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Billion-pound Foster vies with mud-walled burial ground for Stirling prize

Norman Foster’s £1bn Bloomberg HQ takes on a rammed-earth cemetery and the magical Tate St Ives extension, in a shortlist that lacks showstoppers

The most expensive office building in the land will go head to head with a mud-walled cemetery and a brick nursery school in the battle to win the 2018 RIBA Stirling prize, awarded to the best new building in the UK. They are joined by the stealthy extension to the Tate St Ives gallery, student halls for the University of Roehampton and a teaching facility for Worcester College, Oxford, in a shortlist that favours the understated over the spectacular.

Norman Foster’s £1bn HQ for Bloomberg, in the City of London, is the Goliath on the list, a media palace of stone and bronze stuffed with bespoke fixtures and energy-saving gadgets. Its ceilings are studded with 2.5m polished aluminium petals, serving as light fittings, sound baffles and coolers, and chilled by water from above, while magnetic wooden floorboards lift to provide access to cables beneath.

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