A pioneering health center in London, an imposing winery in Spain, an elegant museum in Denmark and a mixed-use scheme residential scheme contributing to the regeneration of Liverpool are among the six building projects which have made it onto this year’s shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2009 in association with The Architects’ Journal and Crystal CG.
The prize is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.
The six buildings competing for this year’s title are:
Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Denmark by Tony Fretton Architects
Fretton’s design consciously eschews the two stereotypes of the modern-day art space: the flashy icon project designed to pull in the punters, and the white cube, designed to attract, rather, the opposite, a rarefied audience of connoisseurs. The client’s considered brief demanded an approachable, domestic-scale gallery which, nonetheless, had presence, and in which the studying of art by curators in the offices, and the experience of art in the galleries were connected, without getting in the way of one another. This Fretton achieves hands-down. It is well constructed and detailed, and clearly erudite, with nods in its composition to architectural history. It feels, said one judge, almost as if it could have been built in any decade since the 20s. That is quite a compliment. (Text: RIBA)
Maggie’s Centre, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
How can a building can generate an immediate sense of welcome, serenity and even love on a frantic Hammersmith thoroughfare and in the shadow of a dauntingly huge NHS hospital? RSH’s quietly confident building is unquestionably a haven for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Their achievement is in having created a completely informal, home-like sanctuary to help patients with cancer. Conceived as a two-storey pavilion, the architects have sheltered the centre from its harsh surroundings with a thick and cheerful orange masonry wall that also serves as a backdrop for carefully planted tree groves and gardens. Its positive spirit is signalled with a roof canopy that oversails its many intimate internal gardens and courtyards. (Text: RIBA)
Bodegas Protos, Spain by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Bodegas Protos is an aspirational wine co-operative in Peñafiel, north-west Spain. The five parallel arches of the great roof sitting on a stone plinth provide a magnificently memorable image for the Bodegas on its site overlooked by the fine medieval Castle of Peñafiel . The handsome laminated timber trusses spring from the level of the plinth, while the terracotta tile-covered roof floats free of the purlins by means of steel arms. Inside the building visitors find themselves overlooking a double-height space, with the fermentation and storage vessels below them. Descending the spiral steel and glass stair visitors gain sudden views of the castle through the glazed gable of the arches far above them. This is a very memorable building. (Text: RIBA)
Liverpoool One Masterplan, Liverpool by BDP
The Liverpool One Masterplan has single-handedly reversed the fortunes of the city by bringing a new social and economic vibrancy to what was 42 acres of derelict but historic buildings at its heart. The result is a vibrant and economically successful retail, leisure and mixed-use quarter – an entirely revitalised city centre that now connects properly with the Docks. BDP set down generous public space networks and rigorous yet flexible design briefs and have worked with a broad range of architects to evolve the plan and deliver buildings of a very high quality. That one project has been able to deliver sufficient critical mass to regenerate a city of such importance is the result of an outstanding client with vision and commitment to delivering design excellence and urban coherence. (Text: RIBA)
5 Aldermanbury Square, London by Eric Parry Architects
The project does much to improve the urban realm of the City of London. It evolved to allow the creation of a new public space connecting Wood Street and Aldermanbury Square to the upper level of the Barbican High Walk. The new 18-storey building sits above this public space and consists of two staggered wings that are divided by a receding central section. The two entrances are linked by a triple height ground floor reception , with a sloping floor which drops a metre from north to south. The external frame and facades are formed in shot-peened stainless steel cladding, and are arranged in double and, immediately above the base, triple height bays giving a strong sense of verticality to the elevations. (Text: RIBA)
Kentish Town Health Centre, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Kentish Town Health Centre sets a new standard for the NHS. Dr Roy MacGregor has championed a building where new thinking on holistic healthcare, connectivity, flexibility and transparency were all harnessed by his team. Through its fusion of health practice, architecture and art, the resulting building is uplifting for both staff and patients. Consulting rooms and stairs enjoy views into a triple height central street and waiting area around which the plan is organised. The project champions the idea of cellular flexibility whereby consulting and meeting rooms are assigned to health staff via an electronic booking system. The project is exemplary in its approach to sustainability and includes the use of recycled materials, natural ventilation and night-time purging of internal space temperatures. Why can’t all health clinics be like this? (Text: RIBA)
Sunand Prasad, RIBA President said: “This year’s shortlist really embodies the wide ranging spirit of the RIBA Stirling Prize: from a winery to health centres, from an art museum in open country to major transformations of dense inner city areas. This is a fascinating set of schemes; the judges have a hard but eagerly anticipated decision to make.”
The RIBA Stirling Prize jury, which will visit all six shortlisted buildings and then meet for a final time on the day of the presentation to pick the winner, this year includes: Benedetta Tagliabue – architect, Sir John Sorrell – Chair of CABE and Thomas Heatherwick – designer.
The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal and Crystal CG will be announced at Old Billingsgate, London on Saturday, October 17, 2009, and broadcast live in the UK on Channel 4.
Previous winners include The Scottish Parliament by EMBT / RMJM Ltd, 30 St. Mary Axe by Foster + Partners, the Laban Centre by Herzog & de Meuron, Gateshead Millennium Bridge by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the Museum of Modern Literature by David Chipperfield Architects, and Accordia by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Alison Brooks Architects, and Macreanor Lavington.