You wouldn’t give a top architectural prize to “a set of new dentures”, would you? Well, that’s what the RIBA president did on Saturday night, presenting this year’s Stirling prize.
This was Sunand Prasad’s cheeky reference to the square-sectioned columns surrounding David Chipperfield’s Germany literature museum.
Cheekiness is not generally attributed to Chipperfield’s buildings; they are revered for their restraint. The Stirling jury did, however, appreciate the museum’s “theatricality”.
Prasad also rose to the theatricality of the event, held at London’s Roundhouse. Not that this was a new experience for him. “I staged a concert or two here in the seventies. We designed a scaffolding stage, which you couldn’t get away with nowadays.”
Two architectural celebs were noted for their absence: Amanda Levete, director of Future Systems, and Baroness Blackstone, RIBA Trust president. Their excuse? They were at the wedding of Ben Evans, Blackstone’s son, to Levete.