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Six in contention for RIBA Stirling Prize

The shortlist for the Riba Stirling Prize – the UK’s most prestigious architectural award – has been revealed, with the winner to be announced on Thursday (16 October). The six finalists will now battle it out for the coveted prize, which was last year won by Astley Castle, near Nuneaton.

The shortlist is as follows:

London Aquatics Centre, Zaha Hadid Architects

The London Aquatics Centre, which was home to high drama during the London 2012 Olympic Games, has now been opened as a public swimming venue. For the same price as a dip at a local pool, people can swim in the Zaha Hadid-designed centre, which has also played host to the likes of Tom Daley and Ellie Simmonds as a training facility.

Rated BREEAM Excellent for its environmental impact, the building includes cutting-edge sustainability features and was inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, creating spaces and a surrounding environment which complements the river landscape of the Olympic Park.

The Shard, Renzo Piano

The incredibly popular tourism attraction designed by Renzo Piano has become a significant part of the London skyline.

The attraction's viewing platforms sit on levels 69 and 72 of the 1,016ft (310m) landmark building – developed by Sellar Property as part of a £2bn (US$3.2bn, €2.5bn) regeneration project for the London Bridge area.

The structure has six uses – health clinic, offices, restaurants, hotel, residential apartments and the public viewing gallery – with each occupying multiple floors in what the shortlist describes as a “genuine vertical village.”

Saw Swee Hock, Student Centre, LSE, O’Donnell + Tuomey

Of the six finalists, the LSE student centre has the lowest emissions and is the only one rated as BREEAM Outstanding.

The red brick tower is made up of walls that slope and become perforate to give shading and have angles that vary in every direction all suggesting a very considerable imaginative control.

Library of Birmingham, Mecanoo

Dutch-based Mecanoo Architecten designed the 35,000sq m (376,736sq ft) library, which is spread over nine floors and centres on a pivotal atrium at the heart of the building. The design lends itself to being a truly public and civic building, as demonstrated by high visitor numbers – more than 2.7 million people came through its doors over the last year.

The £189m (US$307m, €237m) building offers more than just access to more than a million books; there are spaces for music recitals as well as art exhibitions and conference areas. There is also an elevated, landscaped, brown roof garden with a wildflower meadow, offering a place of sanctuary in an urbanised locality.

Everyman Theatre, Haworth Tompkins

Since it opened in March, the Everyman, designed by Haworth Tompkins, has already won the RIBA North West Building of the Year in April and a National Award in June. It has also been named World Architecture News Best Performance Space 2014.

The £13.3m (US$21.4m, €16.8m) Everyman Theatre saw Gilbert-Ash oversee construction, while CharcoalBlue provided theatre consultancy, Alan Baxter & Associates was structural engineer, and Watermans Building Services was servicer engineer.

Manchester School of Art, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The school of art, designed to feel as though you are entering a metropolitan art gallery rather than a university department, is open to the public, who can view glimpses of young students’ art in the making.

The major refurbishment of the 1960s tower and new extension to the Manchester School of Art has been carried out by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Design excellence has been coupled with the brief of a visionary client to break down the traditional art and design units, encouraging staff and students across disciplines to work together and explore the common ground between subjects.

Related stories
28 Sep 2013

Astley Castle named Stirling Prize winner

The shortlist for the Riba Stirling Prize – the UK’s most prestigious architectural award – has been revealed, with the winner to be announced on Thursday (16 October). The six finalists will now battle it out for the coveted prize, which was last year won by Astley Castle, near Nuneaton. The shortlist is as follows: London Aquatics Centre, Zaha Hadid Architects The London Aquatics Centre, which was home to high
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Renzo Piano's Shard is among those shortlisted for the Sterling Prize
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