A cancer centre in London designed by Richard Rogers has been awarded the 2009 Stirling Prize for architecture. The award is handed out annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects , and it is the second time Rogers has won. The award will inevitably be interpreted as a riposte by Riba to Prince Charles, who notoriously blocked  the Rogers-headed redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks in London earlier this year.
This announcement coincides with the news that a planning application for a £5.5bn scheme to redevelop the defunct Battersea Power Station has been unveiled. Under the plan, 3,700 homes would be built, interspersed with offices, shops and restaurants, on the 40-acre site just south of the Thames.
If ever there was a prize for the most neglected building in London, Battersea Power Station (derelict since 1983) would surely be a 5.5 billion-to-one favourite.
Owen Hatherley  will discuss the Stirling Prize and what its legacy means to Britain in a forthcoming issue of the New Statesman.