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2007 Stirling Architecture Design Prize Awarded!

| November 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
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This year’s coveted Stirling architecture prize was won by the Museum of Modern Literature at Marbach am Neckar in Germany. The Stirling prize, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects in association with the Architects’ Journal, is now in it’s 12th year and remains one of the most sought-after awards in architectural design. The Museum was designed by British architect David Chipperfield and his team, the majority of whose work is outside the United Kingdom.

2007 Stirling Architecture Design Prize Awarded!
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The Museum stands on the site of the birthplace of German philosopher and poet Friedrich Schiller. The design represents a thoroughly modern interpretation of neo-classical pavilions from the early 19th century, similar in style to much of the stark Prussian architecture that has obviously played a significant role in influencing the English architect. The design is also most definitely characteristic of Chipperfield’s trademark defiance of temporal trends in architectural design, standing timeless and resolute in it’s striking simplicity. Chipperfield is an outspoken critic of much modern architecture today, especially in Britain. Does he have a point, or is his view of modern architectural design hypocritical?

So many contemporary buildings promise us the future; sleek, stainless steel monuments to technological innovation and the supposed aesthetics of tomorrow. But do they have the character, the soul, that truly defines great architecture? Do they capture the imagination and inspire us? Many of today’s most ‘advanced’ buildings lack the charming individualism of landmarks like the Chrysler Building [IMG], and also demonstrate a profound lack of imagination in their very design, as these conceptual renderings of Dubai and London illustrate.

future city

Is this what the future holds? Our cities’ structural idiosyncrasies dwarfed by ever-increasingly ambitious corporate monoliths bereft of any individualism or cultural identity? The march of progress, indeed.

Whilst the Museum of Modern Literature is a successful design, skilfully blending the contemporary simplicity with classical themes, surely an awards ceremony intended to champion truly great achievements in architecture should celebrate the unique, the diverse and the inspired – none of which strike me as particularly applicable to this year’s winner.

Perhaps we still have a lot to learn about our unique relationship to the bricks, mortar and steel that loom over us.

The design represents a thoroughly modern interpretation of neo-classical pavilions from the early 19th century.

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