'Wow factor' buildings compete for £20,000 architectural award

Choosing the best of British, or simply a television-style gameshow?


This year's judges are the television personality Mariella Frostrup,
American landscape architect Martha Schwartz, the German architect
Stefan Behnisch, Isabel Allen, editor of the Architects' Journal, and
Ian Ritchie, architect and chairman. The winner will be announced at the
newly restored Roundhouse, Camden Town, on October 14. Expect plaudits,
brickbats, and even bricks to fly.

1. Brick House, London: Caruso St John

Thoughtful, intelligent family house tucked away in a nondescript yard.
Gives nothing away from the outside. Inside, it is a compelling sequence
of unexpectedly generous spaces, handsomely crafted in brick, with a
little concrete and glass. Cave-like, warm and like nothing else

2. Evelina children's hospital, London: Hopkins Architects

A giant hi-tech conservatory encloses this £60m hospital wing for
children overlooking the gardens of Lambeth Palace. The architects have
proved they can build as economically as anything erected in the name of
the much-hated PFI, and achieve a building 10 times better in terms of
design, intelligence and feeling

3. Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg: Zaha Hadid Architects with Mayer
Baehrle Freie Architekten

A stunning building with Hadid at her dramatic best. The swooping,
cinematic interior is even more exciting than the operatic exterior. The
stuff of science fiction

4. New Area terminal, Barajas airport, Madrid: Richard Rogers Partnership

Handsome, naturally-lit and colour-coded corridors lead passengers
gently to departure lounges in this vast airport extension. The building
helps engender calmness in a way of travelling that is becoming
increasingly unpleasant

5. Idea Store, Whitechapel, London: Adjaye/Associates

Silly, patronising name aside, this is a bright and breezy new public
library complete with cafe in a largely poor area of east London
designed with clarity and easy grace

6. National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff: Richard Rogers Partnership

Politicians, eh? How they made Rogers' life difficult in Cardiff. Yet
the bitching, carping and unnecessary delays have been worth the wait; a
light, elegant and soundly green parliament building facing Cardiff Bay
and as open to the public as it is safe to be


(image of the innovatively conservative looking buidlings, or,
award-contest fodder courtsy the very similar BBC)