Moving on – and returning to the eternal debate about: What makes a Good Building? In the UK, every year for the last decade or two they have a prize for the best building completed by a British Architect. It is hosted by the RIBA – and while in the past it has been accompanied by a hefty financial reward as well, this year the sponsor has pulled out and so it will be a prize in name only: The Stirling Prize.
It will be announced soon, and as Rowan Moore of the Observer newspaper says, it is a difficult choice:
“shortlist sets out to compare what can’t be compared – as if one had to decide what is better between, say, a shirt, a piece of cheese, an app, some nice music or a chair. It’s in the nature of such awards. The underlying absurdity is part of the fascination.”
The winner has typically been, in the past, one of the buildings of a Big Name Architect – the Zaha Hadid or Norman Fosters of the world, although the prize does not go to the architect, but to the building. Moore notes that in the past: “the Stirling has a record of recognising architects a year or two late, as with Will Alsop, Hadid and David Chipperfield in the past. In any case, the LSE building is this year’s most resonant piece of architecture, for which reason it should win.” In case you don’t know about it, this is “The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics” pictured below.