London had a bumper year at the UK’s top architectural prize, after years in the doldrums.
Four of the six shortlisted buildings for the Stirling Prize are from the capital, its best showing in almost two decades.
A redevelopment of a 1980s office block, a primary school with affordable housing, a new residential block wrapped around a communal garden and an arts and community centre are the four nominated London buildings.
The other two contenders for the prize, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, are the New Library at Magdalene College in Cambridge and the Forth Valley College campus in Falkirk.
While London has frequently provided the winner of the prize, including four of the last six awarded, it rarely dominates the shortlist. The capital is seen in many quarters as being “in the pocket” of developers with money trumping aesthetics.
The judges alluded to the difficulties of creating residential schemes in the capital with their praise for Orchard Gardens, near the Elephant and Castle, south London. They said the 228-home project was “an exceptional exemplar of a dense residential-led, mixed use scheme”.
Jurors also praised Hackney New Primary School, east London, which incorporates affordable housing. The judges called it an “immense sculptural pink brute of a building, punctuating a busy junction on the Kingsland Road with a certain civic pride”.
The other two London contenders are 100 Liverpool Street, the redevelopment of an office block in the heart of the financial district, and the Sands End Arts and Community Centre in Fulham, west London.
To view the full article please click here