Having just been sent a copy of the RIBA Journal which contains all the RIBA regional architectural awards, I was speculating over lunch with one of the architects who may be included which of the projects might make it onto the Stirling Prize shortlist.
Here are my own suggestions:-
Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee
I haven’t yet seen it, but reports are generally good, particularly of its overall massing and effect on the economics of Dundee. The grandest and most striking of this year’s projects, but I’m not convinced this means it should win.
Peter Zumthor’s Secular Retreat
Deserves short-listing for the quality of its ambition, use of materials and understated modernism.
Witherford Watson Mann’s Nevill Holt Opera House
Judges will no doubt resist such an obviously elitist project, attached to a country house and privately funded by its owner, but it is brilliantly well crafted and amazing in the way that it is so discreetly inserted into the adjoining stable block.
Adam Richards’s Nithurst Farm
I would be in favour of including some small-scale projects so the award is not always dominated by big capital schemes. This looks interesting – a piece of Piranesian vernacular.
Peter Barber’s Ordnance Road, Enfield
Barber is the architect of the moment and social housing the biggest challenge, so they should include some social housing projects.
6a architects’ Blue Mountain School
A lovely, small, intelligent project, a bit wacky, but none the worse for this; actually, it’s what makes it interesting.