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RIBA Stirling Prize 2004
« on: November 02, 2004, 08:01:10 PM »
30 St Mary Axe wins £20,000 RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal

30 St Mary Axe, commonly referred to as the “Gherkin”, designed by Foster and Partners, has won this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal. The presentation of the UK’s premier architectural award took place at a glittering award ceremony at the Old Billingsgate Market, London and was televised live on Channel 4 at 8pm, Saturday 16 October.
For the first time, the judges reached a unanimous decision.
The judges commented:
“This 40 storey tapering building is already a popular icon on the city skyline, so the jury tended to concentrate upon the degree to which this iconic object did in fact provide a pay-off in terms of facility, ambience and interpretation of the basic mathematics of the project.
“The architects describe it as ‘the capital’s first environmentally progressive tall building.’ And indeed it takes many of the ideas about naturally ventilated tall structures – drawing fresh air through the light wells which spiral up the building - from the same practice’s Commerzbank in Frankfurt. The winding-round of these spaces is played against two other moves: first, the tapering of the tower (the obvious factor in its being dubbed the gherkin), and the decision to offer lessees the option of the ‘six-pack’ or ‘two-pack’ options: in other words, the division of the total envelope into entities of six floors or two floors respectively. Thus, the peripheral slot (sometimes referred to as an atrium or potential garden) becomes a resort available, and readable, in six or two floor runs. The typical office floor is then divided into six rectangular pads, interspersed by triangular service areas. This system is modified at the upper floors where the building’s geometry starts to squeeze in.
“The relatively small footprint of a round building allows more ground space for landscaping. Low walls, the historic boundaries of the site, define a public plaza giving safe access to the double-height shops at ground floor level. The aerodynamic form also means that down draughts are less than with a rectilinear building, further increasing public comfort.
“The entrance is suitably elegant and impressive in scale. Similarly, the bar area at the top promises to respond to the challenge and opportunity of elevation, situation and view: it will be one of the very best rooms in 21st century London.
“The way in which the building lands onto the ground seems entirely consequent on what is above it and the level of discrimination, careful detailing and, at the same time, power of the structure combine to sustain the initial impression that this is a memorable building of international standing."
George Ferguson, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, presented Lord Foster of Foster and Partners with a cheque for £20,000.
30 St Mary Axe beat off stiff competition from five other outstanding examples of British architecture. The other shortlisted buildings were: Kunsthaus, Graz by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, The Spire, Dublin by Ian Ritchie Architects, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester by Studio Daniel Libeskind, Phoenix Initiative, Coventry by MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and the Business Academy Bexley, also by Foster and Partners.
The RIBA Stirling Prize jury visited all six shortlisted buildings and then met for a final time on the day of the presentation to pick the winner. The judges were:
Isabel Allen – Editor, The Architects’ Journal
Antony Gormley – Sculptor, creator of the Angel of the North
Deborah Bull – Dancer and Artistic Director of the Royal Opera House 2
Ted Cullinan – Architect, Edward Cullinan Architects
Francine Houben – Architect Director, Mecanoo.
For in-depth analysis and images of 30 St Mary Axe and the other shortlisted buildings go to
This is the ninth year the RIBA Stirling Prize has been presented. Last year’s winner was The Laban Centre by Herzog & de Meuron and previous winners include Gateshead Millennium Bridge by Wilkinson Eyre, Peckham Library and Media Centre by Alsop and Störmer, the NatWest Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground by Future Systems and the American Air Museum at Duxford by Foster and Partners.
The following winners of the RIBA Special Awards were also announced at the ceremony:
In-Between, a contemporary take on the traditional terrace built between existing houses in North London, designed by Annalie Riches, Silvia Ullmayer and Barti Garibaldo, has won this year’s AJ First Building Award in association with Robin Ellis Design & Construction for the best example of a first stand-alone building by a British architect practising within the European Union.
The Peabody Trust has won this year’s RIBA/Arts Council England Client of the Year Award for its pioneering work in off-site construction which rewards the vital role a good client plays in the creation of fine architecture.
Vista, a rubber-clad beach house built on the vast expanses of Dungeness beach, has won the Stephen Lawrence Prize sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation for the best example of a building with a construction budget of less than £350,000.
The City of Manchester Stadium, designed by Arup Associates and commissioned by Manchester City Council, has won this year’s RIBA Inclusive Design Award in association with the Centre for Accessible Environments and Allgood. This award celebrates inclusivity in building design, and demonstrates that good design results in environments that are safe, convenient and enjoyable to use by people, regardless of disability, age or gender.
HOK International Limited have won this year’s Crown Estate Conservation Award for their conservation of The King’s Library at the British Museum. This award is made to the best work of conservation which demonstrates successful restoration or adaptation of an architecturally significant building.
Stock Orchard Street, London, a ‘green’ residential project beside the busy rail approach to King’s Cross Station, designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, has scooped this year’s RIBA Sustainability Award supported by the SCHÜCO which rewards the building which demonstrates most elegantly and durably the principles of sustainable architecture.


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RIBA Stirling Prize 2004
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 06:52:14 PM »
i dont think its about being pro obama or not. but the fact that many nobel peace prize winners have been rather unreasonable and more like a political farce, it just makes me put the nobel prizes at a much lower esteem than before. well, i mean, ghandi never got his award and was rejected five times.


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