This past week the Royal Institute of British Architecture announced the shortlist for the 2012 Lubetkin Prize, an award granted to the best new international building outside the EU. The winner will be announced on October 13 at a special event in Manchester. Last year the prize was granted to the Met Building in Bangkok by WOHA.
This year, three new buildings in South East Asia and one in the US made it to the finalist list, representing the "leading role that architects play in creating low-energy living and working spaces, even in extreme environmental conditions" according to Angela Brady, President of RIBA. The jury looked at projects completed in the past two years, considered new in this type of category.
The Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China stands 440m high with 103 floors. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the building contains office spaces, a luxury hotel and a sightseeing area. It is located on Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town's main axis, between the commercial districts and the Pearl River. The building was completed in 2010 at a total cost of £280 million (356 million euros). Wilkinson Eyre has won the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling prize twice. The firm is responsible for a number of well-known constructions such as the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle, England and the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, England.
The Solaris science research and development center by TR Hamzah and Yeang and CPG is located in central Singapore. The building was certified BCA GreenMark Platinum thanks to its overall energy consumption representing a reduction of 36 percent over benchmark levels. The firm is responsible for a number of key green projects such as the high-rise National Library Board building (Singapore) and the 40-storey Eco-Tower at Elephant & Castle in London. Completed in 2010, the project cost £49.9 million (around 62 million euros).
Completed in 2009, the One KL apartment development in Kuala Lumpur was conceived for tackling high levels of humidity in the city by SCDA architects. The 35-storey luxury residential condominium is located in the city center and counts 94 apartments, each one of them with a swimming pool. A continual air flow to ventilate the building is ensured by the building's shape and its grid system and helps to control the levels of humidity.
The Sperone Westwater gallery by Foster + Partners in New York City, completed in 2010, is located at 257 Bowery, New York. The nine-storey building includes a mezzanine floor, double-height display area, and a library (which also functions as an event space). The façade of the building is made out of CNC milled glass protecting the building from extreme temperatures and acoustically insulating the galleries.
This year the jury included architects Deborah Saunt, Cindy Walters, Philip Gumuchdjian and RIBA Head of Awards Tony Chapman and was chaired by Brady.