Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize 2011 Shortlist Announced

The beautifully simple Velodrome in London’s Olympic Park, the carefully crafted remodelling of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres in Stratford upon Avon, a highly imaginative London school on a tight urban site, an innovative and vibrant cultural centre in Derry, the transformation of an unremarkable 1980s office building in London into an elegant new office and retail space, and the breathtaking extension of a significant museum in Germany, form the shortlist for the prestigious £20,000 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Olympic Velodrome London 2012 by Hopkins

Now in its 16th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal and Benchmark is awarded to the architects of the best new European building ‘built or designed in Britain’. The winner will be announced on Saturday 1 October at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham and will be broadcast on a special edition of BBC Two’s The Culture Show on Sunday 2 October, presented by Kevin McCloud.
This year is the first time the shortlist includes practices who have all previously been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize; and also includes two RIBA Stirling Prize winners: David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects.

William Hill is again offering odds on the shortlisted buildings. The six buildings competing for this year’s title and their odds according to William Hill are:

An Gaelaras, Derry by O’Donnell and Tuomey (William Hill odds: 8/1)
The Angel Building, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) (7/1)
Evelyn Grace Academy, London by Zaha Hadid Architects (5/2)
Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects (5/1)
Olympic Velodrome London 2012 by Hopkins (2/1)
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford by Bennetts Associates (4/1)

Ruth Reed, RIBA President, said:
‘The RIBA Stirling Prize celebrates architectural excellence and this year we have another outstanding collection of culturally significant buildings on the shortlist; projects that have each made a significant contribution to the evolution of architecture.

Creative redevelopment is a strong theme in this year’s list, with a major museum extension, a remodelled theatre complex and the innovative retrofit of an old office building featured, showing how even with tight planning and building constraints, talent and imagination can totally transform existing structures and sites. From recycling to cycling: this year’s shortlist features the first Olympic venue, a beautifully clever exemplar for the UK’s Games. Another ‘first’ is a significant cultural centre in Derry, Northern Ireland’s first building to make it onto the shortlist. Finally I am delighted to see a brilliant academy on a tight urban site completing the list; a school project that demonstrates what can be achieved when the architect and clients ‘think outside the box’. I look forward to seeing which project the judges select as the worthy winner.’

The 2011 RIBA Stirling Prize judges who will visit the six shortlisted buildings and meet for a final time on the day of the presentation to pick the winner include: Angela Brady, Chair of the judges and RIBA President (commencing September 2011); Sir Peter Cook – architect and academic, formerly of Royal Gold Medal winning Achigram; Hanif Kara – engineer, Adams Kara Taylor and Dan Pearson – landscape designer and RIBA Honorary Fellow.

Previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize include: MAXXI Museum, Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010); Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (2009); Accordia housing development by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios/Alison Brooks Architects/Maccreanor Lavington (2008); The Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects (2007).

The RIBA Stirling Prize principal sponsors are The Architects’ Journal and Benchmark; associate sponsors: Ibstock, NBS and SIV.

The shortlist for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the best international building outside the EU is also announced today (Thursday 21 July) and is as follows:

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, USA by Foster + Partners
Guangzhou Opera House, China by Zaha Hadid Architects
Masdar Institute, AbuDhabi by Foster + Partners
The Met (high rise housing), Bangkok by WOHA
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, USA by Rick Mather Architects

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