Last week, the Royal Institute of British Architects announced the six projects shortlisted for the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2013, which recognizes the best projects that exemplify fresh talent with a construction budget under £1 million (US$1.59M). Dedicated to the memory of Stephen Lawrence—a teenager who aspired to become an architect but whose life was abruptly ended in 1993—the Stephen Lawrence Prize was set up to inspire emerging talent and working with small construction budgets. The Prize is sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation.
The six shortlisted projects for this year's Stephen Lawrence Prize are:
- The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, Edinburgh by Simpson & Brown Architects
- 25 Tanners Hill (private home and gallery), London by Dow Jones Architects
- Church Walk (housing), London by David Mikhail and Annalie Riches
- The Filling Station, London by Carmody Groarke
- Montpelier Community Nursery, London by AY Architects
- Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects
The jury consisted of: Baronness Lawrence; architect Marco Goldschmied; and architect Mary Duggan — winner of the 2012 RIBA Manser Medal.
The winning project will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize Party on Sept. 26 in London. The winning firm will receive £5,000 (US$7,960).
Check out the shortlisted projects and the judges' citations right below.
The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great
Location: 23-24 George Square, Edinburgh
Architect: Simpson & Brown Architects
Client: The Order of Preachers
Structural Engineer: Elliott & Company
Services Engineer: Irons Foulner
Contractor: Ashwood (Scotland) Ltd
Contract Value: confidential
Date of completion: October 2012
Gross internal area: 140 sq m (Chapel only)
"The Chapel for The Order of Preachers, a Dominican Order, is situated in the garden of one of Edinburgh University’s Georgian townhouses. The new garden chapel is conceived as a space of tranquillity, for reflection and worship. There is no concession in this garden pavilion to the rubble-built rear elevation into which it plugs. The building form and materials contribute to a calm, peaceful space and connect the building to its garden setting. Deep, angled window reveals bring natural light gently within a space characterised by the warmth of the timber pews and the beautifully crafted timber ceiling which also extends outdoors, beyond the west window. The arc of the roof and the corten steel ‘trees’ add a sculptural drama. The sedum planted roof further melds the building to the garden."
25 Tanners Hill
Architect: Dow Jones Architects
Structural Engineer: Momentum
Contractor: E. Fuller & Son: Fullers (Builders) Ltd
Contract Value: £210,000
Date of completion: August 2012
Gross internal area: 180 sq m
"This beautifully executed project, in which a humble bicycle workshop has been transformed, as if by alchemy, to create a home and gallery with a richly layered collection of spaces. The architecture is made as much by what is stripped away and revealed as by the elements that are added. The relationship between exposed plaster, timber walls and a new winder staircase are handled with restraint and confidence. Interior spaces open onto one another with fluidity and the experience is one of space continually unfolding. Empathy with the Grade II listed structure is evident throughout. The decision to leave uneven timber floors to allow the character and history of the structure to be revealed demonstrates empathy towards the existing building and shrewd budget management."
Location: Church Walk, London N16
Architect: David Mikhail Architects
Contractor: Eurobuild Contractors
Structural Engineer: BTA Structural Design
Contract Value: £800,000
Date of completion: July 2012
Gross internal area: 377 sq m
"The architects-cum-developers brought their particular skills in the housing sector to bear on this block of four dwellings and demonstrated how such schemes should be delivered -- beautifully. They were so pleased with the results that they decided to live in one of them. The external treatment is broken down by the functions, with brick to main living areas, Siberian larch cladding to main bedrooms and expanded mesh to the balconies. The interiors are dynamic with split levels and top lit spaces. The selection of materials is consistent throughout, with not a detail left to chance. Every junction was clearly considered and the attention to the finishes, especially the striking flush lime-pointed brick façade, demonstrates an exemplary knowledge and skill with materials."
The Filling Station
Location: Goods Way, London N1
Architect: Carmody Groarke
Client: Argent Estates
Fibreglass fabricator: Stuart Pease
Services Engineer: SES
Contract Value: confidential
Date of completion: May 2012
Gross internal area: 200 sq m
"The ambition for the project was to create a temporary use for the site – a corner of the Kings Cross lands currently under phased re-development by client Argent. The small structure accommodates an events space facing the Regents Canal, a diner-style restaurant and a marketing suite. The architects came up with the idea and with restaurateur, Bistroteque, pitched the idea to Argent. A reduction in the height of this wall was key to unlocking the site. A backlit perimeter screen is used to soften an awkward tight corner opening out on to an open public space overlooking the canal. The history of the site remains in the form of the old filling station canopy relic, thus embracing the slow transition of temporary to permanent."
Montpelier Community Nursery
Location: Brecknock Road, London N19
Architect: AY Architects
Client: Camden Community Nurseries
Contractor: Forest Gate Construction Co
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Services Engineer: King Shaw Associates
Contract Value: £429,000
Date of completion: April 2012
Gross internal area: 136 sq m
"The school takes the form of a pavilion opening on to a part-sheltered play area with a park beyond. The selection of materials is a key part of the scheme’s success. The black stained Siberian larch sits inconspicuously in the trees and contrasts with the white-washed internal woodwork. All the details are well controlled, from exposed conduits to the selection of nursery furniture and material finishes. Simple decisions made for an all-encompassing education experience: thoughtful pushchair stores and recessed entrances takes some of the madness out of drop-off and pick-up times; the door on to the park allows quiet surveillance; and there is a seamless link to the outer play area and garden."
Architect: Carl Turner Architects
Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop
Contractor: Carl Turner Architects
Contract Value: £450,000
Date of completion: Sept 2012
Gross internal area: 195 sq m
"This elegant and confident project is a prototype house composed of multiple standard elements. Yet the executed design is a highly personal solution, which results in a humane interior environment. A standardised and semi-industrial material palette is employed throughout. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution. The project demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low-energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design. Solar thermal panels are linked to the ground source heat pump to increase efficiency, utilising multiple piled foundations. But at no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created."
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