Spire shortlisted for Stirling Prize

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    • #707321

      Taken from the Guardian.

      Foster’s Gherkin tipped for architecture prize

      Sean Clarke
      Thursday September 9, 2004

      30 St Mary Axe. Organisers called it ‘a lasting impression on the London skyline’. Photo: David Sillitoe

      Norman Foster’s London skyscraper at 30 St Mary Axe, more commonly known as the Gherkin, has been shortlisted with five other buildings for the £20,000 Stirling prize for architecture.
      The 40-storey capital landmark is 5-2 favourite to win the prestigious award, according to odds from William Hill. The other shortlisted buildings are: the Spire, a Dublin monument to replace Nelson’s column; Daniel Libeskind’s much-praised Imperial War Museum North in Manchester; Bexley Business Academy, also by Foster and Partners; the Graz Kunsthaus, an arts centre in Austria; and the Phoenix initiative, an urban regeneration plan in Coventry.

      The Stirling prize is Britain’s foremost architectural award, given by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) to “the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year”. Winners must be Riba members, though the building can be anywhere in Europe.

      Traditionally, the most famous building on the shortlist – in this case undoubtedly the Gherkin – emerges as the favourite, but does not necessarily win. Last year the award went to a dance centre in Deptford ahead of Foster’s British Museum Great Court, and the year before to the “winking bridge” in Newcastle.

      The prize is awarded by a jury which this year includes Antony Gormley, the sculptor of the Angel of the North. They will visit all the buildings, and decide the winner on October 16, the day the award is presented.

      Eric Parry, chair of Riba’s awards committee admitted the shortlisted buildings were “very different in scope and cost and design, but they share one common feature: they leave icons for the future.” He emphasised the functional aspects of the buildings, saying that attendances at Bexley Business Academy had “soared” because students were so impressed by their new surroundings.

      If the Gherkin does win, it will not be Foster and Partners’ first Stirling prize. The award, which is in its ninth year, has previously gone to Foster’s American Air Museum at Duxford.

      The shortlist in full
      Odds by William Hill

      Kunsthaus, Graz – Peter Cook, Colin Fournier (4-1)
      The Spire, Dublin – Ian Ritchie Architects (3-1)
      Imperial War Museum North, Manchester – Studio Daniel Libeskind (5-1)
      Phoenix Initiative, Coventry – MacCormac Jamieson Prichard (4-1)
      30 St. Mary Axe, London WC1 – Foster and Partners (5-2)
      Business Academy Bexley – Foster and Partners (5-1)


    • #745841
      modular man

      olé, olé
      Go on the spike
      its been a while since we won the eurovision so I think we need this,
      mind you , I bet the gherkins lights work!

    • #745842

      The SPire is 3-1, second favorite to win, although they are all close. In a year without the gherkin I presume it would be favorite.

    • #745843

      The spire might have been designed by an Architect, but is it really architecture? Sculpture perhaps….

    • #745844
      modular man

      Originally posted by burge_eye
      The spire might have been designed by an Architect, but is it really architecture?

      They said the same thing about the blinking bridge and it romped home. I imagine they judge each project on thier own specific merits. The spike could well become one of the most important buildings in Dublin with regards to what it may generate around it. but perhaps it is too early to tell

    • #745845

      I think you have a point Modular Man. It is architecture in terms of its role within the rejuvenation of the whole street and the way in which it re-emphasises the axis of O’Connell Street – Henry Street and Earl Street. (I though I heard that there had been a little bit of disquiet about the lack of sculptors involvement in the competition, because the original AAI competition in 1988 had been for architects and sculptors collaborating together.) Surely high quality architecture should be of a sculptural nature anyway?! The Gherkin certainly is.

    • #745846

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it to win. Sure, it is architecture in the very essence of the term but I just think that it should, perhaps, be in a separate category. Would the original Nelson Column be described as architecture?

      With respect to rejuvenating the street I think it’s got a long way to go. It is after all located in the middle of a – narrow – pedestrian crossing. It basically gives something to lean against while waiting for the buses and taxis to pass.

      I think it is a fabulous monument with a great presence but that its presence is currently lacking at street level.

    • #745847
      Paul Clerkin

      Tough opposition this year – the Gherkin can be said to have reignited public interest and excitment in high rise again…. deservedly the favourite but will it prevail?

    • #745848

      I shall be at the stirling award on Sarurday and can confirm my excitment. I’m placing a £20 bet on Sir Fosters to take the prize.

    • #745849

      Yeah, I’ve a feeling the Gherkin will take it too. Although, if the Spire’s historical and social significance is fully taken into account you never know.

      The award will be televised by Channel 4 on Saturday night at 20.05. Kevin McCloud is being hauled out again.

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