Given annually to an individual (or practice) that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture, the award will be presented to Koolhaas on November 20th at the RIBA in London.
The event will also feature a public lecture by Koolhaas, chaired by architectural theorist Charles Jencks.
The RIBA stated: “Through his research and experimentation as well as his built projects and literature, Rem Koolhaas consciously works to deepen and expand the intrinsic connection between architecture and contemporary culture.”
The judges described the London cancer centre as a “timeless work of architecture that not only distils the intentions of this brief but expresses in built form compassion, sensitivity and a deep sense of our common humanity.”
They added: “This quietly confident building is truly, unquestionably a haven for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners’ achievement is in having created a completely informal, home-like sanctuary to help patients learn to live with cancer.”
In his short acceptance speech, Richard Rogers described the building as a “wonderful project”.
He paid tribute to Maggie Keswick, the late wife of client Charles Jencks, who’s death of cancer led Jencks to create a series of cancer care centres as a fitting memorial.
Rogers said: “The one person missing here is Maggie. She will certainly be the person I’m thinking of.”
LORD ROGERS last night won the £20,000 Stirling Prize, the premier award in British architecture, for his design of a cancer support centre.
The prize comes as a ringing endorsement from his peers despite Rogers being bumped off the £1 billion Chelsea Barracks redevelopment project by the intervention of Prince Charles. His victory — for the Maggie’s Centre in Hammersmith, west London — came as a surprise. The favourite for the award had been an art gallery on a Danish island by minimalist architect Tony Fretton.
Giving the prestigious prize to the firm of Rogers Stirk Harbour was a popular choice, however. The programme of Maggie’s Centres began with a converted stable block in Edinburgh in 1996.
The six centres built so far are architecturally ambitious. Five are in Scotland, including designs by Frank Gehry (Dundee) and Zaha Hadid (Fife). Sarah Brown, the prime minister’s wife, was closely involved with the building of the Fife Maggie’s Centre, which is in her husband’s constituency.
Richard Rogers takes architecture’s top prize for the second time
Richard Rogers’ Maggie’s Centre in west London has been awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2009, announced at a televised ceremony on Saturday. From a shortlist of six, Rogers’ design won the £20,000 prize making this the second time his practice has achieved what is considered to be one of the most prestigious architecture prizes. Rogers’ Barajas Airport in Spain scooped the top spot in 2006.
El estudio Richard Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners obtuvo el premio RIBA por segunda vez, por un centro para enfermos de cáncer en Londres; el primero fue en 2006 por la Terminal 4 de Barajas, Madrid