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The UK’s best new building - 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced

18 July 2019

Clockwise from top left with photographer credits: Cork House © Magnus Dennis; Goldsmith Street © Tim Crocker; Nevill Holt Opera © Hélène Binet; The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park © Mikael Olsson; The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience © Mark Power; London Bridge Station ©Paul Rafter

The shortlist for the coveted 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building has been revealed today (Thursday 18 July 2019).

The buildings competing to be crowned the best in the UK range vastly in their type, scale, budget and location. A Scottish whisky distillery, major London transport interchange, rural opera house, large development of energy-efficient council housing, experimental house made of cork and contemporary art gallery are all in the running.

The six shortlisted buildings are:

  • Cork House, Berkshire (Architect: Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton): an ingenious, experimental, carbon-neutral private house made almost entirely from cork
  • Goldsmith Street, Norwich (Architect: Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley): a large development of 105 highly energy-efficient homes for social rent, designed to Passivhaus standards for Norwich City Council
  • London Bridge Station (Architect: Grimshaw): a radical reconfiguration and development of one of London’s busiest stations with a new voluminous, light-filled concourse
  • Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire (Architect: Witherford Watson Mann Architects): a contemporary opera theatre within a 17th-century stable block
  • The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray (Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners): a dynamic, high-tech visitor centre with an undulating grass-covered roof
  • The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Architect: Feilden Fowles Architects): an exquisite new gallery nestled in the Yorkshire landscape

RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said:

“The RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist epitomises the enviable global reputation of UK architecture.

These six buildings could hardly be more diverse in typology and scale – from a rustic stable block-turned-theatre to a vast national railway station. But what they have in common – ground-breaking innovation, extraordinary creativity and the highest quality materials and detailing – sets them apart, rightfully earning them a chance to win the highest accolade in architecture.

The ambition and commitment of the clients who commissioned the buildings is remarkable and sits at the heart of their success. Given the fact the UK faces the worst housing crisis for generations and a global climate emergency, we must encourage their architectural ambition, innovation, bravery and skill. From the way that Cork House experiments with entirely plant-based materials, to Goldsmith Street’s ultra-low energy affordable homes, each of these six buildings push the boundaries of architecture, exceeding what has been done before, and providing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our times.”

The winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Tuesday 8 October 2019 at the Roundhouse in London.

The Architects’ Journal is the professional media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.



  1. For further information contact Abigail Chiswell-White 020 7307 3811
  2. To download high resolution press images and read the jury citations for each project visit:
  3. The RIBA Stirling Prize is the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. Given to the architect of the building thought to be the most significant of the year for the evolution of architecture and the built environment, the RIBA Stirling Prize is 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.
  4. Previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize include: Bloomberg by Foster + Partners (2018); Hastings Pier by dRMM (2017); Newport Street Gallery by Caruso St John (2016); Burntwood School, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) (2015); Liverpool Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins (2014); Astley Castle by Witherford Watson Mann (2013); 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).
  5. This is the first year that projects by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley and Feilden Fowles Architects have been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have previously won the prize (for Barajas Airport in 2006 and Maggie’s Centre London in 2009) and been shortlisted seven times; Grimshaw have been shortlisted twice. Witherford Watson Mann Architects won the Stirling Prize in 2013 for Astley Castle.
  6. The RIBA Stirling Prize is sponsored by Almacantar.
  7.  The Architects’ Journal is professional media partner for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize.
  8. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates

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