Contemplating SPACE

The east facade seen from the Fellows’ Garden

Winner of the 2022 RIBA Stirling Prize Níall McLaughlin tells Raymund Ryan that the ‘real function of architecture is to situate us in time’

This year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize has been awarded to Níall McLaughlin Architects for the New Library at Magdalene College Cambridge. Claire McMenamin was the project architect. It is the fourth time the practice has been shortlisted for this most prestigious annual award for a building in the UK, and its first outright win.

McLaughlin’s success with the New Library follows on from being shortlisted for the Stirling for the Bishop Edward King Chapel at Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford in 2013, a housing project at Darbishire Place in London’s East End in 2015, and the Sultan Nazrin Shah Center at Worcester College Oxford in 2018. Apart from long-established masters of British architecture such as Norman Foster or Richard Rogers (both peers of the realm) and slightly younger stars such as Zaha Hadid or David Chipperfield (dame and knight respectively), few practitioners have garnered this level of esteem.

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