Stirling Prize, UK: Building + Architects

RIBA Stirling Prize, Winner, Architects, Architecture, Shortlist, Buildings, News, Photos

Stirling Prize : Building + Architects

Major UK Architecture Awards : Winning Designs + Shortlist News

page updated 5 Oct 2016

Stirling Prize 2016

Stirling Prize 2016 Buildings + Architects

2016 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist – 14 Jul 2016

Newport Street Gallery London
photo : Hélène Binet

I’d suggest this is not the most stellar Stirling Prize shortlist, I feel there are two buildings that might win: Blavatnik School of Government or Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall. Comparing these is like comparing a Bugatti Veyron to a Jensen Interceptor (give me the latter any day, but with a mechanic on tap!): Blavatnik is sumptuous and sophisticated whereas Newport Street Gallery is a little more rough and ready, less solipstic, more focused on what it contains perhaps.

I think Blavatnik School of Government is the likely winner, don’t think i’m swayed by the betting odds published in summer (no longer seem to be online, curious), as it is a novel building by one of the world’s most celebrated architecture practices. Last year’s winner was considered to be political, the school might have been awarded purely on merit but there was a discussion about giving the government a shot across the bows for stopping their BSF school procurment route.

A private house has never won the Stirling Prize which might rule out the Outhouse! City of Glasgow College, Weston Library and Trafalgar Place are all well crafted buildings but the Stirling Prize tends to go to striking buildings like the Scottish Parliament. Still, in 2012 The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge won, and its beautifully rational facades are reminiscent of the City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus.

Adrian Welch, architect

Readers comments welcome! info(at)

Stirling Prize 2016 Shortlist

Stirling Prize 2016 Shortlisted Buildings & Architects

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, England
Herzog & de Meuron
Blavatnik School Building
image : Iwan Baan

Blavatnik School of Government University of Oxford

City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow, Scotland
Michael Laird Architects / Reiach and Hall Architects
City of Glasgow College
image : Keith Hunter

City of Glasgow College

Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London, England
Caruso St John Architects
Newport Street Gallery
image : Hélène Binet

Newport Street Gallery Building

Outhouse, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England
Loyn & Co Architects

Trafalgar Place, Elephant & Castle, London, England
dRMM Architects
Trafalgar Place
image : Alex de Rijke

Trafalgar Place

Weston Library, University of Oxford, England
Weston Library
image : James Brittain

Weston Library at University of Oxford

25 Sep 2013

RIBA Stirling Prize 2013

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

Astley Castle wins

Astley Castle Nuneaton
photograph © Hélène Binet

Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann


I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting this building (ref Tom Dyckhoff ‏@tomdyckhoff) but oozing from the pictures is an overall feeling that these architects know materials and furthermore know how to handle them. In a way the textured brick, stone and gentle wood tones are the antithesis to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery unveiled this week to much controversy. I find them easy to relate to, indeed they strongly appeal to me. I’m sure I’m not alone, but realise so much of architecture appreciation is ultimately subjective.

Still the architects have clearly won over both the critics and the public, winning both the BBC popular vote and the actual Stirling Prize (judged by critics). The mix of old and new is very appealing to many (the sort of thing you hear on Grand Designs or Escape to the Country!) but it isn’t always easy to get right.

I’m sure the architects had fun on this project and I’m glad that this is possible to work with our heritage without going overboard and getting too sensitive and prissy about details. Although this year’s Stirling Prize shortlist wasn’t the strongest ever, Witherford Watson Mann are clearly a practice to watch.

Adrian Welch, architect
e-architect Editor

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize Vote

Astley Castle wins BBC online poll

BBC Stirling Prize 2013 vote results:

– Astley Castle: 27%
– Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre: 25%
– Bishop Edward King Chapel: 20%
– Park Hill Phase I: 14%
– Newhall Be: 9%
– University of Limerick Medical School: 6%

Of course this vote will have no impact on the Stirling Prize judges’ verdict.

This vote closed at 16:30 BST on 25 Sep 2013.

More than 65,000 votes were received.

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize for best new building winner to be announced on Thursday evening

The event starts on Thrusday 26 Sep at 7.45pm with the presentation of the awards in the Platform Theatre which will last for approximately an hour. The host is architect and broadcaster, George Clarke.

Venue: Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA

Presentations will be at 9pm.

Bookies favourite: Chapel at Cuddesdon by Niall Maclaughlin
Chapel at Cuddesdon
photograph © Niall Ferguson

18 Jul 2013

RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize for best new building – shortlist announced

The shortlist for the prestigious 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building has been announced today (Thursday 18 July). Six exciting and exceptional buildings will now go head to head for architecture’s highest accolade from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist features the vibrant reinvention of a 1960s Sheffield housing block Park Hill; the bar-raising suburban Essex housing development Newhall Be; a contemporary new holiday home within the burnt-out shell of the 12th century Astley Castle; the highly original and beautifully crafted Bishop Edward King Chapel; the dramatic and monumental Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and the sculptural yet economic University of Limerick Medical School and student housing.

