video topic: analyzing architecture and news
video type: documentary
video no: 07
video title: Building of the Year: Riba Stirling Prize 2007
video series:Building of the Year
Presenter: Kevin McCloud
Studio: Channel 4
run time: 50 minutes
official web: http://www.channel4.com/4homes/microsites/S/stirling_prize/2007/ index.html
description and preview:
Created in 1995, The RIBA Stirling Prize is the most prestigious award in UK architecture and for the last two years designer and writer Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs) has been on a quest to find the grandest designs of the year. Kevin visits each of the projects on the short list to find out their stories – meeting the people who use them as well as those who built them, finding out about some of the challenges the architects faced in turning their designs into prize-winning reality.
An examination of all 6 buildings then the winner is announced in Building of the Year The RIBA Stirling Prize 2007
The Stirling Prize shortlist is out and while there will be those who carp that there are too many buildings outside the UK etc., Stirling remains by far the most important date in the UK architectural calendar. There is no other event that stimulates such debate about the value of architecture in this country. My gut reaction is that this is a shortlist poised between the iconic one-off and the accretive addition.
The most obviously, almost offensively, iconic is OMA's Casa da Música, a meteorite of a building fired like a mortar from Rotterdam and crash-landed on a square in Porto. What it has to do with British architecture should be obvious - Rem Koolhaas has lived in London since the 1960s, and is a major figure in this country's professional and intellectual landscape.
The other show pony on the list is David Chipperfield's America's Cup building in Valencia. It is a canny piece of stadium architecture and has been widely published. Glenn Howells' Savill Building is also in the icon category, with the overwhelming image of a building dependent on a wavy roof.
On the other side of the divide are buildings of meticulous modesty. Chipperfield's Museum of Modern Literature is an addition to a complex of buildings at the German literature archive in Marbach. Most of the building is dug into the hillside, behind minimal and beautiful concrete colonnades. Foster's Dresden Station is a comprehensive but pretty faithful rehabilitation of the eccentric original. Perhaps most modest of all, Haworth Tompkins' Young Vic Theatre still has its entrance through an old butcher's shop.
So for this year's judges it's either/or. There is no housing, no office, no public space. This year's Stirling is all about how you like your leisure attractions: raw, or overcooked with garnish.