Sainsbury Lab takes Stirling Prize

15 Oct 2012

The Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University in the UK has scooped the 2012 Stirling Prize, earning one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

The design, by architect Stanton Williams, was praised by the judges for creating “a timeless piece of architecture”, as well as for its sustainability, flexibility and adaptability.

The news was welcomed by Arup, which worked on a number of key aspects of the development, including the mechanicalelectrical and public health engineering, as well the fire, lighting, acoustics, facades, and critical vibration elements.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with Stanton Williams and the project team to realise this truly exceptional building. The Sainsbury Laboratory represents an exemplar of its type and its immensely satisfying for its significance to be recognised through the Stirling Prize.”

— Arup Director, Guy Channer

“The Sainsbury Laboratory is an exceptional building that achieves at many levels – in blending a world-class science facility with a public social space in a highly energy efficient building.”

RIBA President, Angela Brady

The 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize judges were: Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (Chair) – architect and former president of the Royal Academy; Sir Mark Jones - Master of St Cross College Oxford, and former Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum; Joanna van Heyningen - architect, van Heyningen & Haward Architects, UK; Hilde Daem - architect, Robbrecht + Daem, Belgium and Naomi Cleaver - designer, writer and broadcaster.

In a separate award for the best international building, RIBA’s judges gave the Lubetkin Prize to the Guangzhou West Tower in China by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Arup also worked closely with the architect on this project, which features an innovative structural design and fire engineering.


  • external photo of the Sainsbury LaboratoryOpen gallery

    The award-winning Sainsbury Laboratory was one of four Arup projects short-listed for the 2012 Stirling Prize.

  • Internal photo of the Sainsbury LaboratoryOpen gallery

    It brings together world-leading scientists in a working environment of the highest quality.