The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for this year’s International Prize.
First established in 2016, the bi-annual award goes to the best new buildings that demonstrate both a uniqueness in design and an ability to make an impact socially.
“These projects are united by human experience at their heart,” RIBA’s new president Simon Alford said in a statement. “Collectively they demonstrate sensitivity to their surroundings and local cultures, inclusive design, and sustainable solutions, and set a high bar for architectural excellence around the world.”
RIBA’s jury was selective this year, including only three projects from the 16-member-long list that will each vie for the top spot as judged by the 2021 jury chair, multidisciplinary French architect Odile Decq. Es Devlin and Jeanne Gang are also serving as jurors. This year’s projects hail from Germany, Denmark, and Bangladesh, respectively. The winner will be announced alongside RIBA’s International Emerging Architect Prize sometime in early 2022.
Scroll down to see a full list of projects with jury comments below.
Laille Langebro in Copenhagen, Denmark by WilkinsonEyre
"At 160m long, the bridge follows a gently curved path across the water, giving the bridge a light
and slender visual profile that allows views across the harbor. The surrounding structural
supports create two giant wings on either side of the deck and along with the pier arms are
painted in dark grey to blend in with the water. At the center of the bridge, two rotating sections
swing open vertically, allowing for marine traffic to pass through. The mechanism is buried within
the bridge’s piers and opening structure so as not to interrupt the continuous sweeped line
across the water. This is the first time this engineering approach has been used in swinging bridge
design, breaking new ground in the field."
James-Simon-Galerie in Berlin, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects
"The building has been twenty years in the making and is the latest development in Museum
Island’s master plan by the practice. The challenging design brief required a new building that
would respond sensitively to its historical context whilst offering a contemporary museum
experience within a narrow strip of land on the island. The architects have created a design that
blends the Neoclassical with the modern. The commanding temple-like entrance way,
colonnaded walkway that wraps around the building and projects out to the city and lofty interior
lobby space is monumental in scale and stature. The main visitor facilities lie within the
subterranean spaces of the building, including an exquisitely crafted 300-seat auditorium and
temporary exhibition gallery. This lower floor of the galerie leads to an underground walkway
through which visitors can access the surrounding museums."
Friendship Hospital in Satkhira, Bangladesh by Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA
"The hospital is arranged around a series of intimate courtyards, which bring in light and natural ventilation. A canal of water cuts through the length of the site, separating the inpatients and outpatients, whilst collecting rainwater stored in tanks — a valuable resource in an area where the saline groundwater is unusable for most practical purposes. This outdoor space creates intimate areas for patients and visitors to sit and rest with viewpoints of the local countryside. Crafted in local brick chosen for its resilient qualities and low cost, openings in the brickwork offer private shaded areas and provide natural cooling for the wards essential for this hot climate."
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