RIBA Stirling Prize

DateOct 7, 2016
AuthorCatherine Shiers

The RIBA Stirling Prize is one of the most coveted awards among the UK architecture landscape. Born in 1996 out of its predecessor, The Building of the Year Award, The RIBA Stirling Prize is presented to RIBA Chartered Architects and International Fellows for buildings in the UK which have made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

In 2016, six buildings were in contention with Caruso St John’s Newport Street Gallery winning this year’s most prestigious architecture prize.

Martin Walsh of Perkins & Will comments “Caruso St John have succeeded in producing a scheme which showcases everything British Architecture should aspire to. The fusion of traditional and contemporary elements works to reinvigorate a previously neglected area whilst the emphasis on Public can only work to activate the area. It should become an icon for developments in London in how to engage with the existing urban, and human, framework”.

Newport Street Gallery located in a street facing the railway line in Vauxhall, South London involved the conversion and transformation of three listed Victorian industrial buildings, previously used for carpentry and scenery painting for West End theatres into a free public gallery housing artist Damien Hirst’s private art collection.

The judges described the scheme as ‘a bold and confident contribution to UK architecture’ and their approach to conservation as ‘irreverent yet sensitive, achieving a clever solution that expresses a poetic juxtaposition of old and new’.

As with any new development it is fascinating to delve into the history of a site. Using the highest resolution historic Ordnance Survey mapping on the market we have been able to do just that.

This area of London has changed very little with industrial buildings and terraced houses lining the streets. A few notable industries are the timber store (1876), Lambeth Pottery (1879) and engineering works (1950s).
stirling prize

                                                        OS 1056 Town Place 1876                                                              OS County Series 1879

During the war many areas of London were bombed and some are still unknown. However mapping can give us an indication as can be seen on the 1950s maps were many buildings which once stood proud are now labelled as ‘ruin’, including one that now encompasses part of the Newport Street Gallery.

stirling prize 2

Historical maps offer a valuable insight on project locations and help to inspire future designs. To find out more information for your next project set up a free architects account on www.groundsure.com