Saturday05 September 2015

2012 RIBA Stirling Prize was three-way battle, but no Olympic stadium

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Chipperfield and O’Donnell & Tuomey were favoured alongside Stanton Williams

The 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize was a battle between David Chipperfield’s Hepworth Wakefield, O’Donnell & Tuomey’s Lyric theatre and the eventual winner, Stanton Williams’ Sainsbury Laboratory.

BD understands the jury, chaired by Nicholas Grimshaw, dismissed Populous’ Olympic Stadium early on. OMA’s projects, the Maggie’s centre in Gartnavel and New Court Rothschild Bank, were also not part of the final discussions.

Juror Joanna van Heyningen, who spoke on Saturday night at the ceremony in Manchester Central in Grimshaw’s absence, said the winner was a “sublime piece of architecture”.

“It had to deal with a very important historic environment…it’s not just a building, it’s a place,” she said.

Meanwhile, Stanton Williams was seen as a deserving, if unexpected winner.

O’Donnell & Tuomey, shortlisted for the prize for a fourth time, said: “We had a hunch they would win, it’s such an accomplished piece of work.”

Simon Allford, director at AHMM, said: “It’s refreshing that a working that’s challenging the generic mediocrity of educational buildings has won. It’s not a glamour building, that’s refreshing.”

Deborah Saunt, chair of the RIBA awards committee, said: “Looking back, no one ever question it being on the shortlist. It had no comparator, it’s quietly radical.”

Jim Eyre, winner of this year’s Lubetkin prize, said he was “absolutely thrilled” with Stanton Williams’ win.


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