Posts tagged with "RIBA":

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Grayson Perry and FAT’s House for Essex embroiled in RIBA debacle

Fashion Architecture Taste (FAT) and Grayson Perry's A House for Essex has caused something of a stir of late. Completed in 2015, the project was built for Living Architecture, an English company who facilitate "holidays in modern architecture." The project has been praised by much of the architectural profession, especially in the United Kingdom. It's design is meant to embody and reflect the life of a fictional "everywoman," created by Perry, from Essex (a region not renowned for being posh or cultured) and named Julie. Born in 1953, she died at the age of 61 when she was run over by pizza delivery person on moped. The house is her "memorial," an “Essex Taj Mahal” Perry says in a documentary on the building. However, when the Royal Institution of Architects (RIBA) failed to award the project a regional prize, controversy ensued. The decision also excludes the building from being available to win the RIBA Stirling Prize which can only be won after winning any RIBA regional (in this case RIBA East) awards. Subsequent backlash saw critic Rowan Moore say that "RIBA East must be populated by really small-minded halfwits if they can’t see that House for Essex is something special." Passionate post-modernist Adam Nathaniel Furman went one further. “I can only imagine what kind of closed-minded, mean, and narrowly dour view of architecture the judges who reached the decision not to award A House for Essex with a RIBA Prize must have, but I do not begrudge them their artistic miserliness," he said. Charles Holland, a founding member of FAT who now runs Ordinary Architecture alongside Ely Ward said he "would be interested to know what their reasons were,” and branded the decision as "bizarre" in light of the projects praise. “I entered it without any assumptions about things like the Stirling Prize but it has made a fairly big contribution to architecture and to the area so it’s surprising that it hasn’t won a regional award," he added. After the furore however, RIBA remained resolute. "The jury’s decision is final. We can’t overturn it,” said a spokesman. Now though, the house has once again been thrown into the spotlight. According to BDOnline, the chairman of the national awards panel said the RIBA East jury should have consulted those further up in the institution regarding their decision. Chair of the RIBA awards committee, Philip Gumuchdjian said that project would be entered for the regional awards again next year. “It’s not a drama. This is resolvable. They can resubmit it next year,” he said. Despite Furman's best efforts though, "A House for Essex" will not be able to be compete for any RIBA national awards this year. Paul Monaghan of AHMM, who are the current Stirling Prize holders, also commented on the building. “It’s definitely a Marmite building nit it’s got a narrative and if you look back in 50 years’ time will it be one of the more interesting projects from RIBA East?”
A House for Essex then could still one day be awarded the accolade that its fans feel it deserves. Even before it was built, the project was defiant in the face of adversity. During its acquisition of planning approval, members of the public lamented that it was “Better suited to the far or middle east” and that it would “open the flood gates to other avant-garde applications".
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Let’s bring RIBA’s new International Prize to the United States

RIBA-Logo2 The Royal Institute of British Architects has just announced the creation of a new award and you don’t have to be a RIBA member—or even British—to enter or win the prize. It’s called The RIBA International Prize and will be awarded to a building that demonstrates visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, while making distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context. The winner will be chosen by a Grand Jury led by Richard Rogers, Kunlé Adeyemi, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, and Philip Gumuchdjian. The judging process will see two expert panels of jurors visit each of the shortlisted buildings twice in person, before the Grand Jury selects six finalists to visit once more to decide on the winning building. An additional prize, the RIBA International Emerging Architect Prize, will be awarded to a building designed by a practice whose oldest founding director is under the age of 40 at the time of the building’s completionMarilyn Taylor claims the award will explore criteria that  encompass a diversity of projects across culture, scale, location, and impact—as well as reveal their contributions to the public good.” Com’on American architects, lets enter and win this award for the U.S.A.!
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There’s a new prize in town: RIBA launches International Prize for the “world’s best new building”

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced a new prize at a ceremony in London today. The RIBA International Prize will go to the "world's best new building." The selection criteria are broad: the building can be "of any type or budget and in any country, which exemplifies design excellence, architectural ambition and which delivers meaningful social impact." This is the first RIBA award open to non-RIBA members. 1985 RIBA Gold Medal winner Richard Rogers will lead the judges' panel. “I’m delighted to lead the jury for the inaugural RIBA International Prize," Rogers declared in a statement. "[I] look forward to discovering how architecture is reacting to and resolving issues posed by the changing demands of a global community. We look forward to establishing the RIBA International Prize as a new standard by which to assess and promote design excellence on a global scale.” He will be joined by Kunlé Adeyemi, director of Amsterdam- and Lagos-based NLÉ Projects, as well as Philip Gumuchdjian, director of London-based Gumuchdjian Architects. Other members of the jury will be announced "in due course." The call for entries is now open, and any architect may apply. To be considered, buildings must have been built in the last three years (between January 1, 2013 and February 1, 2016). After the inaugural year, the prize will be given to buildings completed within the past two years. To winnow down finalists, shortlisted buildings (themselves winners of the RIBA Awards for International Excellence) will be visited twice by two panels of jurors. The "grand jury" will select six final buildings for a third round visit to pick the winner.
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Burntwood School by AHMM wins 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize

