Posts tagged with "Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)":

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The hidden story behind Mies van der Rohe's unbuilt London skyscraper

A unique exhibition opened last week at the RIBA in London that compares schemes from two of the most iconic architects of the 20th Century: Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling.

The exhibition, titled Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square, takes a look at the unrealized Mansion House Square proposal by the former that was succeeded 20 years later by James Stirling's newly listed No. 1 Poultry scheme. Sited in central London, Mies's modernist proposal (a stylistic antonym of what was actually erected) drew ire from the public and monarchy, though the story, up until now, has likely been a mystery to those not old enough to know of its existence.

The exhibition is the first time the public has been able to compare and contrast the two architects’ responses to a tricky site. The curators of the exhibition—Marie Bak Mortensen, head of exhibitions and Vicky Wilson, assistant curator, RIBA—have spent the last two-and-half years researching and sourcing a vast collection of photography, drawings, models, articles, and artifacts. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper, they said their motivation behind the exhibition was to "dig behind the official story," fraught with controversy and public opinion, to expose the architecture beneath.

Mortensen and Wilson, the original designers of the RIBA architecture gallery, have returned to design an exhibition consisting of steel, stained wood, and floating tables. A 1:96 scale model of the Mansion House scheme dominates the exhibition, which was used as a marketing tool to impress the public ten years after the passing of Mies himself. The highly detailed model of a proposal which was once dubbed a "glass stump" by Prince Charles, has been restored back its former glory. 

During its ascension into the public mainframe, the focal point of opposition to the scheme did not pertain to the scale of the 18 story tower of glass and bronze, but rather the vast public space proposed beneath and around. It is a public space which would be cherished today, yet in the 1960s it was seen as space which could incite unrest—a notion particularly toxic amid the wave of IRA terrorism in the UK. Circling the Square tells the story of the tumultuous 40-year journey of the site, culminating in the completion of No. 1 Poultry which went up in 1997, five years after Stirling's death. 

Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square runs through June 25 and is on show at The Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London.

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RIBA names three new Fellows from the Midwest

The Royal Institute of British Architects has named 30 new RIBA Fellows, three of which are based in the U.S. Midwest and one based in New York. Fellows are chartered members of RIBA who are recognized for the significant contribution to the profession. RIBA Fellows represent a wide range of practitioners and academics from around the world. RIBA calls their Fellows “ambassadors for the profession and RIBA community.” This year's U.S.-based Fellows are New York-based Page Ayres Cowley, FRIBA, FAIA, Milwaukee-based Dr. Robert Greenstreet, FRIBA, PhD, FRSA, Int. Assoc. AIA, DPASCA, Pittsburgh-based Dr. Khee Poh Lam, FRIBA, and Kansas-based Peter Magyar, FRIBA, CAHA. Page Ayres Cowley is an architect whose work in conservation and historic preservation has earned her multiple national awards. She has also served on the AIA NY Chapter Historic Building Committee and the Sir John Soan’s Museum Foundation. Dr. Robert Greenstreet has been the recipient of the AIA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education for his continued work as the Dean of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is also the Director of the Department of Planning and Design in Milwaukee. His work focuses on leadership within the profession, as well as policy within a green economy. Dr. Khee Poh Lam is noted for his continued work in architectural technology. Poh played a key role in designing the National Library Building, Singapore, the first buildings to win the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating business and community leaders, policy-makers, and the public about the benefits of a clean energy economy. Peter Magyar is involved with architectural leadership around the world. He sits on the Boards of AIA Pennsylvania, AIA Florida, and AIA Kansas. He was also a founding director of the first professional degree for architecture at the Florida Atlantic University, a school dedicated to providing architectural education to underprivileged students. “The community of RIBA Fellows highlights an incredible range of individuals and their many differing contributions to architecture—a desire to support, influence, and affect change, whether on a local, national or international scale,” stated Jane Duncan, RIBA President. “Fellows of the RIBA have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate the great importance and impact of their contributions which affect and influence change in the profession that advances architecture.”
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"Modern day Machu Picchu" wins RIBA's first International Prize

Lauded as a "modern day Machu Picchu" by judges, Irish firm Grafton Architects has won the inaugural RIBA International Prize for their Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (University of Engineering and Technology, known as "UTEC") building in Peru. The Dublin-based practice saw off competition from Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster+Partners, David Chipperfield, Nicholas Grimshaw, Shigeru Ban, and this year's RIBA Stirling Prize winner Caruso St John.

