Today is the final day for the public vote for the 2014 RIBA Sterling Prize. With buildings from across the country making the list, we’ve compile a quick run down to help you decide who to vote for if you haven’t already. With some internationally known to some national and local gems, the Sterling Prize recognises buildings that have excelled in architectural form and function.
Library of Birmingham
Built in 2013, and already the winner of the RIBA West Midlands award, the Library of Birmingham comes as a refreshing reminder to the importance of sustaining and developing libraries for future generations. Designed by Mecanoo Architechen, the stunning building with intricate wirework on the facade appears to float and has become a landmark within the city for the city’s population and across the world. With pedestrian escalators and a book rotunda which takes you up the five floors, each part of the library space has been created to flow fluidly.
(Image credit: CHRISTIAN RICHTERS)
London Aquatics Centre
Creating and designing beautiful and functional buildings for a sporting event is a key challenge for any architect. For the 2012 London Olypmics, Zaha Hadid Architects were able to meet this challenge leaving behind a magnificent structure. The removable seating sections that extruded on the sides of the Aquatics Centre were temporary, but fulfilled their requirement well. Inside, the building is no less inspiring, with a BREEAM Innovation Credit for meeting and exceeding sustainability credits. The concrete structure with highly efficient heat recovery, a water based heating system, a naturally lit pool, rainwater harvesting plus water saving measures throughout the building, this is a project that sits high on aesthetics and innovation.
(image Credit: HUFTON + CROW)
Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
A preserved part of the city’s cultural heritage, the original theatre had been in disuse for a long period of time due to being unsuitable for performances. The bold move to create a new theatre on the site of the old one has not been disappointing at all. Firstly, the architect behind the new Everyman Theatre, Haworth Tomkin is well experienced with theatre projects and has done full justice to this locally loved spot. The highlight of this project is the attention to detail to create a high-functioning building. From the 400 seat flexible auditorium, to the rehearsal spaces and foyer with bar and restaurant, the building is a local gem recognised on a national platform.
(image Credit: PHILIP VILE & HAWORTH TOMPKINS)
London School of Economics, Saw Swee Hock Student centre
Built in 2013 and designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, the new student centre at the London School of Economics is a fascinating addition. The geometric angles function as visually stunning but also function to optimise the daylight used within the building. From the top floor thought to the basement bar, natural daylighting has been cleverly created and alongside the buildings natural ventilation system, the building holds a BREEAM Outstanding credit. With an internal spiralling plan, social spaces are formed lucidly to facilitate serendipitous meetings and interactions.
(image credit: DENNIS GILBERT)
The newest and tallest landmark in the city, The Shard is prominently one of the most photographed buildings for its stunning photogenic and aesthetic qualities. What also makes this building ideal to be on the shortlist is the way it is built on a compressed and tight site, yet wins for overcoming this deficit within 1.2million square feet of building space. It houses offices, a hotel, a health clinic, residential apartments, bars and restaurants and finally on top, a magnificent public viewing gallery. It is essentially a vertical city in itself.
(Image Credit: SAM ROBERTS & MICHAEL DENANCE)
Manchester Art School
The new building, part of a refurbished 1960’s tower is also a part of a new way of learning. Collaboration is key when it comes to the new Manchester Art School building. Housing students from Fashion, to photography and architecture, among other subjects, the structure has been created to allow a free flow of ideas and inspiration. The structure is a physical manifestation of the thinking that art doesn;t happen behind closed doors, or in insolation. Here, the Art School allows open thought and the natural of their school environment encourages and enforces this idea.
(Image Credit: HUFTON + CROW)