The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed its shortlist for the renowned Stirling Prize, which designates the best building in the United Kingdom based on design vision and innovation, among other factors. The finalists include Bloomberg’s new headquarters, a cemetery, a museum extension, and three university-related buildings. All six projects were previously recognized with a RIBA National Award for their contributions to architecture.
Designed by Foster + Partners and completed last fall, Bloomberg London comprises two volumes divided by a pedestrianized dining arcade and connected by bridges. The 10-story building is sprawled across 3.2 acres, housing approximately 4,000 employees. Its most notable feature is its façade, a sandstone frame with protruding fins. The project was also a recipient of the RIBA London Award, which acknowledges architectural excellence in England’s capital.
The winner of a regional RIBA award, Bushey Cemetery was designed by Waugh Thisleton Architects for The United Synagogue. Two prayer halls and several service buildings sit beside a tree belt and a series of ponds. The buildings’ plain forms, made of rammed earth, oak, and steel, are rooted in the Jewish practice of burying the deceased simply.
Jamie Forbert Architects’ new extension to the Tate St Ives also won a regional RIBA award. Carved out of a hillside, the addition doubles the amount of gallery space, and has a faience-clad loading bay, which is easily visible from a neighboring beach. The firm took great care to avoid significantly disrupting an already crowded site.
University-backed projects made up the remainder of this year’s Stirling finalists: Henley Halebrown’s Chadwick Hall for the University of Roehampton is a student dormitory split into three Georgian-inspired buildings; Storey’s Field Centre and Eddington Nursery for the University of Cambridge, by MUMA LLP, integrates natural ventilation through the use of small windows and a ventilation inlet grille; and Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College is a teaching facility specifically designed to complement the surrounding gardens and a nearby lake.
Last year, the Stirling Prize was given to Hastings Pier, designed by London-based firm dRMM Architects. The winner of this year’s award will be announced on October 10 in Camden, London.