Stirling Prize shortlist revealed

The ShardRIBA has released the shortlist for its prestigious Stirling Prize.

Six new buildings have been shortlisted for the Prize, which is awarded to the project that has made the most significant contribution to architecture in the United Kingdom.

The nominations, which include Renzo Piano’s The Shard, are drawn from the public, commercial, and educational spheres.

Zaha Hadid, a previous recipient of the Stirling Prize, has also been nominated for the London Aquatics Centre.

The winner will be announced by RIBA on the 16th October.

Find out which buildings have been nominated here.

RIBA choose Astley Castle as their winner of the 2013 Stirling Prize

Stirling Prize WinnerThe Royal Institute of British Architects has announced their winner of the 2013 Stirling Prize, which was awarded to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for Astley Castle.

This beautiful and sympathetic scheme placed a new building at the heart of the old, bringing new life to features that were once dying away. 

Astley Castle is a 12th century fortified manor that was damaged by fire in 1978. Witherford Watson Mann Architects has designed a new house that allows visitors to experience life in a centuries old castle whilst still enjoying all the 21st century modern conveniences.

RIBA comments, “Astley Castle demonstrates that working within sensitive historic contexts requires far more than the specialist skills of the conservation architect: this is an important piece of architecture, beautifully detailed and crafted. The decision to put the bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor and the communal spaces above makes the experience of the house very special as perhaps the most impressive spaces are the outdoor Tudor and Jacobean ruins.”

Astley Caste - Stirling Prize WinnerWatch a film about this fantastic building below or visit RIBA here to find out more about this outstanding project and the other shortlisted entries.

Images © Helen Binet

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist: Astley Castle from RIBA on Vimeo.

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced

Bishop Edward King ChapelGiants Causeway Visitors CentreRIBA has announced a shortlist of six buildings nominated for their Stirling Prize Best Building of the Year award.

The Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the most significant contribution to British architecture in that year.

There is a refreshing feel to the candidates on RIBA‘s 2013 shortlist, because five out of the six practices responsible for the buildings are nominated on this list for the first time.

The favourite to win the award is an exceptionally crafted stone chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects. The chapel is beautifully built from hand-cut clipsham limestone, which is laid to give a woven, drape-like effect up to a continuous clerestory window from which divine light resonates.

Another interesting candidate from this years shortlist is the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, Heneghan Peng were the architects responsible for the design of this building. It strikes a difficult balance of being a geological presence in its own right, while also maintaining the designer aspect that makes it aesthetically pleasing for the visitors. 

Find out more infromation on this year’s candidates here and let us know your winner!

RIBA awards 2013 winners announced

Olympic MasterplanPierresvivesBishop Edward King ChapelThis year’s winners for the Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) Awards have been announced, which includes 9 winners of the European Awards and 43 winners of the National awards, which form the basis for the Stirling Prize shortlist.

RIBA also announced the winners of the Regional Awards and International Award as part of a simultaneous event. The winners of the International Award are considered for the Lubetkin Prize.

To be eligable for an award the project must be designed by a RIBA chartered architect and RIBA international fellows.

The projects awarded include 

Each of the National Award winning buildings are presented with a lead plaque and the winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced at an event on Tuesday 26th September at St. Martins, Kings Cross.

To see all the RIBA Award winners, click here.

Regent Street windows

Topshop WindowKaren Millen windowFerrari WindowHave you popped down to Regent Street recently? Well if you can handle the crowds you should, as this year’s RIBA Window Project is currently in place.

The project includes six architecture studios working with shops along the famous road, creating unique displays in six of the most iconic stores.

Supported by RIBA and the Regent Street Association, the project is in its fourth year and runs until 6th May 2013.

Topshop has a rotating wheel of mannequins designed by George King and Mark Nixon from Neon, which will allow for different outfits to be displayed throughout the day.

The installation at Karen Millen is made of sports fabric and cable ties, and spans the 30-metre length of the window. It is the creation of Mamou-Mani.

John Tollitt and his team at Gensler drew on the emotional response one may feel driving one of their cars for their display for the flagship store of Ferrari.