Burntwood School, a girls high school in Wandsworth, south London, has won the UK's most coveted architecture award—RIBA's Stirling Prize—with judges describing it as the "clear winner." The project by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) also collected the RIBA London 2015 award in the process. The concrete structure maybe a '50s throwback of sorts, but AHMM's school is by no means a concrete relic of the bygone era. In awarding the project the 2015 Stirling Prize, RIBA, which is seldom accused of playing politics, has also sent a strong message in the importance public education. The building was close to not being built as it was one of the last schools to be constructed under Tony Blair's "Building Schools for the Future scheme"—a policy ditched by current Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010. Education secretary at the time, Michael Gove, granted permission for the proposal even though the scheme had come to an end. RIBA President Jane Duncan spoke to the BBC about the school, noting how it "shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children's educational enjoyment and achievement." "Delightful, resourceful, and energy efficient buildings that will benefit the whole community in the long term," she continued. "With the UK facing a huge shortage of school places, it is vital we learn lessons from Burntwood." Judges continued that praise, describing AHMM's work as the "most accomplished of the six shortlisted buildings" and showed "the full range of the skills that architects can offer to society."  They went on to add: "Burntwood sets a standard in school design that every child in Britain deserves... It is a culmination of many years of creative toil by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in designing schools up and down the country. This is their masterpiece." Burntwood fought off competition from five other builds, three of which were also from London. Those included project by Richard Rogers, Niall Mcloughlin Architects, Reiach & Hall Architects, MUMA, and Heneghan Peng Architects. With the price tag just north of $63 million, Wandsworth Borough Council's investment appears to have made architectural dividends as members of the awarding jury showered the building in compliments. AHMM Director Paul Monaghan said schools should be "more than just practical, functional buildings," and good design "makes a difference to the way students value themselves and their education." "Staff and students have said on many occasions that the new buildings have greatly improved the quality of their day-to-day experiences at the school and students comment that their commitment to learning has been enhanced," Burntwood School Principal Helen Dorfman commented. The awarding jury consisted of Peter Clegg, senior partner at Field Clegg Bradley Studios; Rory Olcayto, editor at The Architects' Journal; Dame Theresa Sackler of DBE; Steve Tompkins, director of Haworth Tompkins and 2014 Stirling Prize Winner; and Jane Duncan, director  of Jane Duncan Architects, RIBA president and chair.  
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British architects are now deciding which one of these six finalists is the worst building of the year

Six of the worst buildings in Britain, shortlisted by British magazine Building Design, will battle it out to claim British architecture's least wanted trophy. The projects were chosen by a panel comprising BD editor Thomas Lane; architectural critic Ike Ijeh; writer, broadcaster, and historian Gillian Darley; and architectural designer Eleanor Jolliffe. The list was whittled from ten projects put forward by readers who felt compelled enough to voice their distaste about the structures that rudely entered their view. The Carbuncle Cup is in its ninth successive year and is proving to be a humorous, tongue-in-cheek response to the Stirling Prize awarded by RIBA. Pedigree, it seems, won't save you from being shortlisted for the prize. Foster+Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners have previously made the list for their Moor House office development and One Hyde Park projects in London. Past winners include the Strata SE1 building in south London by BFLS and the Cutty Sark renovation in Greenwich by Grimshaw Architects. Last year, Sheppard Robson's Woolwich Central took the prize. The winner of the Carbuncle Cup will be announced next Wednesday, September 9. Take a look at this year's finalists below. 20 Fenchurch Sreet (aka The Walkie-Talkie Tower) London Rafael Viñoly Architects Woodward Hall North Acton, London Careyjones Chapmantolcher Whittle Building Peterhouse, University of Cambridge John Simpson Architects Waltham Forest YMCA London Robert Kilgour Architects City Gateway Swaythling, Southampton Fluid Design Parliament House Lambeth, London Keith Williams Architects
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Herzog and de Meuron just won the 2015 Charles Jencks Award for their contributions to architecture

Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have been named the winners of the 2015 RIBA Charles Jencks Award, an annual prize named for British architect and critic Charles Jencks recognizing “major international contributions to the theory and practice of architecture.” The duo—winners of the 2003 Stirling Prize—has long been innovators in the field, and have reached new levels of success as architectural chameleons who are known as much for China’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium, the centerpiece of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as they are for their luxury condominiums in New York. "We are delighted to be the winners of this year’s RIBA Jencks Award. We feel especially happy about that prize since it honours theory as well as practice. Despite the many texts and books we have published, we still have doubts about the longevity of texts written by architects," the firm said in a statement. "The title of a few books may be remembered over time—the relevance of their content, though, ages faster than expected... We therefore always did our best not to separate theory from the built work. Buildings don't follow theory but the best buildings always allow for theoretical interpretations of all kinds." Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron will receive the award at a ceremony at RIBA's London headquarters on October 29. The jury was led by David Gloster and included Charles Jencks, Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peynton-Jones, and Architectural Association director Brett Steele, and RIBA president Stephen Hodder. Previous winners of the award include Zaha Hadid, Foreign Office Architects,Peter Eisenman, Cecil Balmond, UNStudio, Wolf PrixCoop Himmelb(l)au, Charles Correa, Steven Holl, and Eric Owen Moss.
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Joseph Rykwert Win’s the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

Joseph Rykwert, architectural critic, historian, and writer won the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a distinction that has typically been awarded to architects. He is a leading authority on the history of art and architecture and has had a major impact on designers and architects since the 1960s. He will be presented the award at a black tie dinner at RIBA's London headquarters. “What makes the gift doubly precious is that it does not come from my fellow-scriveners, but from architects and builders—and suggests that what I have written has engaged their attention and been of use, even though I have never sought to be impartial but have taken sides, sometimes combatively,” Rykwert told the Guardian. “So I feel both elated and enormously grateful.” Previous winners include Le Corbusier (1953), Frank Gehry (2000), Toyo Ito (2006), Herzog & de Meuron (2007), Alvaro Siza (2009), I. M. Pei (2010), David Chipperfield (2011), and Peter Zumthor (2013)
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RIBA Halts Lubetkin Prize Honoring International Projects

01-Gardens-bay-archpaper Building Design Online reports that 2013 will be the last year of the Lubetkin Prize, an honor the Royal Institute of British Architects has awarded annually since 2006 to the best new building outside of the European Union.  Whereas RIBA members and fellows were the only candidates eligible for the honor, in 2015 the organization plans to launch a new International Prize open to all architects. In September, London firm Wilkinson Eyre received what now becomes the last Lubetkin Prize for their Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore (pictured). (Photo:  Nimrod Bar / Flickr)
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Theis and Khan to design RIBA’s New Headquarters

RIBA (COURTESY NICK GARROD/ VIA FLICKR) Sawing off competition from five other shortlisted firms, British architects Theis and Khan have been selected to design the Royal Institute of British Architects' new headquarters in London. Located only a few buildings away at 76 Portland Place in downtown London, RIBA’s new premises are to be located inside the current Institute of Physics building, which will be entirely renovated. The existing RIBA offices will be freed up for new exhibition and events space. Construction will begin in March 2014 and is expected to last a year. (Photo: NICK GARROD/ FLICKR)
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Restored ruins of Astley Castle Win UK’s prestigious 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

A few years ago, 12th-century-built Astley Castle was no more than a fire-ravaged, crumbling medieval structure in the English countryside. Now, since its clever restoration by Witherford Watson Mann Architects in 2012, the Landmark Trust-sponsored residence in Warwickshire has been deemed “building of the year” as the winner of the most prestigious architectural prize in the United Kingdom, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ 2013 Stirling Prize. With its fortified ruins artfully incorporated into contemporary construction as a luxury vacation home, RIBA President Stephen Hodder praised the Astley Castle restoration as “an exceptional example of how modern architecture can revive an ancient monument.” However, this year RIBA was unable to secure a sponsor to provide the £20,000 given to winners of the past, BD Online reported. This is the first year that the Stirling Prize comes with no cash value. After a 1978 fire ravaged the already crumbling 12th century Astley Castle in Warwickshire, England, the Landmark Trust in the United Kingdom was not willing to give up on its preservation. In 2007, the charity organization held an architectural competition for a reimagining of the medieval structure and awarded Witherford Watson Mann Architects the project. The architecture firm restored the most ancient parts of the ruins and reinvented the structure as a luxury vacation residence, strengthening the old structure with new stone and timber and repurposing its rooms as modern quarters. At the trophy presentation ceremony in London on September 26, Hodder gave Witherford Watson Mann Architects their first Stirling Prize win, commending their design and explaining RIBA's decision thus:
“[Astley Castle] is significant because rather than a conventional restoration project, the architects have designed an incredibly powerful contemporary house which is expertly and intricately intertwined with 800 years of history. Every detail has been carefully considered, from a specific brick pattern to the exact angle of a view, resulting in a sensually rich experience for all who visit. This beautiful new building is a real labor of love. It was realized in true collaboration between a visionary client, designer and contractors.”
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Wilkinson Eyre Architects Awarded 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize for International Conservatories

