Stirling prize nominees for 2008

Architecture & Interiors

RIBA has announced the nominees short-list for the Stirling prize 2008. Six buildings have been chosen from winners of 2008 RIBA National Awards and 2008 RIBA European Awards. The jury is currently visiting these buildings to make their final decisions. The list makes for a very interesting mix:


Accordia, from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with associate architects MacCreanor Lavington Architects and Alison Brooks Architects, Accordia is a major new housing scheme for 212 houses, demonstrating that it is possible for a volume house-builder to support high quality architecture. It has set new standards for large-scale housing in the UK. FCB set out to create a new relationship between private and public external space – a new model for
outside-inside life with interior rooftop spaces, internal courtyards and large semi-public community gardens creating a sense of ‘living in a large garden’. The project is built in Cambridge, UK.


Bijlmer Train Station by Grimshaw Architects and Arcadis. The architectural key to the project is the interpretation of the gaps
between the tracks and the ways in which these have been transformed to
make lofty and enjoyable public spaces between the ground and the
platforms above, linked diagonally with escalators, vertically by
glazed lift towers, horizontally by the platforms themselves. The
arriving and departing trains and the leisurely procession of
passengers make for a remarkable piece of drama. The station is situated in the south-east of the city, on the broadened track between
Amsterdam and Utrecht. The station is one of the five largest stations
in the Netherlands. Definitely one of my stops next year!


The Manchester Civil Justice Centre, by Denton Corker Marshall, is the largest court building to be
built in the UK since the Royal Courts of Justice. This pioneering new
building separates civil and criminal justice systems, creating a new
civic building that is open and accessible. The working courts and
offices are expressed as rectilinear forms, articulated at each floor
level. The building is an elegant and beautifully executed response to
a complex brief that has made a significant contribution to the
regeneration of this part of Manchester.


The Nordpark Cable Railway by Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher. Zaha Hadid Architects designed all four stations along the route. The
designs are all variations on a suite of parts made up of concrete
station platforms, lifts, stairs and sensuous protective canopies. The
key relationship within each composition is between the concrete which
forms a supporting platform, and the over-sailing canopy that acts as a
heraldic signal to announce the presence of the station.The base can be read as a moraine, connected to the earth but given
form by a glacier. The canopy can be imagined as like the glacier
itself, a changeable, luminous monolith curved as if shaped by melt
water. The construction of the
three dimensionally curved glass forms is an achievement of great
virtuosity. In the development of Zaha Hadid’s architecture from
drawing to construction, this project represents a milestone in
achieved form.


The Royal Festival Hall, by Allies and Morrison Architects.The Festival Hall has been restored to its original elegance and
vitality. Rick Mather’s master plan for the South Bank identified the
potential for an office building between the hall and the railway line,
which was the master-stroke at the root of the transformation. By moving
all the administrative offices into this new office building, Allies
and Morrison
were able to liberate many of the internal spaces
previously used as offices.They have restored the
legibility and essence of the original architecture and re-established
the Festival Hall as a major international venue. On the river façade,
a dingy service road has been transformed into an elegant parade of
restaurants and shops. With landscaping by Gross Max, the river terrace
is proving to be a successful urban space.



The Westminster Academy, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects,  provides a striking presence ringed by the Westway, the
railway and high rise local authority estates. To enter the building
you arrive in a generous open area, an inner courtyard that rises up
through the building. The basic organisation is teaching and support
spaces around the edges with a large full height court at the centre.
The arrangement allows high levels of visibility for both staff and
students. The graphic signage contributes a level of spirited corporate
identity that traditional schools lack. Externally the treatment of
the façade, using green banded aluminium panels produces a building of
very singular identity that suggests a commercial rather than
institutional user. The staff and governors who were highly involved in
the development of core ideas are immensely excited and proud of their
building.  The local community, which has already been heavily involved,
will have extensive access to both the school and its sports

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  1. Luphia

    Sep 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    My fav is The Nordpark Cable Railway, looks ultra-modern!

  2. Hege

    Sep 26, 2008 at 11:18 am

    You really have a spot for architecture. Some time ago you made a post about Guggenheim museum. I went to Bilbao this summer, and totally felt in love with the Guggenheim museum there…
    Have a nice weekend, BR Hege

  3. Andrew

    Sep 30, 2008 at 9:09 am

    That Civil Justice Center is just hot, hot, hot. Denton Corker Marshall’s site is filled with gorgeous projects. Thanks for getting this firm on my radar.

  4. Chaseyou

    Oct 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Wow, these are very nice, i especially love The Nordpark Cable Railway. Its So appealing to the eye. None of these places have palm trees. Thats sad, because i love palm trees for landscaping around corporate building. I just recently came across a site looking for corporate designs for interior and i ran into this site realpalmtrees.com/interiordesign, im not sure if i should have put that but what other way would the world know about it geeze right…
    Well Kudos to those pics.

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