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RIBA Announces 2012 Stirling Prize

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Having emerged as the critics' favourite, O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects' acclaimed Lyric Theatre Belfast narrowly missed out on the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize, which was awarded to the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge by Stanton Williams.

This year’s award of the Stirling Prize to the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge by Stanton Williams is considered as surprise decision, with O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Lyric Theatre Belfast and David Chipperfield’s Hepworth gallery in Wakefield tipped as favourites. The London Olympic Stadium was also a popular choice and the Olympic Delivery Authority picked up the RIBA Client of the Year Award. The Lyric Theatre featured strongly in the BBC’s Culture Show programme on the Stirling Prize, while The Observer described the theatre as “very popular” with the critics. An interview with O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects and the Directors of the Lyric Theatre features on the RIBA website.

Now in its 17th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is the UK's most prestigious architecture prize, awarded to the architects of the best new European building built or designed in the UK. The presentation of the RIBA Stirling Prize trophy and £20,000 to Stanton Williams architects took place at a special ceremony on Saturday, 13 October in Manchester, hosted with great wit and insight into the shortlisted projects by BBC Radio 4's Mark Lawson.

This is the first time that Stanton Williams has won or been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize. The jury described the laboratory building as “a timeless piece of architecture, sitting within a highly sensitive site, one overlooking the woods where Darwin walked with his tutor and mentor Henslow, discussing the origin of species.”

Other awards on the night included the Lubetkin Prize for the best new international building (outside the EU), which went to Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

The young London practice Duggan Morris Architects won the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2012 for King’s Grove, an elegant new house squeezed behind two Victorian terraces in Peckham. The Stephen Lawrence Prize, sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million. The prize, set up in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993, is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets

Maison L, a dramatic addition to an 18th century orangery creating an innovative contemporary house on the outskirts of Paris by Christian Pottgiesser (architectures possibles architects), has scooped the prestigious RIBA Manser Medal 2012 for the best newly designed private house. 

The RIBA Client of the Year award went to the Olympic Delivery Authority.




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