Last week, England-based architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects was announced as the recipients of the 2013 Royal Institute of British Architects’ Lubertkin Prize for their recent international project Cooling Conservatories, Gardens By the Bay in Singapore. This is the second consecutive year the firm has been awarded the prestigious RIBA prize for best new international building. Last year, they won the title for the Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China. Cooling Conservatories consists of two massive climate-controlled conservatories, among the largest in the world, whose design allow for a cool-dry growing environment, instead of the warm, humid climate of a typical greenhouse. Sustainably constructed with low-energy glass, the biome structures are carbon-positive—they off set more atmospheric carbon dioxide than they emit. RIBA commended the firm for the sustainability of design for these less-than-typical cool air conservatories. At the prize award ceremony on September 26, Institute President Stephen Hodder called the project “an impressive achievement,” in which Wilkinson Eyre Architects “pushed the boundaries not only environmentally but also structurally.” Located within the Gardens By the Bay tourist attraction, Cooling Conservatories allow visitors to experience world ecosystems most at risk from climate change. The greenhouses support a variety of flora and fauna environments and include a waterfall, mountain, and vertical gardens. Helical pathways lined with educational climate change exhibitions take tourists through the buildings in dynamic design.
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Whimsical Green Promenade Aims to Revive London’s Disconnected Vauxhall Neighborhood

From the mid-17th to the mid-19th century, crowds of Londoners sought entertainment at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, located on the south bank of the River Thames. The acres of greenery that made up the garden were once the site of numerous whimsical attractions, including tight-rope walkers, concerts, fireworks, and narrow winding walkways perfect for amorous adventures. Today the neighborhood of Vauxhall, located in the heart of Nine Elms, is mostly known for the railway arches that slice across the neighborhood, disconnecting it from the riverside and labeling it as the “missing link” between the New US Embassy Quarter and London’s South Bank. In an effort to revive and reconnect the historic neighborhood The Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) and Vauxhall One, an organization dedicated to making Vauxhall a safer, cleaner, and better place for business, created the Vauxhall Missing Link Competition. They invited registered architects, landscape designers, and urban designers to submit their ideas for “an outstanding new addition to the urban environment.” The new plans for Vauxhall, which aim to seamlessly merge a vibrant green environment within an urban setting, unmistakably mimic those of the New York City High Line. According to the competition brief, the intention behind the new scheme is to “Reconnect the disjointed parts of the neighborhood, to build a better visual perception of Vauxhall beyond its roundabouts and roads and to create an identifiable pathway and narrative through the area, linking the railway arches, green spaces and public art into a distinctive place once again.” Erect Architecture and J&L Gibbons won the international competition with their imaginative design titled “The Promenade of Curiosities.” Chris Law, Public Realm and Development Director for Vauxhall One, said in a statement, “Erect/ J&L Gibbons entry was really special. It has so many quirky and innovative features. We really want to make a difference by regenerating Vauxhall through green and sustainable measures and their entry was outstanding.” Inspired by the historic Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and the New York City High Line, the firm designed a contemporary promenade that will feature a series of permanent and temporary art installations. It incorporates lush rain gardens, which will be equipped with sustainable drainage systems and will feature green pathways lined with curiously pruned trees and paved with different textures, creating a fanciful setting reminiscent of the historic gardens. The new project is part of a larger masterplan that involves the transformation of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Area (VNEB). The first phase of development, the Regeneration of the Rail Arches, is already underway. Vauxhall One commissioned a different architect to work on each individual arch so that the end result will be a series of distinct, uniquely designed arches that will no longer barrier the neighborhood from the riverfront, but hopefully create a safe and vivid walkway and bicycle path that will link visitors to it.