2 August 2022

Going for gold – 2022’s contenders for the RIBA Stirling Prize

The competition is fierce, and the boxing gloves are on for the 26th RIBA Stirling Prize – the Koh-i-Noor of UK architectural accolades. The shortlist is down to six, and four of those are in London.

The names on everyone’s lips are Hopkins Architects for their revamp of a 1980s office block on the Broadgate campus, AKA 100 Liverpool Street, alongside Henley Halebrown’s Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road.

Also up for a gong are Mae Architects for the Sands End Arts and Community Centre in Fulham, and Panter Hudpsith with the 228-home Orchard Gardens scheme in a revamped Elephant and Castle.

Outside London are two shortlistees – Forth Valley College, Falkirk Campus by Reiach and Hall Architects, and the timber-framed library at Magdalene College, Cambridge by Níall McLaughlin Architects.

RIBA’s president Simon Allford is keen to emphasise that the nominees all “give cause for optimism” and offer robust solutions to tackle the housing, energy and climate crises. “From major capital city regeneration programmes to new visions for higher education,” he says, “they all share the ambition to deliver generous architecture fit for a low-carbon future.”

Allford went on to underline exactly what RIBA are looking for. “In their architects’ attention to detail, and their clients’ determination and commitment, these six projects distinguish themselves and represent the best of UK architecture today,” he says. “Together they demonstrate the power of exceptional architecture to enhance lives.”

The finalists were chosen from the RIBA’s 29 national award winners, and the ‘chosen one’ will be announced on 13 October 2022. Be there or be square. In the meantime, those in the know at Architects’ Journal have put together a guide to the best of the best:

• 100 Liverpool Street, London (by Hopkins Architects): a net zero development encompassing a dramatic renovation and extension of a 1980s office block to create a suite of offices and commercial and public spaces in the heart of London’s financial district.

• Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Scotland (by Reiach & Hall Architects): a set of three cutting-edge higher-education facilities connected by courtyards and open learning spaces.

• Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, London (by Henley Halebrown): a striking red-brick complex that uniquely combines affordable housing with a new primary school for the growing east London community.

• Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park, London (by Panter Hudspith Architects): a playful cluster of buildings forming a new city block of 228 new homes and retail spaces wrapped around a communal garden – a major element of Elephant and Castle’s regeneration programme.

• Sands End Arts and Community Centre, London (by Mæ Architects): a welcoming, fully accessible single-storey building arranged around a disused lodge comprising flexible activity spaces and a community café.

• The New Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge (by Níall McLaughlin Architects): an exquisitely detailed timber-framed library and study space, designed to replace that previously gifted by Samuel Pepys and projected to survive for another 400 years.

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