The Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) 2006 Stirling Prize was awarded on October 14 to the New Area Terminal at Barajas Airport in Madrid by the Richard Rogers Partnership. The £20,000 prize is given to the best building completed by a British architect during the year. Rogers, 73, who studied with the award’s namesake James Stirling, said of the airport project, “It was the most satisfying experience I have had in many years.” He also compared his Spanish client favorably with the British design scene, which he said leaves him depressed. Rogers had a second building nominated for the 2006 prize—the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff.
The award is in its 11th year and has joined the Man Booker Prize for literature and the Turner Prize for art in the national attention it receives. The ceremony is something unimaginable in the United States—a glamorous dinner event broadcast live on BBC television and watched on a Saturday evening by more than a million viewers. The ceremony is hosted by two popular television figures and paced like the academy awards, with lesser awards given for things like best client and best sustainable building of the year, all leading up to the Stirling Prize. The television broadcast also includes a call-in vote for the public’s favorite building on the short list; this year, Michael Hopkins' Evelina Children’s Hospital in London was the winner. The three other buildings on the Stirling shortlist were the Brick House by Caruso St. John Architects, the Idea Store Library and community center by Adjaye Associates, and the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany by Zaha Hadid Architects.