Shortlisted applicants include an unconventional collaborative group called the Jubilee Gardens Design Laboratory, which is made up of architects, film-makers and artists in London and Madrid.
The list includes established names such as Ian Ritchie and US architect Rafael Vinoly, and avant-garde designers such as Foreign Office Architects, Future Systems and Zaha Hadid.
Two international designers, Australia-based Denton Corker Marshall and Japan-based Itsuko Hasegawa, are also in contention. The final eight will be interviewed next month. A decision is expected in April.