London’s top honour, the RIBA London Building of the Year Award went to the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects. The jury praised this remarkable project as being a lesson in challenging the limitations of a site while creating a surprising and original building. They were taken with how the walls slope and twist, as floors take up non-orthogonal shapes while creating space that seems natural and functional. This beautifully constructed building is a worthy addition to both the LSE campus and to London. The award is by supported by BLP Insurance. Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey delivered a lecture on the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the RIAI on 14 May 2014 and the project will be published in Architecture Ireland, AI 274.
The announcement of the regional awards, the RIBA London Awards, mark the first step towards the RIBA’s Stirling Prize. The 33 winning schemes from across London given the prestigious RIBA London Award this year, range from private homes to museum transformation and iconic buildings like The LSE Student Centre and The Shard. Also announced were the region’s special awards including the RIBA London Architect of the Year Award – which went to practice Haworth Tompkins.
The Director of the RIBA’s London Region, Tamsie Thomson, said “London is an open and international city and has perhaps the highest concentration of design talent found anywhere in the world. Not just in architecture – but right across the creative industries. It’s that concentration of talent, exchange of ideas and fierce competition that makes London such an exciting and challenging place for the practice of architecture. This year’s RIBA London Award winners demonstrate the ability of quality architecture to change people’s lives and enrich London’s built environment. ”