Shortlist for 2005 Better Public Buildings prize includes Lords Foster and Rogers and Sirs Farrell and Hopkins

Hopkins Architects’ discreetly elegant restaurant in St James’s Park is in the running
Hopkins Architects’ discreetly elegant restaurant in St James’s Park is in the running

The diversity, as well as the quality, of new public buildings is celebrated in the prime minister’s Better Public Building award 2005. Now in its fifth year, this year’s competition has a shortlist of 15 projects selected from a record 140 entries.

The buildings include Brighton’s central library, a restaurant in a royal park, two schools and a birth centre. On the civils side, the list includes three main roads, the replacement of railway bridges in London and two flood defences.

Two architectural knights and two lords are shortlisted. Hopkins Architects gains a star for a timber restaurant in St James’s Park in central London, as does Richard Rogers Partnership for the

timber-framed Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, east London. Terry Farrell & Partners for the new Home Office building in Westminster. It is, however, Foster and Partners that tops them all, thanks to its spectacular Sage concert hall in Gateshead and the second-phase refurbishment of the neoclassical Treasury building on Whitehall.

Less well-known names include White Design Associates for its Kingsmead Primary School in Northwich, Cheshire, Barbara Weiss Architects for the Brent Birth Centre in north-west London and Eger Architects for The Hub community centre in east London.

Most notable is the flood defence system for Boscastle, north Cornwall. All ready to be built last August, it was delayed by the catastrophic flood it could have prevented, and has only just been completed.

The winner will be announced on 13 October.