Maggie’s Centre, Charing Cross hospital, by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
A trio of London projects have made it onto the shortlist for Britain’ biggest architectural prize, the Stirling.
The list contains a little relief for Richard Rogers’ firm after its bruising battles with Prince Charles: two of their buildings make the cut, a bodega in Spain and the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross hospital. On a similar health-related theme is Kentish Town Health Centre, while the capital’s selection is rounded out by the somewhat prosaic 18-story office block at Aldermanbury Square in the City. The favourite for the prize is the Fuglsang Kunstmuseum in Denmark. Over at The Guardian there’s a swank picture gallery profiling all six candidates.
As the Times’ critic Tom Dykhoff notes, this year’s entries suggest that on the whole architecture is growing quieter and more humble, an instinctive move, perhaps, in anticipation of our current economic problems. Gone are the priapic joys of the Gherkin, the formal innovations of the Lords media centre, the jarring shape and colours of the Peckham Library, all previous winners; in are functionality, modesty, and public service rather than private indulgence — given the growing concern over swine flu, is it merely serendipitous that two of the nominees are for buildings in the health industry?
The winner will be announced on October 17th.