28/07/2005

Scottish Parliament in line for top architecture prize

The Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood and the F1 McLaren Technology Complex in Surrey are among the contenders for one of the UK's top architecture awards.

The contentious though award-winning Scottish Parliament building dogged by overspend fiascos is among the six buildings which have made it onto this year’s shortlist for The RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal, now in its tenth anniversary year.

The £20,000 prize is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

Announcing the shortlist, Professor Jeremy Till, chair of the RIBA Awards Group, said: “In this, the tenth anniversary year of the RIBA Stirling Prize, I’m delighted that we have such a range and quality of projects to choose a winner from. It’ll be no easy task. We have a national parliament building competing with a children’s centre, a library with a factory for making cars, and yet they all share one quality: true architectural excellence.

“At its best, good architecture makes a real difference to the people who see it, work in it, play in it, study in it and experience it. Good architecture lifts the spirits. It gives something to us – a sense of belonging, a renewed interest. Zaha Hadid’s BMW project, for example, brings factory workers and office workers together, not just in the same building, but in a shared experience of making vehicles.

“Every one of these shortlisted buildings would be a worthy winner – they’re popular not just with critics, but with the public as well. They stimulate. They’re full of new ideas, and new approaches. This is great architecture – the very best of British architecture - and I look forward to months of interest, debate, and public enthusiasm before we can finally award the tenth RIBA Stirling Prize.”

This year's shortlisted buildings are: BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany - Zaha Hadid Architects; Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College, Cork, Ireland – O’Donnell + Tuomey; The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh - EMBT / RMJM Ltd; McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, Surrey - Foster and Partners; Jubilee Library, Brighton, Sussex - Bennetts Associates with Lomax Cassidy + Edwards; and Fawood Children’s Centre, Harlesden, NW10 - Alsop Design Ltd.

The Stirling Prize jury, who will visit all six shortlisted buildings and then meet for a final time on the day of the presentation to pick the winner, comprises architecture specialists and lay judges from the arts.

The judges are: Jack Pringle – President Elect of the RIBA; Isabel Allen, Editor, The Architects’ Journal; Joan Bakewell, broadcaster and writer; Max Fordham, environmental engineer; and Piers Gough, architect, writer and broadcaster.

The winner of the The RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal will be announced at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday 15 October and televised live on Channel 4 at 8pm.

Previous winners include 30 St. Mary Axe by Foster and Partners, the Laban Centre by Herzog & de Meuron, Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Magna Centre by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Peckham Library and Media Centre by Alsop Architects and the NatWest Media Centre by Future Systems.

All the shortlisted buildings can be seen by visiting www.ajplus.co.uk.

(SP/KMcA)

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