Is the Stirling becoming a prize ass?

By Rowan Moore

The Stirling prize 2017 shortlist displays a woeful lack of adventure – not least in its omission of Tate Modern's Switch House

The Stirling prize has done it again. The award for the UK building that “has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year” has a magnificent record of not recognising the projects that define their time, of favouring everyone's second choice and nobody's first choice, with the result that you could write a convincing history of modern British architecture based on the projects that haven't won: the Eden Project, the British Library, Birmingham Selfridges, David Chipperfield's Neues Museum in Berlin, the Saw Swee Hock student centre at the London School of Economics.

This time, the most memorable building of the year, the Switch House extension to Tate Modern, hasn't even made the shortlist. This omission completes a double: when Tate Modern phase one was completed in 2000, its Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron were ineligible under the then rules. One of the most significant cultural endeavours of the century has therefore been completely missed by the Stirling radar.

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