Grown-up projects mark out 2022's Stirling Prize shortlist, these professional pieces address climate while putting the public first
There have not been many refurbished offices shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize. But Hopkins Architects’ 100 Liverpool Street is one of those leading the pack of high ambition refurbs. The project takes the conversation on from the re-use of the concrete frames and foundations – as seen in AHMM’s Stirling shortlisted Angel Building for Derwent – to be a net zero carbon building, a first for property company and client British Land.
In all, six shortlisted projects have been announced by the RIBA: 100 Liverpool Street, London, by Hopkins Architects; Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Scotland, by Reiach and Hall Architects; Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, London, by Henley Halebrown; Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park, London, by Panter Hudspith Architects; Sands End Arts and Community Centre, London by Mae Architects; and The New Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge by Niall McLaughlin Architects.
RIBA president Simon Allford said: ‘All six are…underpinned by their understanding of construction’s responsibility to mitigate and adapt to our climate crisis. From the reuse and upgrade of existing buildings to the conscious specification of low-carbon materials and technologies, to the thoughtful design of hybrid, flexible spaces – these schemes consider their environment and give generously to their community.’
But if sustainability and reducing carbon is a theme for the Stirling Prize shortlisters, so too is the creation of public space and how buildings create social good. We see muscular, solid buildings delivering education, homes and community space.
In a way it is surprising that the two new practice names on the Stirling shortlist, Panter Hudspith and Mae Architects, have not made it before. Panter Hudspith has a remarkable sensibility around materials and articulation, for turning walls into something far more. Head around the back of Oxford’s Westgate shopping centre and you will see the blanks walls come alive, visit Lincoln’s Collection Museum, also by the practice, and you will see a nuanced plan and feel the texture of the materials. Alex Ely of Mae Architects has spent years imbuing the London Plan with best practice on housing, and regenerating neighbourhoods with decent homes.
Mae’s Sands End Arts and Community Centre is also in the unusual position of having already beaten all the London projects on the shortlist to claim London’s Building of the Year in the RIBA Regional Awards. But no-one knows the discussions that will sway the Stirling Prize jury.
Perhaps what is missing from the list is the wildcard of a younger practice or a remarkable tiny building, something a little more exciting and a little less worthy. Those projects are at least represented in the shortlist for the Stephen Lawrence Prize which includes two schemes by Surman Weston and appearances from Sanchez Benton, Gagarin Studio and Will Gamble Architects among others. Together the two shortlists give a sense of the maturity and innovation of British architecture today.
The shortlist for Neave Brown Award has also been announced today.