Stirling Prize Shortlist Released, ‘Austerity’ Awaits Its Moment

Around this time of year, we start getting a bit exhausted by the annual architecture prizes. It’s only July, but we’ve already been through the Pritzker, the van der Rohe, who gets the Serpentine, and of course, the shortlist for the Architect Barbie Dream House Design Competition. We’re sure we missed some in that list and that there are more to come, but getting to Stirling Prize always seems like it’s the end of the season. So here we now are with the shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects‘ top honor. For the first time ever, all the nominees have been at least nominated for the prize in previous years, and, as to be expected anymore: former winners are on there again as well. Those two are David Chipperfield for his Folkwang Museum, and Zaha Hadid, returning again after winning the award last year, this time nominated for her Evelyn Grace Academy. However, neither starchitect seems to be the favorite, as it appears that Hopkins Architects’ velodrome for the 2012 Olympics is the betting person’s picks. However, as the Guardian puts it, the real story in the Stirling shortlist is that two of the finalists aren’t new construction at all, but rather rehabbed buildings that “save money and energy” and signal a “new austerity in architecture.” We will know for sure if this new austerity is really swept in or not on October 1st, when the winner is announced.