Sainsbury Laboratory Wins the Stirling Prize

Sainsbury Laboratory has won the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize. The winner was announced on Saturday 13th October in Manchester.

The Sainsbury Laboratory, an 11,000 sq.m. plant science research centre set in the University of Cambridge’s Botanic Garden, brings together world-leading scientists in a working environment of the highest quality. The design reconciles complex scientific requirements with the need for a work of architecture that also responds to its landscape setting and provides a stimulating environment for innovative research and collaboration. The building comprises laboratories, support areas, and meeting spaces, together with the University’s Herbarium, new public café and seminar room. The way in which the Laboratory’s different functions are connected by a continuous route recalls the ‘thinking path’ described by Charles Darwin (whose mentor, John Henslow, oversaw the laying out of the Botanic Garden), a way to reconcile nature and thought through the activity of walking.

The Stirling trophy is awarded each year to the new European building thought to have “made the greatest contribution to British architecture” after a panel of judges appointed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), have visited each shortlisted contender. Previous winners include 30 St Mary Axe, London – popularly called the Gherkin – the Scottish parliament building and the Gateshead Millennium bridge. The Observer was media partner for the prize this year.

Judge Joanna van Heyningen said the laboratory was a “sublime piece of calm, beautiful architecture”.

PUDLO waterproof concrete was used in various below-ground areas and we are delighted to have been involved in such a prestigious project.