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The 2015 Stirling Prize Shortlist Has Been Announced

The shortlist for the Stirling Prize has been announced, with the winner to be revealed on the 15th of October.

The prize is awarded for the best building design, with buildings to be judged against a set of criteria which include innovation and original design; accessibility and sustainability; suitability of the building for its purpose; design vision, engagement, stimulation and enthusiasm of occupants and visitors for the building, and how satisfied the client is with the finished building. The shortlisted buildings this year reflect the changing nature of Britain's housing requirements, ranging from social housing projects to multi-million pound buildings.

Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin

Incorporating the design used in the Peabody Estate in Whitechapel, McLaughlin's 13 flat building covers the space left by a bomb site, and creates an affordable, healthy and generously-proportioned structure that holds true to the intentions of the original Peabody estate designer, Henry Darbishire.

NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour

This is at the opposite end of the spectrum, a large, almost Meccano-like structure which has much of its steel work and internal structures left exposed, these 200 flats are on the market for millions of pounds, and have been engineered to a high standard. Tenants are even prepared to pay extra for the experience of having one of the exposed steel lengths outside their window.

Burntwood School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

An innovative way of tackling the demands of building a school in the cramped London borough of Wandsworth, this design takes some of the best elements of the 60s, including block-structures featuring plenty of glass, in a park-designed setting. The classrooms are large, reflecting the style of university buildings, rather than school structures from the early years of the 21st century.

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Maggie's Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects

One of a number of cancer care centres, which were originally set up by Charles and Maggie Jencks in the 1990's. This is a quieter version of those architectural designs, being a single-story building which has a series of small courtyards and glazed corridors looking out onto a central garden. This has been used in order to encourage men to come to the centre, hoping that gardening might be less stressful than formal counselling.

The Whitworth by MUMA

Located in Manchester, the Whitworth Museum has become a landmark bastion for contemporary and modern art. Its new features, including extending and refurbishing the original building, have converted long and somewhat senile galleries into long glass walkways with glimpses of artworks contained in the rooms. Low ceilings, originally installed in the 60's, have been removed to showcase the vaulted Victorian hallways. It has also used modern techniques to create temperature and humidity control to ensure the art inside is fully protected.

Greenwich University by Heneghan Peng

Greenwich University has built its new architectural facility in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Greenwich, obliging the designers to mix bold design with respect for the historic importance of the location. The buildings are somewhat triangular in shape, with broad, flat fronts that appear to be carved from natural cliffs. After facing criticism from UNESCO about a design that was 'not traditional enough', the architects have managed to mix contemporary and traditional into a functional series of classrooms and exhibition halls.

Take a look at the shortlisted candidates yourself at www.riba.co.uk


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