Angel Building Shortlisted for Stirling Prize
Among this year’s shortlisted buildings for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) coveted Stirling Prize, the most prestigious award in the world of architecture, is the reinvention of an early 1980s office block in Islington.
Located on the corner of St. John Street and Pentonville Road, the once dismal concrete-clad Angel Building has since been rejuvenated at the hands of architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), on behalf of Derwent London.
According to AHMM, the concrete frame was re-used and the building “re-wrapped with a highly energy-efficient glazed skin” which was also extended at various points to create a better context with the surrounding streets.
The ┬ú72 million development of the building, formerly the Old British Telecom offices, took 18 months to complete and now features large rooftop terraces with impressive views across the capital, 260,000 sq ft of high grade office space, its own caf├⌐ and even several specially-commissioned works of art.
The building has already received much acclaim. It was named by the British Council for Offices as the best refurbished workplace in the area and has even been attributed as “redefining” the office space sector.
RIBA describe the building as “extremely well made and resolved, offering an idea of how building and working in the city might become a more dignified act,” while RIBA President Ruth Reed said: “The innovative retrofit of an old office shows how even with tight planning and building constraints, talent and imagination can totally transform existing structures and sites.”
However not every architectural figure agrees with this sentiment. Oliver Wainwright, Buildings editor of Building Design, feels that this yearΓÇÖs Stirling Prize shortlist is both “shocking” and “joyless” – and feels that the Angel Building is the best of a bad bunch.
“The Angel is topical, demonstrating an accomplished reinvention of an existing building,” he said, adding that it is “objectively hard to fault – but does not truly stir the soul.”
The winner of the prize, which was set up in 1996, will be announced on Sunday 1st October at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, and will scoop a cash prize of ┬ú20,000.
Find out more about the RIBA Stirling Prize here.
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- In pictures: Stirling Prize list (BBC)
Image courtesy of angelbuilding.com.