National Stadium in Beijing
wins RIBA Lubetkin Prize

| 10 comments

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The National Stadium in Beijing by architects Herzog & de Meuron has been awarded the RIBA Lubetkin Prize - an award given each year to the best building by an RIBA member built outside Europe.

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Here we present images of the winning project (first seven images) plus the five other shortlisted schemes: Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 by Foster and Partners; Watercube, National Swimming Centre, Beijing by PTW Architects; Museum Brandhorst, Munich by sauerbruch hutton; Sean O'Casey Community Centre, Dublin by O’Donnell and Tuomey; and The British High Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Richard Murphy Architects.

Above and below: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Images © Iwan Baan

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See our previous story about the National Stadium in Beijing, photographed by Iwan Baan. Above and below: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Images ©  Iwan Baan

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Here's a press release from the RIBA:

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National Stadium, Beijing wins RIBA’s prestigious international architecture award

The National Stadium in Beijing - nicknamed ‘the birds nest’ - by Herzog & de Meuron, with the China Architectural Design and research Group, Arup Sport and Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong, and artist Ai Wei Wei, has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the European Union by an RIBA member.

Above and below: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Images © Iwan Baan

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The presentation of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize will take place at a ceremony tonight (14th July) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, sponsored by Cosentino and in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Winners of 2009 RIBA International Awards will also receive their awards at the ceremony.

Above and below: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Images © Iwan Baan

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Speaking about the building, the Lubetkin Prize judge and RIBA President, Sunand Prasad said: “This year’s shortlist for the Lubetkin Prize was easily the best we have seen, and although the discussion was intense, the result was clear. The National Stadium in Beijing will for a long time to come, and around the world, remain amongst the most memorable emblems of 2008 and of the resurgence of China as a global power. For a single work of architecture to hold such a charge is extremely rare, and at the same time to flawlessly accommodate a very complex set of functions makes the feat still more extraordinary. We would like to thank our partner, UKTI and sponsor, Cosentino, for supporting this awards reception.”

Above and below: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Images © Iwan Baan

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The National Stadium, Beijing beat off stiff competition from five other shortlisted buildings: Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 by Foster and Partners with NACO, the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Arup; Watercube, National Swimming Centre, Beijing by PTW Architects with the China State Construction & Engineering Corporation, China State Construction Design International and Arup; Museum Brandhorst, Munich by sauerbruch hutton; Sean O'Casey Community Centre, Dublin by O’Donnell and Tuomey; and The British High Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Richard Murphy Architects.

Above: National Stadium in Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Iwan Baan

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The six shortlisted buildings were seen by a visiting jury comprising Sunand Prasad, RIBA President and chair, Paul Monaghan, architect and Chair of the RIBA Awards Group and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards, who reported to the full jury which also comprised Alison Brooks, architect and Tom Dyckhoff, journalist.

Above: Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, by Foster + Partners. Image © Nigel Young. See our earlier story about this project

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Lord Mervyn Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Business whose organisation UKTI helps UK companies win business overseas, handed out the awards. Talking of UK architectural talent, he said: “Our architects and architecture schools are world-renowned for their flair and excellence. From state of the art airports to iconic cultural and sporting institutions, stunning examples of British architecture and engineering can be found the world over. Architecture is now truly international in influence and scope. Tonight we celebrate many international partnerships which add great strength to the architecture profession especially during the current climate.”

Above: Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, by Foster + Partners Image © Nigel Young. See our earlier story about this project

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The prize is named after the world-renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990). Lubetkin’s daughter Sasha presented the winning architects with a unique cast bronze plaque, based loosely on her father’s design for the Penguin Pool at London Zoo, commissioned by the RIBA and designed and made by the artist Petr Weigl.

Above: Watercube National Swimming Centre, Beijing, by PTW Architects. Image © Ben McMillan. See our earlier story about this building

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The RIBA welcomes Cosentino as sponsor of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize reception at which they will launch their new product, ECO. The RIBA also thanks UKTI, partner for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize reception.

Above: Watercube National Swimming Centre, Beijing, by PTW Architects. Image © Ben McMillan. See our earlier story about this building

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Above: Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany, by sauerbruch hutton. Image © Andreas Lechtape. See our earlier story about this building

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Above: Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany, by sauerbruch hutton. Image © Noshe. See our earlier story about this building

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Above: Sean O'Casey Community Centre, Dublin, by O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects. Image © O'Donnell Tuomey

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Above: Sean O'Casey Community Centre, Dublin, by O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects. Image © Michael Moran

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Above: British High Commission, Sri Lanka, by Richard Murphy Architects. Image © Richard Murphy Architects

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Above: British High Commission, Sri Lanka, by Richard Murphy Architects. Image © Richard Murphy Architects

  • Richie

    Some impressive projects there.. I think the ‘Bird’s Nest’ is spectacular but there are 3 or 4 projects there I’d be happy to see recieve a prize.

    re: the Sean O’Casey Community Centre by O’Donell Tuomey being listed for this prize – so Dublin is “outside the European Union” now, eh? Is this punishment for us voting the wrong way on Lisbon or something?!

  • dipu@form3 architects

    the birds nest is amazing…………….

  • erik

    watercube should have clearly won

  • superdeluxe

    munich also seems to be outside the eu now.

  • neuhaus

    too bad the Bird’s Nest and the Watercube will eventually be turned into a shopping mall.

  • Clark

    Exactly neuhaus. The award should have been given to a structure that was able to retain the function that it was designed for. Granted it still could hold events, but no one can afford to pay for it… leaving only a shell of intent. Empty nest… This should not have been the winner.

  • Scarpasez

    Wow…loads of great projects.

  • Jose Salgado

    I had been in the National Stadium (Bird nest) in Beijing last year. The structure of the stadium is outstanding, the architecture is great. However, let me express my constructive critic: I was disappointed to see the seats have no rest arms. Also the rest rooms (WC) are not properly designed. You have to pull the door to get in, and either entrance and exit using the same door. Maybe the most beautiful stadium in the world, but it has lack of comfort when compare with a stadium in USA.

  • http://www.vaughshannon.com Nic Shannon

    The birds nest is captivating. Poor old us here in Dublin…and outside the EU?? put all our eggs in one building boom balloon. At least we got some great architecture out of it while it lasted.

  • piotr

    Lubetkin is given either to UK-based architect building outside EU or non-UK architect (but still RIBA member) building within or outside EU. Hence confusion.