Barajas’ prize

Barajas Airport - Madrid

Airport scoops architecture prize
October 14, 2006

Madrid’s Barajas Airport has won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the £20,000 Stirling Prize.

The colourful 1.2km-long Spanish airport building was designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership. It is the first time the firm has won the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) prize. The prize is awarded to architects for the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

‘Spectacular spaces’

The judges said of the design: “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 overestimated.

“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.”

Other nominees included the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, a family home in west London, Evelina Children’s Hospital in south-east London, and the Idea store in Whitechapel, east London.

The prize, named after Scots-born architect Sir James Stirling and now in its 11th year, was awarded at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London. Past winners include the Scottish Parliament building, the “Gherkin” in the City of London and Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge.

This year’s six contenders

▪ The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff

▪ The Brick House, west London

▪ Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg, Germany

▪ Idea Store, east London

▪ Evelina Children’s Hospital, south-east London

▪ Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain

See also: In pictures – Stirling Prize (BBC NEWS, August 25, 2006)

Royal Institute of British Architects

Richard Rogers Partnership: Madrid Barajas Airport


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