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RIBA's Prestigious Stirling Prize Announces 6 Finalists

The shortlist includes three educational buildings, a gallery, and two residential projects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for 2016’s Stirling Prize. Considered the United Kingdom’s most prestigious architecture prize, the award is presented to the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

The six finalists were selected from a pool of regional winners and include a residence, college campus, a housing project, library, artist Damien Hirst’s London gallery, and a university building from Herzog & de Meuron. For the first time in the prize’s history, two projects share the same client, the University of Oxford.

"Every one of the six buildings shortlisted today illustrates the huge benefit that well-designed buildings can bring to people's lives," RIBA president Jane Duncan said in a press statement.

Last year’s Stirling Prize winner was the Burntwood School, a girls’ school in Wandsworth, London designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM). Learn more about the six projects below with descriptions from the press release. The Stirling Prize winner will be revealed on October 6.

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, by Herzog & de Meuron

The Blavatnik School of Government, a contemporary new building in a conservation area takes the traditional Oxford quad and tears up the rule book; Herzog & de Meuron have created a succession of wide twisting staircases, offset balconies and communal spaces that encourage greater debate and interaction for aspiring civil servants and politicians.

City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, by Michael Laird Architects and Reiach and Hall Architects

In Glasgow, the city benefits from a bold statement about the importance of civic education with the addition of City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus; the architects Michael Laird Architects & Reiach and Hall Architects have created a new icon on the Glasgow skyline with a campus anchored by two generous civic spaces, a cloistered garden and grand hall.

Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London, by Caruso St John Architects

Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall is the new home of artist Damien Hirst’s private collection. Three Victorian workshops that were once used to create sets for West End productions have been bookended by Caruso St John’s new buildings; the five buildings now joined together seamlessly to create superb gallery spaces and a beautifully curated new street.

Outhouse, Gloucestershire, by Loyn & Co Architects

Outhouse by Loyn & Co is the first private house to feature on the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist for 15 years (The Lawns by Smerin Architects was shortlisted in 2001). An exemplary concrete house on the Welsh borders, designed for a couple of retired artists, it delights with unexpected spaces, some underground, with a field as the roof. The architect’s use of light, air and vistas make the absolute most of its sloping site and wide views.

Trafalgar Place, Elephant and Castle, London, by dRMM Architects

Trafalgar Place, the first results of the wholescale redevelopment of Elephant and Castle’s 1970s Heygate Estate, are on the shortlist. Here dRMM Architects have designed a flagship development of 235 high density, high-quality homes set amongst retained mature trees and extensive landscaping; bringing a sense of tranquillity to a very urban location. Clever use of brickwork gives the new buildings an identity of their own; eight types of brick have been used, each one chosen to reference neighbouring buildings.

Weston Library, University of Oxford, by WilkinsonEyre

WilkinsonEyre have opened up the Bodleian’s Weston Library to the world. This Giles Gilbert Scott Grade II listed gem was once rather insular but has been transformed by a bold new glazed mezzanine to reveal to the public the treasures contained inside.