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The UK’s best new building - RIBA announces Stirling Prize 2023 shortlist

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (6 September) announced the six shortlisted projects for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2023 - awarded to the UK’s best new building.

06 September 2023

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Wednesday, 6 September) announced the shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize 2023, awarded to the UK’s best new building - sponsored by Autodesk.

Presented since 1996, the RIBA Stirling Prize is the highest accolade in architecture.  

The six new buildings in the running to be crowned the UK’s best are: 

  1. A House for Artists, Barking (Apparata Architects) 
  2. Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing, Camden (Adam Khan Architects) 
  3. Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing, Clapham (Sergison Bates architects)  
  4. Courtauld Connects - The Courtauld Institute of Art (Witherford Watson Mann Architects) 
  5. John Morden Centre, Blackheath (Mæ) 
  6. University of Warwick - Faculty of Arts (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios) 

RIBA President Muyiwa Oki, said: 

“The Stirling Prize 2023 shortlist illustrates why architecture matters to all of us. These six remarkable buildings offer thoughtful, creative responses to today’s complex challenges.  

“Whether tackling loneliness, building communities, or preserving our heritage, these projects lay out bold models for architecture with a purpose. 

“With a backdrop of housing shortages, growing inequality, and economic uncertainties, this year's shortlist demonstrates that well-designed buildings can offer genuinely inspiring solutions to our most pressing problems." 

Amy Bunszel, Executive Vice President of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Design Solutions at Autodesk, sponsors of the 2023 RIBA Stirling Prize, said: 

“The 2023 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist winners are inspiring examples of architecture’s continued innovation to solve for humanity’s biggest challenges. The industry is under rising pressure to design where we live and work to withstand the impacts of climate change and growing populations. The projects honoured on the shortlist are representative of what’s possible to design and make when creativity, functionality and fostering community are at the forefront.” 

The shortlisted projects include: 

A model for affordable city living: An apartment complex in London’s Barking offers an ambitious model for shared living, with resident artists delivering free creative programmes for the local community via a street-facing exhibition space. A permanent installation by Grayson Perry in the complex’s central courtyard pays tribute to the homes of wartime heroes and workers (A House for Artists, Barking).    

Building community and tackling inequality: Playfully designed spaces, arranged around a small park in London’s Camden. Contributing to a wider regeneration plan, the development provides local residents with social housing, an after-school club, a very generous adventure playground, and includes premises for a theatre education charity (Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing, Camden)

Modernising a landmark building: Careful conservation and bold interventions rework a warren of spaces inside an eighteenth-century building, home to a cultural institute and the UK’s “smallest university”. Subtle interventions, including re-levelled floors and new doors to the main galleries, have notably improved accessibility and eased visitor flow (Courtauld Connect - The Courtauld Institute of Art, Westminster)

Elderly living without isolation: In Blackheath, a 300-year-old residential and nursing facility has been given a new lease of life. With treatment rooms, a hair salon, nail bar, events space and wellbeing facilities, the centre has been designed to encourage connection and movement among residents, supporting healthier and longer lives (John Morden Centre, Blackheath)

Maximising difficult urban spaces: New apartments have been ingeniously inserted into a previously undesirable and highly constrained urban site. Beyond the unassuming entrance, a welcoming courtyard centres the scheme and offers communal space for residents (Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing, Clapham)

Creating connections in higher education: The surrounding parkland is woven into a building that unites the arts and humanities under one roof. A feature staircase, inspired by the structure of a tree, grows through the central atrium with each branch leading to flexible spaces designed to inspire collaboration and cross-pollination of the arts (University of Warwick - Faculty of Arts, Coventry).  

The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2023 will be announced live in Manchester at the Stirling Prize ceremony on 19 October 2023. 

Notes to editors:  

  1. Media contact: 
  2. Download the images and jury comments
  3. First awarded in 1996, 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: The New Library, Magdalene College in Cambridge by Níall McLaughlin Architects (2022); Kingston University London - Town House by Grafton Architects (2021); Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches (2019); 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). 
  5. This is the first time Apparate, Sergison Bates architects and Adam Khan Architects have been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. Two of the practices have previously won – Witherford Watson Mann in 2013 for the renovation of Astley Castle and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in 2008 for Accordia, Cambridge. Mae was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2022 for Sands End Arts and Community Centre in Fulham, London, and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in 2014 for the Manchester School of Art. 
  6. The RIBA Awards have been running since 1966. No matter the shape, size, budget or location, RIBA Award winning schemes set the standard for great architecture all across the country. RIBA Awards are for buildings in the UK by RIBA Chartered Architects and RIBA International Fellows. Entries are to be submitted to the region or nation in which the building is situated.  
  7. 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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