Madrid Barajas Airport wins RIBA Stirling Prize
Madrid Barajas Airport was awarded the 11th RIBA Stirling Prize at a ceremony in London on 14 October. The award was collected by Richard Rogers, project director Ivan Harbour, and teams from RRP and the co-architect, Estudio Lamela as well as the client, AENA.
The judges commented: “Whatever the means of approach, by air or by land, the sheer scale and complexity of what has been tackled and achieved here cannot be over-estimated. In response to the key challenge: that of efficiently processing constantly changing passenger flows and associated luggage handling, the resulting building presents a straightforward linear diagram in the form of a clear sequence of spectacular spaces for both departing and arriving passengers.
“Graduated colour is used, not as in most Rogers’s schemes, to delineate services, but for wayfinding. The elegant oversailing roof is a unifying device and succeeds in being both dominant and yet calmly and self-assuredly understated. The sinuous, lightweight consistency of the bamboo slatted lining contrasts with the modular repetition of the gymnastic steel roof structure that in turn is supported off a monumental concrete frame. The structure accommodates vast rooflights that provide shaded daylight throughout the upper level. Intentionally expressive air conditioning outlets, that resemble giant bar code readers, animate the baggage collection stands.
“The building is robust enough to withstand the results of minor battles lost in terms of signage and shopping, the simplicity and clarity of the architectural ambition being all-dominant. Nowhere more so than externally, where the roof again emerges as the defining feature, sweeping across the building, cloaking the richness within and reinforcing the extruded nature of this infinitely extendable tour de force.”
Jack Pringle, RIBA President, announced the winner and Isabel Allen, Editor of The Architects’ Journal presented Richard Rogers with the prize and a cheque for £20,000.
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