This year’s RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist features some ‘fresh’ architecture talent – five of the six practices are on the list for the first time, beating-off competition from previous winners including Sir David Chipperfield and Dame Zaha Hadid. It is also the first year in the prize’s 18 year history that half of the shortlisted firms have women at the helm: Alison Brooks Architects, Grafton Architects and heneghan peng.

Stirling Prize Shortlist, alphabetical:

Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann
Astley Castle
photograph © J Miller

Chapel at Cuddesdon by Niall Maclaughlin
Chapel at Cuddesdon
photograph © Niall Ferguson

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre by Heneghan Peng
Giant’s Causeway Building
photo : Marie-Louise Halpenny

Newhall Housing, Harlow, Essex by Alison Brooks Architects
Newhall Harlow
photo : Paul Riddle

Park Hill Sheffield by Hawkins/Brown and Studio Egret West
Park Hill Sheffield
photograph © Daniel Hopkinson

University of Limerick Medical School and Pergola Bus Shelter, Ireland by Grafton Architects
University of Limerick Medical School
photograph © Dennis Gilbert

Stirling Prize 2013 – judges citations

The six architecture practices competing for this year’s title (and their odds according to William Hill) are:

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, Northern Ireland by heneghan peng architects
William Hill odds: 3/1
Breaks the mould of the traditional visitor centre that tends to hide from the limelight or make a statement, this highly imaginative and sculptural piece of ‘land art’ offers visitors an experience that is physical and interactive, like the causeway itself. Having ‘tuned in’ so perfectly to the environment, the visitor centre acts as the perfect prologue for the main event.

Park Hill Phase 1, Sheffield by HawkinsBrown with Studio Egret West
William Hill odds: 9/1
Reinvention of the loved and loathed Grade II* listed 1960s housing estate. The structure of the building remained in place whilst key features were changed – interior layout, windows, security and much more. It stands as a beacon for imaginative regeneration, quality mass housing and the bold reuse of a listed building.

Newhall Be, Harlow by Alison Brooks Architects
William Hill odds: 3/1
The radical re-thinking of the shape and interior of the UK house is tackled masterfully with these 84 new homes in suburban Essex that clearly illustrate that good design quality and committed developers can transform peoples’ lives. A new model for British housing?

Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
William Hill odds: 6/1
Beautiful contemporary Landmark Trust holiday home installed in the ruined walls of a 12th century manor. Unique example of the recovery of an ancient building – it is a prototype for a bold new attitude to restoration and reuse.

University of Limerick Medical School by Grafton Architects
William Hill odds: 6/1
Exceptional example of how to create a vibrant new public space through the careful design and placement of buildings. High-quality, beautiful and dramatic buildings that punch far above their rock-bottom budget.

Bishop Edward King Chapel, Oxfordshire by Niall McLaughlin Architects
William Hill odds: 9/4
An uplifting spiritual space of great potency that the client has described as ‘what we dreamed of but didn’t think we would get’. An incredible showcase for modern British craftsmanship.

The six shortlisted buildings range dramatically in size and purpose, but all will be judged by the same criteria: their design excellence and their significance to the evolution of architecture and the built environment.

Housing is a key highlight of the shortlist, with the projects at Newhall Be and Park Hill offering two very different answers to the quality and quantity crisis of British housing. They both show that with vision, careful-crafted design and a committed developer, great things really can be achieved.

The question of how to re-use historic listed buildings is boldly answered twice, with Park Hill and Astley Castle, both Grade II* listed. Challenging the traditional ideas of conservation and restoration, the architects have creatively re-invented these buildings within their existing structures, with astounding results. The Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre worked within the constraints of a UNESCO site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to create something that also rose far above the expectations posed by its challenges.

Exquisite detailing abounds in all six projects, perhaps most potently in the Bishop Edward King Chapel in Oxfordshire whose rich stone façade and timber interior provide some of the best examples of craftsmanship the judges have seen for some time. Attention to detail has also transformed Limerick Medical School’s simple teaching and study areas into rich, theatrical spaces – all on an incredibly modest budget (€1,220 per sq m).

Angela Brady, RIBA President, said: “The RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the biggest contribution to the evolution of architecture, and nowhere is the need for fresh-thinking needed more than in housing. The UK is blighted with unimaginative, poor quality houses that people don’t want to live in but have little other choice, so I am delighted to see two amazing and highly original housing projects on this year’s shortlist. These projects show how when talented architects and clients work together and focus on quality, affordable and desirable new homes can be created. They shine a light on what the future of UK housing can be.

All six shortlisted projects are ground-breaking in their own way – buildings that deliver more than could ever have been expected. Some of them, such as Park Hill and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, are genuinely courageous in laying out a new visionary approach. This RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist is sending out the clear message that creative vision improves our lives.”

