Shortlist announced 16th July 2015

Winner announced 15th October 2015

66 Portland Place, London


Scroll down to reveal the six exceptional buildings shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015.

Join us at the architectural event of the year on Thursday 15 October 2015 to find out who wins this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize and celebrate the previous 19 winners.

The prize is judged against 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 Awards are the most rigorously judged prizes for architectural excellence in the UK, with the winning buildings then eligible for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize. 

Born in 1996 out of its predecessor, The Building of the Year Award, The RIBA Stirling Prize is presented to RIBA Chartered Architects and International Fellows for buildings in the UK which have made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

RIBA Award winners are selected through a thorough, transparent process, with one set of juries visiting RIBA Regional Award entries, a second group of judges visiting those eligible for RIBA National Awards, and yet another jury visiting the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist and deciding the winner.



Bold, characterful new campus buildings with light-filled rooms and corridors add to a sense of this being a very collegiate school.


by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Dignified new 13-home Peabody apartment building, with refined proportions and details.

Darbishire Place

by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Modest, low building that gathers a sequence of domestic-scaled spaces. Visitors enter via a quiet arrival court, defined by the low walls and lime trees. At once, a sense of dignity and calm is encountered.


by Reiach and Hall Architects

New luxury housing towers with exo-skeleton and external lifts on London’s South Bank - a well-mannered example of a structurally expressive architecture.


by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this delightful building houses the university library and departments of Architecture, Landscape and Arts.

University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building

by heneghan peng architects

Extension to the 19th century Whitworth Gallery - carefully crafted spaces emerge seamlessly from the existing as an integral yet individualistic part of the whole assembly.




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Centenary Building, University of Salford by Hodder associates1996 Winner

Looking back, Stephen Hodder of winning firm Hodder Associates, said: ‘Winning the Stirling Prize was amazing for the practice, but possibly it did come too early. Suddenly we were competing with the big boys like Hopkins at Nottingham University and MacCormac at Coventry. And we weren’t really ready. In many ways it might have been better to win it later when the prize itself had grown in status. Still, winning the first ever Stirling Prize was very special indeed for us.’


Music School, Stuttgart by JAMES STIRLING, MICHAEL WILFORD & ASSOCIATES1997 Winner

The Music School at Stuttgart was the last building that Sir James Stirling worked on before his death in 1992. The designs were completed by his partner Michael Wilford and other members of the partnership. When Wilford accepted the award in November 1997 he brandished the trophy and declared: ‘This is for Jim’.


American Air Museum, Duxford by Foster + Partners 1998 Winner

The judges said of the museum, ‘We thought the Foster Museum was a very special building and yet, unusually perhaps for Foster’s, almost self-effacing. It has a quality beyond that of simply being a museum; it is a memorial to the American Air Force in the Second World War. The concrete roof structure conveys a feeling of compression, which emphasises the power of a simple idea. This is definitely a ‘less is more’ building.’


NatWest Media Centre, Lord’s, London by Future Systems 1999 Winner

Digital alarm clock, barcode reader, alien starship: these are just a few of the attempts by the press to explain a structure that at first did indeed seem alien to its very conventional setting. In so many ways this is the building of 1999: an extraordinary iconic structure that has landed in the middle of Lord’s and changed the face of cricket. It is at last in the 20th century – in the nick of time. It may or may not be the future, but it certainly works.’


Peckham Library and Media Centre, London by Alsop & Störmer 2000 Winner

At a small cost, this L-shaped box of copper and coloured glass transformed this part of an underprivileged borough. Turner-Prize-winning artist Tracey Emin, one of the Stirling judges, spent 12 years of her life in Peckham and was pleased to see money being spent here at last. She liked it because it didn’t feel like a library and she particularly liked the pods.


Magna, Rotherham by Wilkinson Eyre Architects 2001 Winner

Wilkinson Eyre Architects transformed this former steelworks in Rotherham into a science adventure centre. The black painted exterior was no preparation for the interior, a dramatic and colourful display, telling the story of steel. As it is, the exterior is remarkably little changed from the time when this was the most productive steelworks in the country.

Magna was the venue for the 2011 RIBA Stirling Prize Dinner.


Millennium Bridge, Gateshead by Wilkinson Eyre Architects 2002 Winner

The structure was built in sections in Bolton, assembled at Wallsend and shipped upstream and dropped into place on its concrete abutments by a giant crane to within a tolerance of one millimetre. One false move could have wiped out the thousands watching the procedure on either bank. In choosing the Millennium Bridge as the winner, the judges described it as architecture and engineering in close harmony.


Laban, London by Herzog & de Meuron 2003 Winner

Novelist Julian Barnes summed up the feelings of the Stirling jury: ‘It hits you straight between the eyes as soon as you get there. It has the same movement, youth, agility, pizzazz, front to it that its students have – it’s very seductive. The immediate impact on everyone in the bus as we arrived was to go “wow”’. 


