Queen of the stone age

Building threatened with demolition shortlisted for the Stirling Prize

Amin Taha’s controversial stone building at 15 Clerkenwell Close has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, architecture’s leading award – a significant accolade for a building that was threatened with demolition by Islington Council in 2016. 

One of six schemes in the running for the prize, the five-storey building is noted for its rusticated stone façade and is the work of Amin Taha and Groupwork.

The 2016 clash ensued after Islington Council claimed that Taha should have built the façade from brick, but eventually allowed it after a planning inspector over-ruled the council’s order. Among the objectors to the live-work building is local group Friends of Clerkenwell Green. 

The shortlisting follows other RIBA London Award winning projects in the area, including the office block at 160 Old Street by Orms and The Ray in Farringdon, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, both by EC1-based architects. 

The area has a high concentration of architectural practices. The 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize was announced in October at Coventry Cathedral, as part of the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations.