Notes to editors
Notes to editors
1.Full information about the RIBA Stirling Prize, including previous winners is at:
2.For further press information journalists please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3813 / 07805 173681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3.Images of the winning building and shortlisted entries can be downloaded from: https://app.box.com/s/to9pchawzc2qnw8qxu71
4.The judges citation for the RIBA Stirling Prize winner follows:
The challenge of how to be resolutely of this age while simultaneously embracing the past is one of the most complex problems that architects have had to face throughout architectural history. It is also one that, over the past two centuries, has perhaps caused the most argument. Astley Castle resolves that argument with beauty, intelligence and a rigour that runs through to the smallest of details. There is, of course, great romance to a ruined castle. This, however, can be as much hindrance as help to the architect seeking to give this ruin a future, a highly pragmatic one at that, as a holiday home. Witherford Watson Mann has managed at once to respect the past, to be gentle in its relationship, while simultaneously not being afraid to make its architectural presence felt, and with some force. It has dealt with Astley’s ruins with intelligence and practicality, while adding to them with a contemporary architecture that is rich, visually beautiful and tactile. The architects have responded intuitively to the site, working with the client throughout the process on a voyage of discovery, to give the castle its new form. The result darns together not only the present and the past, but the head and the heart with a complexity and deftness that is only truly appreciated when within the building itself. This is a building that constantly reveals itself both inside and out. For this we have to thank the client as well as the architect, a client willing to be extremely ambitious in its commissioning. In the end, all great architecture comes down to a conversation, between client and architect, between history and the present.
As the 2014 Royal Gold Medallist, Joseph Rykwert, said of this project, “there is no comparable recovery of an ancient monument anywhere in this country, and very few elsewhere.” The question of conservation and finding new uses for buildings whose original function has disappeared is extremely pertinent today, not only because of our economic climate, but because this is a country that wears its past resolutely on its sleeve. History is central to our national identity. This is a clever and robust response to the issue, instead of one that is over cautious or that clashes, inappropriately. So much so that the one upholds the other in every sense. Here history becomes a living, energetic force.
5.The RIBA Stirling Prize is for the best building in the UK by RIBA chartered architects and International Fellows, or in the rest of the EU by an RIBA chartered architect. The RIBA Stirling Prize is chosen from a shortlist drawn up by the RIBA Awards Group following visits to eligible schemes. The shortlisted buildings are judged on a range of criteria including design vision, innovation and originality, capacity to stimulate engage and delight occupants and visitors, accessibility and sustainability, how fit the building is for its purpose and the level of client satisfaction. The RIBA Stirling Prize jury determines the winner on the day of the prize’s presentation and its votes remain confidential. Full details about the prize can be found at
6.This is the 18th year the RIBA Stirling Prize has been presented. Previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize include: Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge by Stanton Williams (2012); Evelyn Grace Academy, London (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).
7.Links to download images of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize and special award winners:
Images of the 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize winner can be downloaded here:
Images of the 2013 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize winner can be downloaded here:
Further information on the Stephen Lawrence Prize at:
Images of 2013 RIBA Manser Medal winner can be downloaded here:
Further information on the RIBA Manser Medal at:
8.Established in 1895, The Architects' Journal has consistently been at the forefront of architectural publishing. Its weekly news coverage, comprehensive building studies and in-depth technical and practice features make it essential reading for the profession, and its incisive commentary makes it a must-read for opinion formers. The AJ is the UK's leading independent architectural magazine, whose authoritative voice has informed generations of architects. For more information on the RIBA Awards programme visit the AJ website at www.architectsjournal.co.uk
9.The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and its members. www.architecture.com