By Mark Beech
Richard Rogers, the architect whose design for a London building was blocked by the Prince of Wales, last night won this year’s international RIBA Stirling prize.
His firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners received the U.K.’s highest architectural distinction, open to buildings across Europe, for its design of Maggie’s Centre for cancer patients, the Royal Institute of British Architects said at an awards ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London.
Rogers, 76, had picked up two of the six nominations for the prize, worth 20,000 pounds ($32,710). He was also shortlisted for the Bodegas Protos winery near Valladolid, Spain.
Earlier this year, Prince Charles helped to prevent an apartment complex designed by Rogers being built on the site of a former barracks in London’s Chelsea district. The development is based on 12 acres (5 hectares) of land that were purchased for 959 million pounds by the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. -- a unit of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund -- and by the property-developing brothers Christian and Nick Candy.
U.S. architectural writer Charles Jencks has set up cancer- care centers as a memorial to his wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks, who campaigned for patient support and died of cancer. The center by Rogers in Hammersmith, London, joins other Maggie’s buildings designed by Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid in Scotland.
“Maggie’s Centre exceeds at every level in fulfilling the most demanding of briefs,” RIBA said in an e-mailed statement. “This quietly confident building is truly, unquestionably a haven for those who have been diagnosed with cancer.”
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2006 for Barajas Airport in Madrid. This is the second time the practice has been shortlisted twice in the same year: In 2006 Rogers was also nominated for National Assembly for Wales.
The other four nominees for the Stirling 2009 were:
- Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, in Denmark, by Tony Fretton Architects;
- Liverpool One Masterplan, by BDP;
- 5 Aldermanbury Square, in London, by Eric Parry Architects;
- Kentish Town Health Centre, in London, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
The shortlist was missing some acclaimed pieces of architecture from recent years, such as the cloisters at St. Benedict’s School in Ealing, London, designed by Buschow Henley; the underground area designed by Eric Parry next to the restored church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Deal Pier Cafe in Kent, by Niall McLaughlin Architects; the Marks Barfield treetop walkway at Kew and the new Castleford Bridge in Yorkshire.
This is the 14th year the RIBA Stirling Prize has been presented. Last year’s surprise winner was the Accordia housing project in Cambridge, England, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Alison Brooks Architects, and Maccreanor Lavington.
Other winners include the Scottish Parliament, designed by EMBT/RMJM; 30 St. Mary Axe by Foster and Partners; the Laban Centre, London, by Herzog & de Meuron; Gateshead Millennium Bridge by Wilkinson Eyre; and the American Air Museum at Duxford, also by Foster and Partners.