“This is not just a collection of exceptionally well-designed buildings, but spaces and places of pure beauty, surprise and delight.” This is how Jane Duncan, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), described the six unique projects that are vying for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious accolade for architecture.
Announced today, the shortlist includes buildings as diverse as an apartment block with wicker balconies, a studio for photographer Juergen Teller and a seaside pier, and this diversity is a familiar feature of the annual competition - past winners have included Newport Street Gallery in south London (2016), which hosts exhibitions from Damien Hirst’s art collection, Astley Castle in Warwickshire (2013) and 30 St Mary Axe in London (2004), perhaps more commonly known as the gherkin.
The winner of the 2017 award, now in its 22nd year, will be announced in London on 31st October, and here are the six buildings in contention.
Barrett’s Grove, London
Architect: Groupwork + Amin Taha
This one-of-a-kind block of apartments in London’s Stoke Newington is constructed of brick, wood and straw.
The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre, London
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Conceived to house a new exhibition gallery, laboratories and a conservation studio, this extension to the existing building in Bloomsbury was partially constructed underground.
Command of the Oceans, Chatham, Kent
Architect: Baynes and Mitchell Architects
Part of Chatham’s Historic Dockyard, this new visitor center was praised for its exciting approach to conservation.
City of Glasgow College City Campus, Glasgow
Architect: Reiach & Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects
As well as being recognized for its contribution to the city’s architectural landscape, this new city campus features unique elements such as street-front ‘shops’ for the college’s trainee hairdressers and chefs to earn while they are learning.
Hastings Pier, East Sussex
Architect: dRMM Architects
Having been destroyed by fire in 2010, this Victorian structure has been transformed into a contemporary public space that's helping to reinvigorate the local area.
Photography Studio for Juergen Teller, London