The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on the evening of Thursday 26 September at Central Saint Martins, King’s Cross, designed by last year’s RIBA Stirling Prize winner Stanton Williams.

The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize judges who will visit the six shortlisted buildings and meet for a final time on the day of the presentation (26 September) to pick the winner are: Stephen Hodder – architect and RIBA President Elect (President: 01/09/13; Sheila O’Donnell – architect, O’Donnell + Tuomey; Paul Williams – architect, Stanton Williams; Dame Vivien Duffield – philanthropist and Chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation; and Tom Dyckhoff – journalist and broadcaster.

Previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize include: Sainsbury Laboratory by Stanton Williams (2012); Evelyn Grace Academy (2011) and MAXXI Museum, Rome (2010) both by Zaha Hadid Architects; Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (2009); Accordia housing development by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios/Alison Brooks Architects/Maccreanor Lavington (2008); The Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects (2007).

13 Jun 2013

2012 RIBA Stirling Prize Contenders

RIBA Awards : contenders for the Stirling Prize

13 + 1 Oct 2012

RIBA Stirling Prize

2012 RIBA Stirling Prize winner announced on Saturday 13 October

The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, wins
Stanton Williams
Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge Building
photograph © Hufton+Crow

Sainsbury Laboratory was bookies second favourite (odds: 7/2)

The hotly anticipated winner of the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year, was announced Saturday 13 October, at 9pm a special event in Manchester hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter Mark Lawson.

The RIBA Stirling Prize, now in its seventeenth year, is the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize. Last year’s winner was Brixton’s dramatic Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects.

The Olympic Stadium topped The Guardian newspaper’s poll of Stirling prize shortlisted buildings.

Stirling Prize favourite – The Hepworth Wakefield:
The Hepworth Wakefield
photograph © Iwan Baan

The seemingly simple yet highly innovative London Olympic Stadium, the thoughtful and intimate Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Glasgow, the stunningly original Hepworth Wakefield gallery in Yorkshire, the beautifully detailed and rule-breaking Sainsbury Laboratory for plant science in Cambridge, the New Court Rothschild Bank in London that rises high whilst opening new views at street level, and the crafted and careful reincarnation of the Lyric Theatre on a small suburban site in Belfast are all in the running for architecture’s highest accolade and a £20,000 prize from the RIBA.

The winners of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the best international building and three special awards were also announced: RIBA Special Awards

22 Jul 2012

Stirling Prize Shortlist

Who will win the Stirling Prize 2012?

Looking at the Jury e-architect’s guess is that it will be between The Hepworth and The Sainsbury Laboratory.

Given that exuberant buildings by Zaha Hadid Architects have won the last two Stirling Prizes, beating David Chipperfield Architects’ Neues Museum in 2010, there are two factors that might sway the Jury towards austere The Hepworth, which is designed by David Chipperifled Architects.

We don’t see the Olympic Stadium being chosen by this Jury, though with Sir Nicholas Grimshaw as chair there is a slight chance. Maggie’s Centre London won in 2009 which might make another one less likely to win?

Stirling Prize 2012 Shortlisted Buildings + Architects

The six buildings competing for this year’s title (including betting odds from William Hill) are:

The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield – bookies favourite (odds: 3/1)
David Chipperfield Architects
The Hepworth
photograph © Iwan Baan

The Hepworth

London Olympic Stadium, London E20 (odds: 5/1)
London Olympic Stadium
photo : London 2012

London Olympic Stadium

Lyric Theatre, Belfast (odds: 4/1)
O’Donnell + Tuomey
Lyric Theatre Belfast Building
photo : Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Lyric Theatre Belfast

Maggie’s Gartnavel, Glasgow (odds: 9/2)
Maggies Gartnavel
photo © Charlie Koolhaas

Maggie’s Glasgow Gartnavel

New Court, London, EC4N (odds: 4/1)
OMA with Allies and Morrison
Rothschild Bank London
photograph © OMA

New Court London

The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge – bookies second favourite (odds: 7/2)
Stanton Williams
Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge Building
photograph © Hufton+Crow

Sainsbury Laboratory

Stirling Prize 2012 : further information on the shortlisted buildings

Stirling Prize Awards background on shortlist / buildings / architects / odds / favourite

The RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Stirling Prize – Past Winners

Stirling Prize 2011
RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 awarded to Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects

Evelyn Grace Academy, south London
Zaha Hadid Architects
Evelyn Grace Academy
picture : Luke Hayes

Stirling Prize Winner of the Public Vote in 2011:
London Velodrome building
photo from fd

Stirling Prize 2010
MAXXI, Italy
Zaha Hadid Architects
photo : Roland Halbe

Stirling Prize 2010

Stirling Prize 2009

Stirling Prize 2008

Pritzker Prize – Architect Winners

Civic Trust Awards

Comments re Stirling Prize Shortlist / Winner welcome

Stirling Prize Buildings 2013 – page