situated within a built-up  in Belfast, Northern Ireland the Lyric Theatre is surrounded by local terraced housing. The building's facade seems elegantly mirror the design aesthetic of the nearby terraced housing which seemingly draws visitors venue.

The interior of the building, which is upholstered sumptuously with an abundance of timber, holds itself in a dignified manner. The auditorium which continues the pattern of timber decor incorporates an acoustic design that allows sound to be amplified and reverberated around the theatre.  

Lights are hidden within ceiling crevices to create drama, whilst the interior is almost carved into tessellating triangles whilst at the same time managing to facilitate the needs of 380 visitors. 

The theatre will act as a new outright landmark for Northern Ireland, serving as its one and only national theatre. To top this off, this gracious building provides a 'sky pavilion' where people can meet, dine and enjoy the unrivaled panoramic view of Belfast.


Maggie's Centre, Glasgow

Architect: OMA
Client: Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust

The Maggie Centre is a building that has been fashioned in such a way that visitors are made to feel welcomed into this new peaceful and tranquil environment.

Whilst situated in an area which is densely populated with foliage, the building rests on a slight rise, peaking ever so carefully out of the natural landscape.

The new Maggie Centre which is located within Scotland's 'second city' has an erratic floor plan which seems to wrap round a central garden. A clever composition that allows more light into the building through an extensive glass layout - the building is one with its habitat.

Not only is the building open and inclusive, but there are spaces for counselling, personal privacy and everything else you would naturally expect a care home to include. It is nice to see that there has been a consideration for a variety of materials to be used for this vitally important scheme. These include a deft mix of timber and concrete. 


New Court, London

Architect: OMA with Allies & Morrison
Client: Rothschild

Now the headquarter of the Rothschild Bank in the United Kingdom, New court provides somewhat of a contrast to the historical backdrop of the City of London.

New Court is comprised of three adjoining annexes, which surround a central cube which acts as the building's core. In order to preserve the views of the nearby Church of St Stephen Walbrook, the building is elevated above street level on pilotis. 

With the institution as a whole historically being known for possessing an inherently private presence within the capital, there was an impetus on opening up and integrating the new building into the context. This has been achieved through an almost seamless usage of a selection of materials. 


Olympic Stadium, London

Architect: Populous
Client: Olympic Delivery Authority

Being the centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic Games, it was always going to be the case that the Olympic Stadium would feature within the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist for best British building of the year.

With a capacity of 80,000 spectators, the very much all-British design bares many similarities with the stadia of some of England's best footballing sides.

The design is simple, yet ergonomic whilst withholding a powerfully simple aesthetic. The Olympic Stadium sits proudly inside a cosy central island with several bridges connecting it to the rest of the Olympic Park. Over the course of the Games we will see the building come to life.

The stadium has been designed in such a way that navigation in and around is eased allowing a safe and secure entry and exit. Wembley's arch seems to circumnavigate around the perimeter of the roof enclosure.

Sightlines of the track and field have been preserved all round, creating a heightened sense of intimacy and togetherness.


Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge

Architect: Stanton Williams
Client: University of Cambridge

The Sainsbury Laboratory is a building that supports innovation in Botanical research.

With a Limestone collonade lined exterior facade, there is an enormous sense of grandeur achieved through this design aspect.

There are entry ramps at the forecourt which is illuminated at night by strategically placed lighting elements.

This is a building that really complements its purpose, whilst possessing a certified 'excellent' BREEAM rating, which is achieved with 1000 square metres of photovoltaic cells generating natural lighting for the laboratories. A stunning botanic garden features at the rear of the building which all enhances the 'green experience' here at the Sainsbury Laboratory.