RIBA Stirling Prize 2019 shortlist celebrates the diversity of UK buildings
The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced the shortlist for the annual Stirling Prize that highlights the UK’s best building of the year. The projects on the list include a house made of cork, a gin distillery and one of the UK’s busiest stations – revealing the diversity of UK building practice today.
Grimshaw’s London Bridge Station was commended for its voluminous, light-filled concourse. A residential housing scheme in Norwich by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley held up for its energy efficiency. Feilden Fowles’ Yorkshire Sculpture Park visitor centre was recognised for its connection to the landscape. The Nevill Holt Opera, renovated from a 17th-century stable block by Witherford Watson Mann Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Macallan Distillery both attracted shortlisting because of their unique offerings.
‘These six buildings could hardly be more diverse in typology and scale – from a rustic stable block-turned-theatre to a vast national railway station. But what they have in common – ground-breaking innovation, extraordinary creativity and the highest quality materials and detailing – sets them apart, rightfully earning them a chance to win the highest accolade in architecture,’ says RIBA President Ben Derbyshire.
So what does the ‘best’ mean? In 2019, for RIBA, that means ‘ground-breaking innovation, extraordinary creativity and the highest quality materials and detailing,’yet also projects that seek to address the big issues important to the UK right now – from the housing crisis to global climate emergency.
‘From the way that Cork House experiments with entirely plant-based materials, to Goldsmith Street’s ultra-low energy affordable homes, each of these six buildings push the boundaries of architecture, exceeding what has been done before, and providing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our times,’ says Derbyshire. §