The LondonShard (Michel Denance)
The London Shard (Michel Denance)

The shortlist for the 2014 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize for the best new building has been announced, and the six buildings will now go head-to-head for architecture’s highest accolade, which be awarded October 16.

“Every one of the six shortlisted buildings shows what great public architecture can do: it can transcend mere construction to something quite poetic,” says Stephen Hodder, RIBA president and the first ever winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize (1996). “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.”

Included in the 2014 shortlist is are the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool by Haworth Tompkins, the Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo, the London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, the London Bridge Tower (The Shard) by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the London School of Economics – Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, and the Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

“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,” says Hodder. “The shortlisted buildings are all major new additions to an already dense urban fabric in the cities they serve.

“However, 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. The RIBA Stirling Prize judges have the most unenviable task in having to pick one winner.”

In October, the six buildings will again be judged by their design excellence and their significance in the evolution of architecture and the built environment.