Damien Hirst’s saw-toothed Newport Street Gallery has scooped the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year.
Architecture practice Caruso St John designed the 3,500 sq m gallery, which involved the conversion of three existing Grade II-listed Victorian warehouses – historically used for making theatre scenery – and the addition of two new brick structures.
The space, which opened last year, stretches an entire block in London’s Vauxhall neighbourhood and is dedicated to Hirst’s personal collection of art. It’s also home too the artist’s revived Pharmacy restaurant.
‘Newport Street Gallery has realised my ambition to create an unobtrusive and beautiful series of buildings that work perfectly as a space to exhibit great art,’ says Hirst. ‘I wanted to stay true to the history and roots of the building and Caruso St John understood that from the start. I am immensely proud of what we achieved and the reaction it has received in its first year of opening and hope people will continue to enjoy it.’
Caruso St John beat Herzog & de Meuron, WilkinsonEyre and dRMM Architects to win the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize for the first time, after being shortlisted in 2006 and 2000.
‘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,’ said the practice’s founder Peter St John.
The practice wasn’t the only one celebrating though: Tsuruta Architects took home the 2016 Stephen Lawrence Prize for its House of Trace project, while The Bloxham Charitable Trust was named 2016 RIBA Client of the year.