For those partial to a bet, the odds are looking favourable for Yorkshire to claim the greatest contribution to architecture as The Hepworth Wakefield
is shortlisted for the prestigious 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Celebrating the best of new British architecture, the RIBA Stirling Prize is now in its 17th year and is the highest architectural accolade available within the UK. The winning finalist will be announced at a special event in Manchester on Saturday 13 October and will receive the award, plus a £20,000 prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The six buildings competing for this years title (including betting odds from William Hill) are:
1. The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire by David Chipperfield Architects (William Hill odds: 3/1)
2. London Olympic Stadium by Populous (William Hill odds: 5/1)
3. The Lyric Theatre,Belfast by ODonnell + Tuomey (William Hill odds: 4/1)
4. Maggies Centre, Gartnavel, Glasgow by OMA (William Hill odds: 9/2)
5. New Court, London by OMA with Allies and Morrison (William Hill odds: 4/1)
6. Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge by Stanton Williams (William Hill odds: 7/2)
The gallery is currently leading a reader poll by The Guardian newspaper, with 44% of the vote, followed by Lyric Theatre, Belfast at 22%; The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge at 13%; Maggies Centre, Gartnavel, Glasgow at 10% with the London Olympic Stadium at 7% and New Court, London taking last place with 4%. Visit the online poll at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/poll/2012/jul/23/stirling-prize-2012-architecture-poll
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: We are delighted for Wakefield that the gallery has been shortlisted for the UK's most prestigious architecture prize, which recognises the quality of the building designed by Sir David Chipperfield. It's a superb gallery in which to experience world-class art and its design has played a central part in our enormous popularity with the public. We hope Wakefield can claim the Stirling Prize this year.
Councillor Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: I am really pleased to hear the excellent news that The Hepworth Wakefield and its distinctive design has been short listed for the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize. He added: It is a magnificent gallery and brings thousands of people every month to our city and district and I am proud that it is gaining this well-deserved, national recognition.
The Hepworth Wakefield is designed by the only previous RIBA Stirling Prize winner amongst this years shortlisted architects, with David Chipperfield Architects winning in 2007 for the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach,Germany. Shortlisted for the third year running, David Chipperfield Architects now match Foster + Partners, who have also been shortlisted for the prize an outstanding eight times.
RIBA President Angela Brady said: The annual RIBA Stirling Prize celebrates architectural excellence and this year we have an incredibly strong list of contenders. All of the shortlisted buildings demonstrate the essence of great architecture; they are human-scale buildings, places to inspire, entertain, educate and comfort their visitors and passers-by. Every building not only works beautifully from within but has a superb relationship with its surroundings, with a strong interplay between the two. They dont shout look at me and even the tallest building, New Court in the City of London, has created good views for passing pedestrians, meeting the challenge of delivering good urban design in an historic area. The 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize judges have a difficult job to select a winner from this pool of great talent. I cant wait to see which project they choose.
The Hepworth Wakefield has become one of Britains most successful art galleries since it opened on 21 May 2011, welcoming nearly 512,000 visitors within its first 12 months of opening. Visitors can enjoy a range of attractions, including 10 light-filled galleries, learning studios, displays of modern and contemporary art, an auditorium; a shop; café bar with an outdoor terrace; gardens and a riverside childrens play area. Admission to the gallery is free.