( AP ) - Britain's most prestigious architecture prize was awarded Saturday to Germany's Museum of Modern Literature, a classically influenced building of concrete, stone and wood.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the museum opened last year in Marbach, southwest Germany. It houses Friedrich Nietzsche's death mask and original manuscripts including Franz Kafka's "The Trial" and Alfred Doblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz."
Judges of the Stirling Prize award described the museum as "simultaneously rich and restrained" and praised the architects for delivering style on a relatively small budget of about $17 million.
The judges called the building as "a small Acropolis" overlooking the River Neckar valley. Praising the subtly lit room holding the museum's permanent collection, the panel said there was "a particular theatricality about this space, as though the reflections, refractions and multiple shadows from the small intense lights collectively represent the soul of the German imagination."
The $40,000 Stirling Prize is presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The winner must be a RIBA member, but the building can be anywhere in the European Union.
The award is named after architect Sir James Stirling, who died in 1992.
Previous winners of the prize, now in its 12th year, include the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh and a cigar-shaped 40-story glass skyscraper in London popularly known as the "Gherkin."