"Grafton Architects have created an innovative new model for a university campus that is highly responsive to its local environment and community," said RIBA president Jane Duncan. "The concept of a ‘vertical campus’ defies convention, as does the mix of open and enclosed spaces, but both are key to the success of this building visually and spatially."

The Dublin firm worked alongside local studio Shell Arquitectos on the design for UTEC, which echoes South American brutalist vernacular and the dramatic topography of the site. Contrary to its external aesthetic, the building is home to a myriad of open and visually connected spaces (especially circulatory ones) that work in tandem with the site's climate. In fact, the only closed spaces are classrooms, offices, laboratories, lecture theaters, seminar rooms, and toilets. As a result, campus social life can take place in the open air, encased by terracing yet on display to those passing through. UTEC officially opened in April 2015 and, according to RIBA, it is the "culmination of years of spatial and formal experimentation by Grafton Architects."

RIBA's "International Prize" is the first from the architectural body that is open to any qualified architect in the world. This year's jury saw esteemed architects Richard Rogers and Kunlé Adeyemi form a five member strong judging panel. According to RIBA, the new prize is "awarded to the most transformative building of the year which demonstrates visionary, innovative thinking, excellence of execution, and makes a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context."

UTEC was selected as the winner of the 2016 RIBA International Prize from the following outstanding shortlisted entries:

  • Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre, Menos é Mais, Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Lda
  • Heydar Aliyev Centre, Zaha Hadid Architects with DiA Holding
  • Museo Jumex, David Chipperfield Architects with Taller Abierto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (TAAU)
  • Stormen Concert Hall, Theatre and Public Library, DRDH Architects
  • The Ring of Remembrance, International WWI Memorial of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Agence d’architecture Philippe Prost (AAPP)

The awarding jury also made the following (collective) comments:

Sitting on the border of two residential districts in Lima, in section UTEC perches tantalizingly on the edge of a ravine. Seen from across the ravine it is as bold and as pure a statement of the symbiosis between architecture and engineering as could be imagined; a piece of geology imposed on its pivotal site, mirroring the organic curve of the landscape and accommodating itself in the city. To its close neighbours, it is a series of landscaped terraces with clefts, overhangs and grottos, a modern day Machu Picchu. UTEC has been designed to encourage its students to interact in a unique way with the building. The vertical structure provides open circulation and meeting spaces in a succession of platforms that compose the ‘frame’ of the building; teaching rooms, laboratories and offices are enclosed, inserted into and suspended from the exposed concrete structure. The frame is a device providing shade, a place of rich spatial exuberance and a platform from which to view the life of the city. The entire life of this vertical campus is on full display to the people of Lima. UTEC is the culmination of years of experimentation by Grafton Architects. In this building they show the mastery of their craft, gifting Lima with a bold yet considerate contribution to the city and a visionary, world-class building.

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RIBA unveils the 2016 Stirling Prize shortlist

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced this years Stirling Prize shortlist. Comprising six builds from six firms, the winners will be crowned on October 6 this year for what is Britain's most prestigious architecture award. Up for nomination are London firm Wilkinson Eyre who could potentially win their third Stirling Prize, something which is yet to be achieved. Their project, a conversion of Oxford University’s Grade 1 listed Weston Library joins Swiss firm Herzog and de Meuron's for the university, the Blavatnik School of Government. Making up three projects in the education sector (half of the shortlist), is the City of Glasgow College riverside campus from Michael Laird Architects and Reiach & Hall. The sector appears to be a good source of architectural prowess as last year, Burntwood School in South London by AHMM won the award. London practice dRMM and and Cardiff-based studio Loyn & Co received recognition two residential projects: Trafalgar Place, a complex part of the Elephant & Castle redevelopment in South London, and Inside Outside House, a dwelling in the Forest of Dean, Southeast Wales. Loyn & Co's private residency is the first to make the shortlist in 15 years and is also in the running for RIBA's House of the Year Award. The final addition to the list, but by no means the least worthy, is another London firm, Caruso St. John who make their second appearance on the shortlist. This time they're up for nomination courtesy of their brick-heavy facade Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London for British artist Damien Hirst which features an elegant wooden spiral staircase. Judging this years entries will be Patrik Schumacher of ZHA; Paul Monaghan of last year's winning firm AHMM; Roisin Heneghan of Heneghan and Peng; Michael Hussey, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; and Rachel Whiteread, a renowned British sculptor who won the Turner Prize in 1993.
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RIBA takes a look at Britain's house of tomorrow in latest exhibition

