Tonight a building designed by architect Zaha Hadid won the Stirling Prize, the RIBA’s flagship prize for architecture, with an art and architecture gallery in Rome called the MAXXI. The ceremony was broadcast live on BBC2 as a Culture Show special, having in previous years been televised on Channel 4.
I watched some of the live show on TV and found myself shouting at the set quite a lot, eventually giving in to go and eat with the family. Some of my friends and contacts on twitter appeared to agree with my reaction, though possibly not for the same reasons! Whilst I was away from the screen I began to wonder what non-architects thought about the programme, and the Prize.
Architecture doesn’t appear much on TV really, unless we’re talking about home makeovers. So this annual slot is either an anachronism or an opportunity. Is it best spent?
What does the programme, and the Stirling Prize, make ordinary, non-architect, non-construction people think about architecture? Is it inspiring or irrelevant? What does it tell you about us?
What does it do for our consultant and contractor partners (who don’t get mentioned)? After all, a great building is never the product of one person, and to pretend it is, is to me revealing about what some of the profession feels about its own contribution to the built environment.
As you know, I’m generally less interested in what architects think about themselves and more about what other people think about architects. After all, it is other people who give us our reason to be, so over to you.
What do you think?