Foster + Partners' Bloomberg HQ scoops RIBA Stirling Prize 2018

bloomberg foster and partners
The Bloomberg headquarters in the City of London is the grand winner of the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize. courtesy Foster + Partners
(Image credit: Nigel Young)

There are few worldwide honours to match the UK's RIBA Stirling Prize so its annual announcement around this time of the year is always an event to be eagerly awaited and savoured. So there must have been cheers and the sound of champagne corks popping at Foster + Partners' tonight, when their Bloomberg headquarters in London was announced the winner of the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize.

The award ceremony takes place at a prestigious location – often different each year – over dinner and tonight the presentations took place at North London's Roundhouse, where the celebrated architect's innovative office design scooped the honour of best building 2018. 

This is a design that has been hailed as the ‘world's most sustainable office' and is also thought to be the largest stone building in the City of London since St Paul’s Cathedral. Restrained from the outside but dynamic and expressive on the inside, this building, which occupies a whole city block, balances an exterior that sits comfortably against its City of London historic context, while providing state-of-the-art facilities for the organisation. 

A spiral staircase at the complex’s heart – clad in bronze to match the project's bronze facade fins – is a real centrepiece for the interior that also features a dramatic, swirling timber-clad lobby, green walls, bespoke art and far reaching views. This complex scheme also incorporates retail, as well as a museum displaying the Roman Temple of Mithras, which was discovered on the site 60 years ago.

Forgotten Streams

Public art on site includes ‘Forgotten Streams' by Cristina Iglesias. courtesy Foster + Partners

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

Bloomberg's HQ beat stiff competition from Bushey Cemetery by Waugh Thistleton Architects, Chadwick Hall by Henley Halebrown, New Tate St Ives by Jamie Fobert Architects with Evans & Shalev, Storey's Field Centre and Eddington Nursery by MUMA, and The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Oxford by Niall McLaughlin Architects. Yet the judging panel, chaired by Sir David Adjaye OBE, was unanimous in its decision. 

‘Bloomberg is a once-in-a-generation project which has pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture', says Adjaye. ‘The design process involved unprecedented levels of research, innovation and experimentation, with pioneering new details and techniques tested, prototyped – sometimes at 1:1 scale – and rigorously improved.' 

The same evening saw two more gongs announced. The beautifully understated countryside home in Yorkshire, Old Shed New House, by Tonkin Liu won the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2018, and developer Argent was named 2018 RIBA Client of the Year. Now, anticipation mounts as we are getting closer to the RIBA's two remaining accolades to be announced later in autumn, the RIBA House of the Year and the RIBA International Prize. 

bloomberg headquarters foster and partners

The building was designed by Foster + Partners and launched in the autumn of 2017.

(Image credit: Aaron Hargreaves)

bloomberg HQ foster and partners

Clad in bronze fins, the complex's distinctive form defines the corner of Bank where it sits.

(Image credit: James Newton)

bloomberg by foster and partners

This is also thought to be the largest stone building in the City of London since St Paul’s Cathedral. courtesy Foster + Partners

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

bloomberg foster and partners stirling prize

The building is being hailed as the 'world's most sustainable office'. courtesy Foster + Partners

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

bloomberg hq by foster and partners stirling prize

The fairly restrained exterior changes inside to a dynamic composition of shapes and views. courtesy Foster + Partners

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

bloomberg hq by foster and partners wins stirling prize

Green walls enhance connections with nature and the outdoors. 

(Image credit: James Newton)

bloomberg headquarters by foster and partners wins stirling prize

A striking curved lobby wows visitors. courtesy Foster + Partners

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

bloomberg headquarters by foster and partners stirling prize

The interior's undoubtable centrepiece is the large spiral staircase at its heart. courtesy Foster + Partners 

(Image credit: Nigel Young)

old shed new house

‘Old Shed New House’ by Tonkin Liu won the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2018.

(Image credit: Greg Storrar)

old shed new house wins  riba award

The project has already also scooped a number of regional RIBA Awards. 

(Image credit: Greg Storrar)

old shed new house by tonkin liu wins  riba award

The project is a family house in the Yorkshire countryside. 

(Image credit: Alex Peacock)

INFORMATION

For more information visit the RIBA website (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).