Opening today, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London is hosting a new exhibition At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow. Focusing on three typologies: cottages, terraced housing and flats, the exhibition will critique vernacular housing trends of the past while addressing contemporary issues such as affordability, housing density and shared living. Making use of RIBA's extensive architectural archives, a diverse selection of six practices, divided into groups of two for each typology were commissioned with each producing projects and case studies specific to the task. The exhibition also ties in with the British pavilion at this years Venice Biennale titled Home Economics led by Shumi Rose, Jack Self and Finn Williams. Tackling the cottage typology, London studio Jamie Fobert Architects, who also designed the exhibition, looks at how plot sizes needn't be an issue in the 21st Century when considering low-cost countryside dwelling. "The ability to have your own piece of land hasn't really changed," said Fobert at a press preview. His exhibit which features an extensive site model of the Ailesbury East development, also criticizes the disparity between suburban housing that has been "dropped" into village contexts citing how 58 percent of space is tarmac. Also focusing on cottages is French firm, Maison Edouard François. François best known for his Flower Tower project focuses his study on a site by the Orly Airport just outside of Paris. Despite being destined for demolition, François advocated the site's reuse calling for individuality in his low-rise housing scheme. Taking on terraces are London firms vPPR and Mæ. Led by Alexy Ely, the firm has put together an interactive exhibit that encourages people to design their own terrace choosing from a selection of floor plans and facades factoring in lifestyle and budget. vPPR on the other hand take a look at how party walls, instead of separating, can unify residents in terraced housing. Tatiana von Preussen, one of the founding trio of female architects at the firm explained how recreational space doesn't always have to be secluded and private, using a 1:50 axonometric drawing and mirrored styrofoam 3D model to highlight the possibility of shared spaces. Here, von Preussen argues that as more people are working from home, a collective office space could be a future possibility while stressing that vPPR's proposal did not "impose" communal living, saying that the process would be "organic". On to the final typology of the flat and Dutch firm Mecanoo has put together a large wooden cuboid scale model aimed to demonstrate how different lifestyles can coexist in the same structure. Of all the practices, their work relies most heavily on RIBA's collections. Their exhaustive study showcases sections from Denys Lasdun's "ziggurat" halls of residence at the University of East Anglia and Peter Cook's competition submission for a block of flats on Roosevelt Island in New York. However, their primary inspiration derives from the floor plans of Britain's country estates, as can seen with Ragley Hall, where a central atrium serves as the buildings focal point and communal hub. Finally, Studio Weave from London take the most abstract approach. Their quirky exhibit chronologically looks at how housing was sold to public. Using this, they have put together a series of hypothetical adverts for the housing of the future - or of 2025 to be precise. The posters, baring a resemblance to's recent exposure in London, feature phrases such as "Meet your emergency dog walker" and "Meet your supermarket sidekick" envisioning a future where communal living is an in demand asset.
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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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RIBA awards Liverpool's Everyman Theatre the prestigious Stirling Prize

The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, England—a cultural institution with a democratic spirit and a history of producing thespian talent—has topped the competition including Zaha Hadid and won the much sought-after 2014 Stirling Prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The new building, designed by Haworth Tompkins, a London-based firm boasting of more than a dozen theater projects, replaces Everyman’s former home in the shell of Hope Hall, a 19th century dissenter’s chapel. Completed in 2013, the new venue now features a 400-seat auditorium, a series of creative workspaces, a sound studio, a “Writer’s Room,” and dedicated spaces for community groups, in addition to a bistro in the basement, a street level café, and several foyers and catering areas. Roughly 25,000 bricks from the original chapel were salvaged and reused for the wrap-around auditorium. This is just one of many sustainable strategies employed, with the goal of achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating, including rooftop rainwater collection, locally-sourced and recycled materials, natural ventilation systems, and a combined heat and power unit to reduce energy consumption. In conceiving the design, the architects sought the feedback of Liverpool locals. The theater’s community-oriented mission is reflected in the “Portrait Wall” mounted on the west-facing facade, which is comprised of 105 aluminum sunshades featuring life-size images of the city's residents. “The new Everyman in Liverpool is truly for every man, woman and child. It cleverly resolves so many of the issues architects face every day. Its context—the handsome street that links the two cathedrals—is brilliantly complemented by the building’s scale, transparency, materials and quirky sense of humour, notably where the solar shading is transformed into a parade of Liverpudlians,” the judges said in a statement. Everyman Theatre beat out high profile projects on the shortlist, such as: Mecanoo’s Library of Birmingham, London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, London School of Economics by Saw Swee Hock, Student Centre by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, and The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.