RIBA Prize 2013 – A bit staid or what?

Sometimes it’s good to have an outsiders view. Bringing a fresh perspective and new approach, But sometimes it’s just aggravating. The latest prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize has been awarded to Astley Castle. Its good to know a contemporary prize has gone to something as futuristic and modern as a…castle. Um. Well its been Restored. Sympathetically. It’s a 12th century fortified manor, further damaged by fire in 1978, so attention to timescales has been a big pressure on this project. So our best prize for architecture goes to a pastiche. That’s taken a tad under forty years. Great.

Mind you, it was against strong opposition. Park Hill was a refurbished tower block from the 1960’s. Er…next year can we look less far back in the past and a bit more to something that looks as though it was designed and not just re-designed? Mind you the Sydney opera house has just turned forty. That still looks cool. Possible RIBA winner next year?


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