Cass tutor wins 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize

Caruso St John Architects, the practice co-founded by London Met’s Peter St John, wins the UK’s most prestigious architecture award.

Date: 7 October 2016

Caruso St John Architects, which was co-founded by Peter St John, Visiting Professor at The Cass and leader of Unit 12 in the Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA2), and Adam Caruso, have been announced as the winners of the coveted 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize for their work on Newport Street Gallery.

Newport Street Gallery, a free public gallery in Vauxhall for artist Damien Hirst's private art collection, involved the transformation and conversion of three listed Victorian buildings into a series of interconnected gallery spaces.

Speaking to the RIBA, Peter said: “It's rare for architects to be given the opportunity to realise a personal vision of the quality of the Newport Street Gallery, and for that vision to have a generous public dimension. We see the building as a palace for direct, intimate and luxurious encounters with contemporary art, and we are very pleased that this award will bring more people to see this extraordinary collection.”

The RIBA Stirling Prize is presented to RIBA Chartered Architects and International Fellows for buildings in the UK which have made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

Andy Stone, Head of the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, said: “We’re delighted at the award of the 2016 Stirling Prize to Caruso St John. This is a great honour for a practice that has produced buildings of a consistently high quality since they formed. 

“The care and quality evident in their buildings is replicated in their dedication to teaching Architecture and the support for students at the Cass. Peter St John and Adam Caruso have long associations with Architecture at London Met, and its predecessor: the University of North London. Peter St John worked with Professor Florian Beigel in our Architecture Research Unit and both taught here between 1990 and 2000.”

This is the first time Caruso St John Architects have won the RIBA Stirling Prize, having previously been shortlisted for their work on Brick House in 2006 and New Art Gallery Walsall in 2000.

Image by Hélène Binet