The atrium of Espirit‘s store was transformed by naganJohnson into a beach scene, complete with a wave of chestnut paling fencing.

Carl Turner Architects referenced American artist Gordon Matta Clark‘s images of cut-out buildings at Jack Spade‘s Brewer Street store, just off Regent Street, creating fantasy New York streetscapes on the facade, in the windows and on blackboard illustrations.

Finally, interlocking panels to form freestanding screens at Moss Bros, creating a three-dimensional herringbone effect was the idea of AY Architects.

Find out more information and see more images here.

Photographs are by Agnese Sanvito.

RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced

The Hepworth
Olympic Stadium

This year’s RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has been announced with six buildings, including the London Olympic Stadium by Populous and two projects by OMA.

The six that will compete for the £20,000 prize for the Best Building by a British-registered architect are:

The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire by David Chipperfield Architects (pic 1)
London Olympic Stadium by Populous (pic 2)
The Lyric Theatre, Belfast by O’Donnell + Tuomey
Maggie’s Centre, Gartnavel, Glasgow by OMA
New Court, London by OMA with Allies and Morrison
Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge by Stanton Williams (pic 3)

See more about the shortlist here.

AIA launches architecture app

AIA AppIf you’re heading over to the States and fancy finding out more about the buildings around you then this is the essential app.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has formed a partnership with Broadcastr and created an app that provides in-depth information about the buildings around you along with exclusive interviews with architects and a vast library of narratives from local professionals that reveal the stories and facts. The app initially works in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C.

“Imagine standing in front of one of the world’s great buildings and listening to the architect tell you about her inspiration,” said Andy Hunter, CEO of Broadcastr. “We are thrilled that our partnership with AIA makes that possible.”

The AIA Broadcastr is available on Apple and Android. Let us know if you make it over there and use it. Should RIBA be launching a similar app?

RIBA hunts for unique pews and perches

RIBA has launched a competition inviting architecture students, recent graduates and emerging practices from across London to come up with unique ideas for public seating in association with London’s Pleasure Gardens.

The winners of Pews & Perches will receive funding to build their designs which will be showcased around the Royal Docks in East London in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The deadline for submissions is 30 January 2012.

Click here for more details


Paper v’s Digital PR – An Article for RIBA Insight

The Think Tank was recently asked to comment upon the importance of the use of paper v’s digital media in PR by RIBA Insight as part of the regular advice and guidance that RIBA CPD Provide Network provides to its customers.

Liam Bateman, Director at The Think Tank, commented, “Both paper and digital are still equally important however within certain markets there is a more emphasised move towards digital.
Traditional PR, which would have included securing articles in publications and raising brand awareness through events and activities, has rapidly been expanded into the digital arena, firstly, through publishers taking their magazines online, then through e-direct marketing and latterly social media.”

Click the on the link to see the full article.

Artiicle originally published by RIBA Insight

Paper v’s Digital Article.pdf (467 kb)

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Terry Farrell: Postmodernism and its Legacy

“Postmodernism was all-encompassing, not a style but an era, and as a phenomenon it was about holistic connectivity, the broadening of all viewpoints.” Terry Farrell, 2011.

Coinciding with the Victoria and Albert Museum’s major Postmodernism exhibition will be a discussion at the RIBA about the legacy of postmodernism; amongst the speakers representing some of the movement’s protagonists will be architect Terry Farrell. But, has enough time lapsed since the end of the movement to assess or even appreciate its legacy? Some of its greatest examples in architecture are still considered controversial. Many postmodernist buildings – even the most well-known – are not protected, and the consequences can be currently witnessed in Camden where the Hawley Crescent façade of the former TV-am studios, designed by Farrell in the early 1980s, is being torn down. A model of its façade forms part of the V&A’s exhibition, one exhibit amongst many that together analyses the wide spectrum of material and cultural outputs of postmodernism, including: architecture, music, cinema, fashion and dance.

