19 October 2023

The RIBA Stirling Prize 2023 Shortlist and Winner

The finest talent in UK architecture is on display…

With fireworks and bonfires just around the corner, it can only mean one thing for architects – it’s time for the RIBA Stirling Prize winner to be announced..

The finalists’ projects are on display for us all to cast an admiring eye over, and can be found at RIBA HQ until 10 November. So, which studios emerged as the main contenders for the most prestigious architectural award in the United Kingdom, and who picked up the trophy?

Well, we’ve put them all together ready for your considered opinion. But first off, a word from RIBA President Muyiwa Oki:

“The 2023 Stirling Prize shortlist illustrates why architecture matters to all of us. These six remarkable buildings offer thoughtful, creative responses to the really complex challenges we’re facing today. Whether it’s tackling loneliness, building communities, or preserving our heritage, these projects lay out bold blueprints for purposeful architecture.

 

“Amidst 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.”

 

A House for Artists, Apparata Architects

RIBA London Award 2023

This beauty is a model for affordable and sustainable housing. A House for Artists is a six-year effort by arts organisation Create London to provide affordable accommodation for creatives, delivering both living and working areas for 12 artists over five floors. In exchange for reduced rent, these professionals offer free creative programmes for the neighbourhood. The structure includes a street-facing, glass-walled community hall, as well as an impressive outdoor exhibition space.

 

Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing, Adam Khan Architects

RIBA London Award 2023

Commissioned by the London Borough of Camden, the Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing is part of a larger masterplan to revive “the very deprived” Central London neighbourhood of Somers Town, a stone’s throw from St Pancras station. Adam Khan Architects studio was assigned Plot no. 10, and tasked with designing and supervising the construction of a flexible community children’s facility, as well as that of several housing units for social rent. The result is as impressive inside as it is outside, and is an outstanding contribution to the local landscape.

 

Courtauld Connects, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Witherford Watson Mann Architects

RIBA London Award 2023

The Courtauld Gallery needs no introduction, and its home, Somerset House, has attracted admiring glances for centuries. The transformation of the gallery is the first part of a multi-phase project which aims to make the institution both physically and culturally more accessible. The Courtauld Gallery occupies the central section of Somerset House, which faces the Strand. Originally designed by William Chambers in the late 18th century as the Royal Academy, the most recent alterations have been painstakingly devised by Witherford Watson Mann.

 

John Morden Centre,

RIBA London Award 2023

The context for The John Morden Centre is Morden College, a charity founded in 1695 to provide older people in need with a home for life. This includes the provision of residential and nursing care. Residents live on the Grade I-listed college site attributed to English architect Sir Christopher Wren. The John Morden Centre is a welcome addition, which provides an aesthetically bright and uplifting daycare centre, plus housing, social and medical facilities for the residents.

 

Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing, Sergion Bates architects

RIBA London Award 2023

Lavender Hill is the result of the redevelopment of a former sheet-metal workshop. The result is a nine-apartment block arranged around a courtyard space. A timber-decked terrace on the first floor and pale grey brick gives the building a Mediterranean vibe, while its position, tucked away down a timber-lined passageway, allows it to blend seamlessly into the neighbourhood.

 

University of Warwick Faculty of Arts, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

RIBA West Midlands Award 2023

 

The University of Warwick commissioned this impressive new Faculty of Arts building to unite all its schools under a single roof. RIBA was impressed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ driving ambition “to create a vehicle for collaboration and cross-pollination of the arts” with inspiration taken from the site’s parkland backdrop. RIBA were further impressed by how “the architects [had] woven these two agendas into one cohesive design concept that has been executed with skill and craft.”

 

The winner of the Stirling Prize 2023 will be announced on Thursday 19 October at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Champagne is not optional.

And the results are in…

 

There was a pleasingly long queue of architects and their fans outside the William Hill betting shops this year. The clear favourite for the Stirling Prize 2023 emerged early on as the John Morden Centre in Blackheath by Architects, with odds of 6/5.  

 

They narrowly missed out in 2022 to Níall McLaughlin Architects for their Magdalene College project.

 

But it was champagne all round at the Mæ table on 19 October, when its studio was crowned as the 27th Stirling Prize winner at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.

 

Ellen van Loon, Chair of the RIBA Stirling Prize jury, was keen to tell us why:

 

“The John Morden Centre is a place of joy and inspiration. It sensitively and seamlessly integrates medical facilities and social spaces, delivering a bold and hopeful model for the design of health and care centres for the elderly. Dedication to creating an environment that lifts the spirits and fosters community is evident at every turn and in every detail.

 

This robust building provides comfort and warmth, with thoughtful features designed to prevent isolation. It illustrates how buildings can themselves be therapeutic – supporting care and instilling a sense of belonging. Great architecture orients people so they can thrive, and this building is exemplary at achieving exactly that.”

 

And we’ll sign off with hearty congratulations from the mustard BE team to Mæ Architects – a well-deserved win for a truly impressive and inspiring project.

If you’ve got the kind of architectural ideas that could rival these winners, then we’ve got the jobs to take advantage of your talents.

Or if you’re searching for the finest talent inside UK architecture, mustard BE is ready for your call.

Reach out to our team now on 0117 929 6060 to find out what we’ve got on offer.


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