RIBA award nominees find innovative uses of concrete

There were six nominees for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize for the best of British architecture, which was handed out at the end of October.

The winner, Hastings Pier, is notable for its imaginative use of wood, but many of the nominees for the prize relied on concrete to create stunning visual effects. This year’s competition demonstrates that the material maintains a firm place in the best of British architecture.

The Juergen Teller Studio by 6a Architects was among the nominees, and and was built almost entirely from concrete. This project combines different areas and courtyards, with lots of exposed concrete walls and floors. The concrete flooring of the outside courtyards is cracked to allow plants to grow and will eventually to be completely covered by vegetation.

The studio areas have concrete floors and exposed concrete walls that reflect the light. The photographer, Juergen Teller, has used the material as the backdrop for many of his photographs.

Another nominee, Command of the Oceans by Baynes and Mitchell Architects, is at Chatham Dockyard. This event and exhibition space features wood and concrete. The concrete walls have markings that make them look like wooden boards, while the Wheelwright’s Shop area has a raised upper floor built on concrete and brick-stripped footings.

Additionally, Barrett’s Grove, Stoke Newington by Amin Taha and Groupwork is a housing project that extensively uses concrete. Acoustic layers and cross-laminated timber are laid on the concrete floors. The floor superstructure carries power, water, heating and data conduits around the building.

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