The upcoming talk, ‘The Legacy of Postmodernism’, will see Sir Terry Farrell, Nigel Coates, Piers Gough, Sean Griffiths, Kester Rattenbury and Jane Pavitt discuss the legacy of the movement on architecture and design in the UK. 6.30pm – 8pm, 25 October 2011. 

To book tickets or to find out more visit RIBA Blogs

Photograph: Alban Gate, 125 London Wall, City of London (© Kathy de Witt / RIBA Library Photographs Collection)

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Paper v’s Digital Direct Marketing

Earlier this year Liam Bateman, Director at The Think Tank, was invited to make a presentation to marketing professionals at the RIBA Insight Conference, considering the merits of Paper v’s Digital Direct Marketing. The presentation was well received and discussed the pros and cons of using direct mail and electronic direct marketing to reach target audiences. 
To find out more and to download the full presentation please click on the pdf below.

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Paper vs Digital Direct Marketing.pdf (2220 kb)

The Think Tank contributes to RIBA North West Magazine

The Think Tank’s Liam Bateman has contributed an article to RIBA North West’s magazine ‘A’, which has recently been distributed to local practices.

The article discusses why Architectural Practices should use the services of a marketing or PR agency and the impact such a sevice can have.

View the full article by clicking on the link to the pdf.


RIBA North West Article

PracticeSupport.pdf (1191 kb)

Online v’s Offline Direct Marketing – A topic for RIBA Insight Consultancy Days

Blanket online direct marketing, on its own, is neither cost-effective nor sophisticated enough to engage today’s customers, argues The Think Tank’s Liam Bateman who will be speaking at RIBA Insight’s Consultancy Days in November.

It needs to be combined with other activities, on- and offline, to optimise your return on investment.

Direct marketing has gone through many changes in recent years with new online opportunities and more sophisticated segmentation of data. The boundaries are becoming blurred; what does direct marketing now include? How do the various digital channels impact on other marketing channels? Where does it cease to be one marketing technique and become direct marketing?

This blurring around the edges has become more extreme with the introduction of online relationship marketing, or social media marketing, which has now pulled public and media relations into the mix.

The importance of direct marketing has increased in the last two years as budgets have been squeezed and margins cut. Its targeted nature has provided levels of accountability and quantifiable return that other activities cannot match, and as a consequence has led many companies to switch from press advertising to communicating directly with existing and potential customers.

Online direct marketing presents many new opportunities, but is it cost effective? Businesses that switch to online marketing often do so because they perceive it to be less costly, with its promise of reduced print and mailing costs. Online direct marketing can be a better route to take when budgets are tight, however it’s less costly for a reason. Response rates from electronic direct marketing can be very low.

Online direct marketing serves a particular purpose and needs to be combined with other activities to optimise return on investment. Blanket direct marketing alone won’t engage customers used to being flooded with marketing messages. Multiple touch points, where your customers have the opportunity to interact with your brand and products, combined with strong messaging and a reason to believe, are essential in cutting through the fog of marketing activity. It is the suitability of media and message to your audience that is crucial to developing a good relationship with existing and potential customers, not putting all your eggs in one basket for budgetary purposes.

Combining and integrating marketing channels will have the greatest impact on coverage and response. 

Liam Bateman will be discussing this, how social media marketing complicates matters and more at the RIBA Insight Consultancy Days in November. Click here for more information.

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RIBA Sterling Prize Shortlist Announced


The RIBA Sterling Prize 2010 shortlist has been announced. The shortlisted projects are:

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford by Rick Mather Architects

Bateman’s Row, London by Theis and Khan

Christ’s College School, Guildford by DSDHA

Clapham Manor Primary School, London by dRMM

MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects

Neues Museum, Berlin by David Chipperfield Architects with Julian Harrap Architects 

Click here to read more on Dezeen

Photos © Helene Binet, © Nick Kane,

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2010 RIBA Award Winners

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) today announced the winners of the 2010 RIBA Awards. RIBA Awards for architectural excellence will be presented to 102 buildings in the UK and Europe (93 in the UK and nine in the rest of the EU).

View full entry…



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