After a few months’ eager anticipation and no doubt long deliberation, the RIBA has just announced its finalists for the inaugural 2016 RIBA International Prize. The British Institute’s new biannual accolade, announced late last year (and supported by Wallpaper*), marked the launch of a worldwide hunt for the best building of the past three years. It is open to any registered architect and to buildings outside of the UK.
The search was exhaustive; the RIBA award committee visited buildings in over 20 different countries and across five continents, finally narrowing down the list to six worthy candidates. These are: the Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre in the Azores by Menos é Mais, Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto; the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan by Zaha Hadid Architects with DiA Holding; the Museo Jumex in Mexico City by David Chipperfield Architects with Taller Abierto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo; the Stormen Concert Hall, Theatre and Public Library in northern Norway by DRDH Architects; The Ring of Remembrance, International WWI Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette in northern France by Agence d’architecture Philippe Prost; and Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia (UTEC) in Peru by Grafton Architects with Shell Arquitectos.
All buildings are now being visited by the award’s Grand Jury – comprising chair Richard Rogers, Billie Tsien, Kunlé Adeyemi, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, and Philip Gumuchdjian – before the winner’s announcement takes place in a month's time. 'We are delighted by the shortlist of buildings for the Prize, their quality and the diversity of their architecture', says Rogers. 'The winner will be the entry that stands out - by resourcefully responding to the unique challenges of site, context and society, by lifting the heart, and by demonstrating the lasting power of great public architecture.'
Out of the hundreds of buildings submitted for this award, the jury recognised a further 21 of them for the RIBA Award for International Excellence. Meanwhile, a gong for the RIBA International Emerging Architect of the year will also be announced at the same time. All eyes will be on the RIBA on Thursday 24 November.