30 St Mary Axe, London by Foster + Partners 2004 Winner

Clients Swiss Re wanted a landmark building and they certainly got it from Foster and Partners, but they got more than just a shiny new logo for their previously little known re-insurance business.

They also got a building loved by Londoners – the 40-storey tapering skyscraper became a popular icon on the city skyline.

This was the first office building to win the RIBA Stirling Prize and the first to be voted for unanimously by the Stirling judges.


The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh by EMBT/RMJM 2005 Winner

The Stirling judges were almost unanimous in their praise for the building. Charles Jencks said, ‘This building explores new territory for Scottish identity and for architecture. In the era of the iconic building, it creates an iconology of references to nature and the locale, using complex messages as a substitute for the one-liner.

Judge Piers Gough said, ‘…This is a passionate industry, where the architects bring to it poetry, beauty, magnificence and that’s of course what the Scottish Parliament has’.


New Area Terminal, Barajas Airport, Madrid by rogers stirk harbour + partners with Estudio Lamela 2006 Winner

The building of Barajas Airport presents a straightforward linear diagram, in the form of a clear sequence of spectacular spaces for both departing and arriving passengers. Graduated colour is used for wayfinding – your boarding pass is marked with a colour and your route is instantly apparent as red gives way toorange, orange to yellow, yellow to green and green to blue. This device is carried through to the external structure, giving the whole building a joyful exuberance.


Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar by David Chipperfield Architects 2007 Winner

This is a building that is simultaneously rich and restrained, a trick that Chipperfield pulls off as well as any architect working today. To create an environment that would draw people to look at books and manuscripts that they cannot read more than a page or two of (except by arrangement) was a tough brief. Chipperfield responded by making a building that itself made up half of the visitor experience; it is if not a temple then a shrine to the soul of a literate nation. 


Accordia, Cambridge by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks Architects 2008 Winner

Accordia, the judges felt, marked a shift in British housing, sending a message that good housing matters as the place where people’s lives and their attitudes to society are shaped to an industry that had for too long been anti-design and to politicians who had regarded housing in terms of targets to be achieved. Accordia demonstrates that British cities need more of a masterplan, a collaborative approach and an eye for both the detail and the big picture in landscape and architecture. 


Maggie’s London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners 2009 Winner

Conceived as a two-storey pavilion, the architects sheltered the centre from its harsh surroundings with a thick and cheerful orange masonry wall that also serves as a backdrop for carefully planted tree groves and gardens. Its positive spirit is signaled by a roof canopy that over-sails its many intimate internal gardens and courtyards.


MAXXI, Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects 2010 Winner

This was a mature piece of architecture, a distillation of years of experimentation, only a fraction of which has been built. It is the quintessence of Zaha’s constant attempt to create a landscape, a series of cavernous spaces drawn with a free, roving line. The resulting piece gives the visitor a sense of exploration.


Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton by Zaha Hadid Architects 2011 Winner

Zaha Hadid said, ‘It is very significant that our first project in London is the Evelyn Grace. Schools are among the first examples of architecture that everyone experiences and have a profound impact on all children as they grow up. I am delighted that the Evelyn Grace Academy has been so well received by all its students and staff’.


Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge by Stanton Williams 2012 Winner

Stanton Williams’ Sainsbury Laboratory won the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize.The building is situated on the northern edge of the University of Cambridge’s Botanic Gardens.

This building is an exciting new typology, with spaces for research juxtaposed with those for education, the private and the public and the highly-technological nurture of nature with the simple enjoyment of an extended botanic garden.


Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects 2013 Winner

This sensitive scheme places the new building at the heart of the old, demonstrating creativity, preservation and conservation.

In a 12th century fortified manor, further damaged by fire in 1978, the architects have created a new house that allows Landmark Trust guests to experience life in a near thousand-year-old castle with distinctly 21st century mod cons.


Everyman Theatre, Liverpool by Haworth Tompkins 2014 Winner

Haworth Tompkins created a building that instinctively you want to reach out and touch; its handrails, walls and exquisite purpose-built joinery are all equally tactile. The concrete is good but never precious. However none of the elements shouts out, together they simply add to the whole, amplifying this exceptional piece of architecture. This is a building that will age gracefully, continually enriched by the patina of daily use. It will both reassure and delight its loyal audience and those discovering this gem for the first time. 


Upcoming Stirling Events



Sir James Stirling is one of those architects whose influence and importance is far greater than the built work.

Working in partnership with James Gowan, he produced in the Leicester Engineering Building - one of the seminal buildings of the century. With complex geometries and a revolutionary use of materials, the building pre-figured some very 21st century approaches. The 'red-brick experiments', as he termed them, continued with the History Faculty Building for the University of Cambridge and the Florey Building for Oxford University. He then changed tack and began to explore pre-fabrication with the Olivetti Training School and the housing at Runcorn New Town.