News: the six buildings shortlisted for this year's Stirling Prize have been announced, including The Shard by Renzo Piano, Zaha Hadid's Olympic Aquatics Centre, and Europe's largest public library by Mecanoo (+ slideshow).
Irish firm O'Donnell + Tuomey – who has been previously nominated four times but never won the prize – made the shortlist with the red brick student centre completed for the London School of Economics.
Other nominees include Feilden Clegg Bradley's extension to the Manchester School of Art, which features steel-braced oak staircases, and Liverpool's new Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins, which includes an auditorium built from 25,000 reclaimed bricks.
The Stirling Prize is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in recognition of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.
RIBA president Stephen Hodder said this year's shortlist shows how poetic public architecture can be. "The shortlist comprises no ordinary new swimming pool, office block, theatre, library or university – they are beautiful, inspiring and transformative new buildings that their communities can relish and be proud of."
"This RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist is sending out the clear message that great buildings don’t only need great architects and clients, but they need the patronage of the community they have been designed to serve if they are to be truly successful," he said.
"They are remarkably crafted buildings and the closer you look at their detail, both internally and externally, and their materiality, the more impressive they become."
Both Zaha Hadid and Feilden Clegg Bradley have won the prize before, while O'Donnell + Tuomey and Haworth Tompkins have both been nominated in previous years.
The shortlist was selected from 56 RIBA Award winners, which were revealed last month. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the RIBA's London headquarters on 16 October.
Last year's winner was the Astley Castle renovation by Witherford Watson Mann, while past recipients include Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield and Stanton Williams.
Here's a round-up of the shortlist: