RIBA Announces Short List of Designs For 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize

An ArchitectSix architectural projects compete to be named the best building in the UK for 2017, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

For the 22nd year, RIBA will choose one recipient of Stirling Prize based on several criteria, such as design vision, innovation and originality. It plans to award the honour on Oct. 31, yet one of the nominees has already drummed up attention due to its uniqueness.

Flexible Pier

Designed by dRMM Architects, the Hastings Pier in East Sussex joined the short list of candidates for the top architectural award. The design for the pier mostly resembles an empty space, but that seemed to be the main feature of the structure. It may not boast a stunning display of layers in a newly built skyscraper, yet its addition as a flexible civic space seemed enough to be included on the short list.

Designers often have to use several materials, technologies and processes, ranging from metal spinning to software programs, to turn their clients’ vision into reality. For the Hastings Pier, dRMM Architects apparently used a lot of time and effort to create something vibrant from an almost useless structure.

Useful Space

It took seven years for dRMM Architects to work with Hastings Pier Charity in transforming the 900-foot pier into a platform that can be used for different purposes, including musical events, market exhibitions and even circus fairs.

The pier will compete with five other notable designs across the country, including the Barretts Grove, City of Glasgow College – City Campus, Command of the Oceans, Photography Studio for Juergen Teller and the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre.

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In architecture, a simple yet functional design often speaks volumes. Even if the Hastings Pier lacked the usual grand design for towering buildings, its addition to the RIBA short list exemplifies why good architectural work can sometimes involve just an empty space.