Good morning, architects. The Royal Institute of British Architects announced the winner of its 2012 Stirling Prize for architecture: the Sainsbury Laboratory, by the London-based firm Stanton Williams. The building, a highly sustainable and adaptable design for the University of Cambridge, beat out five other designs to be named the best new building in the UK. It's tempting to describe Stanton Williams as a dark horse. The shortlisted finalists, after all, included London's Olympic Stadium, a building that made Big Ben look like a London also-ran for the duration of the London 2012 Olympics. In the run-up to the Stirling announcement, the BBC's Tom Dyckhoff came closest to predicting this outcome, describing the finalists as "anti-icons" and noting the judges' apparent preference for subtlety. In any event, Stanton Williams is no slouch: The firm designed a venue of its own for the Games, Eton Manor, the only dedicated Paralympics venue. Stanton Williams has also been tapped to design a new public square for King's Cross Station (which will be called Platform 9 3/4 or I'm not listening). Could this be the last great slate of Stirling Prize frontrunners for a while? The Daily Telegraph's Ellis Woodman thinks so, since the projects nominated this year were some of the last commissioned before the economic downturn.
PRATT PRIZE. One-man alumni association Bruce Newman has given $1 million to the Pratt Institute, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1953, The Wall Street Journal reports. The prize, which coincides with the school's 125th birthday, adds to a total of $2.5 million, a gift level that has allowed the university to build out its Brooklyn campus. Newman himself has done some of that building: According to the story, part of the new $1 million gift will go toward building a 60-foot obelisk over (as in atop of) a Venetian fountain in a school courtyard. Newman brought on two Pratt School of Architecture students to design the structure, which the report, improbably, describes as an atrium. No gift comes without strings attached, but few come with an obelitrium.
CLEVELAND GEODESIC. With yesterday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns have snapped an 11-game losing streak. The whole thing has gone to their heads, of course. Instead of focusing on next week's matchup against Indianapolis, the Dawg Pound is talking about a new stadium dome, The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Leila Atassi reports. Why any NFL team would get rid of its acclimation advantage is beyond me, but Ohio firm Ralph Tyler Companies is happy to oblige, with a design for a geodesic dome that could be built over Cleveland Browns Stadium. Such a Dawg Kennel could cost $150 million to $200 million.
ALBRIGHT-NEXT. A firm that has recently made its mark on San Francisco and New York City is taking its talents to Buffalo, N.Y. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has announced that it will work with Snøhetta to develop a campus master plan. The Oslo-based firm will be responsible for planning the gallery's approach to expanding beyond its original building, design by Buffalo architect Edward Green, as well as an addition by Gordon Bunshaft. The campus context is important to the Albright-Knox: The collection is well-known for its holdings in large-scale outdoor sculpture.
STYLE ADJAYE.The Independent's Dominic Muwanguzi reports on "Art at Work," a collaboration between architect David Adjaye and contemporary African art curator Simon Njami, for Kampala, Uganda. The pair have designed a photography exhibition and a public pavilion comprising multiple gallery spaces. The show itself just came down, but Njami and Adjaye speak about the pavilion and project and what model it may serve for future projects here.
... AND REMAINDERS. Ulrich Franzen dies at 91 ... Duggan Morris Architects win RIBA's 2012 Stephen Lawrence Prize ... UNESCO World Heritage status for the London pub? ... a Zaha Hadid for Montpellier ... Oklahoma firm does not want to be your Facebook friend.