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Revealed: All 46 RIBA National Award winners

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AHMM, Zaha Hadid Architects and Caruso St John are among the 42 practices who have picked up RIBA National Awards

This year there are very few publicly funded buildings, with just three schools, three healthcare buildings, and no civic schemes. The type that has fared well, however, is campus: university projects make up 12 of the RIBA award winners.

Winning schemes include Peter Cook’s bright blue drawing studio at the Arts University Bournemouth, Caruso St John’s Newport Street gallery, and Zaha Hadid’s last UK project to complete.

A school in south London by last year’s Stirling Prize winner Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, a home for Benedictine Nuns by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and houses by John Pardey Architects, Loyn & Co and James Gorst Architects have also picked up accolades.

Commenting on the winners RIBA president Jane Duncan, said: ‘The RIBA National Awards are a great indicator of UK design, economic and construction trends.

‘One stand-out trend from this year’s crop of winners is the huge scale of investment and ambition shown by many of the UK’s universities and colleges; almost one quarter of the winning projects (11 buildings) are in this category. As universities and colleges in the UK are competing for students from here and overseas, it is encouraging to see so much emphasis placed on the power of architecture to help institutions to attract students and stand out from the mediocre.’

She added: ‘The RIBA National Awards put a spotlight on some of the smaller and unique, but no less ambitious, projects such as the Drawing Studio at Bournemouth University, Gloucester Services or the conservation and reinvigoration of Wilton’s Music Hall. They show that budget, location or many other challenges are no constraints to the production of superb quality architecture as long as you have the commitment of an imaginative and capable architect working with a great client. These 46 buildings are what the best architecture looks like today.’

The national winners will now go on to be considered for the Stirling Prize – the biggest prize in UK architecture. A shortlist will be announced later in the summer and the winner is set to be revealed in October.

Jump to practice: ABCDEFGHJKLMPRTUWZ

Laidlaw Library by ADP

Laidlaw Library by ADP

Laidlaw Library by ADP

Source: Beccy Lane

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region Yorkshire
Client University of Leeds
Contractor Shepherd Construction
Structural engineer WSP
Completed May 2015
Area 5,962m² 
Cost £16 million

Judges’ citation The Laidlaw Library is the first building by the University of Leeds in 65 years to address the public realm. Flanked by two Grade II-listed stone churches, and close to the Grade I-listed Parkinson Building, it uses modern materials and technology to respond to its historic context. The building is an elegant and precise structure. The composition of old and new is a delight. Solid and void are combined to ensure that natural light and ventilation provide an environmentally responsible solution to users’ needs. The architect has interpreted a difficult brief exceptionally well. The design is extremely complex but rigorously executed. It does not compete with the churches on either side but sits harmoniously and maintains the strong vertical  emphasis to the grain of buildings and streetscape.

Ely Court by Alison Brooks Architects

Ely Court by Alison Brooks Architects

Ely Court by Alison Brooks Architects

Source: Paul Riddle

RIBA icon   Housing

Region London
Client Catalyst Housing
Executive architect Hester Architects
Contractor  Wilmott Dixon Housing
Structuralengineers  WSP and Tully De’Ath
Completed October 2015
Area 6,509m²
Cost £8.2 million

Judges’ citation This is an accomplished, stylish scheme, which far exceeds the request that it be ‘tenancy blind’, adding to the area greatly through considered design and landscaping. The arrangement of buildings makes sense of the disparate spaces of the South Kilburn post-war estate, recreating animated street frontages, public green space and a mews street. On Chichester Road, flats and two-storey houses are combined within four-storey blocks to recreate the formal streetscape of the 19th-century villas demolished during the last century. This is a robust yet sensitive approach to repairing London’s lost streets. It is excellent to see great architects working in this important field.

ARK All Saints Academy and Highshore School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Ark All Saints Academy and Highshore School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Ark All Saints Academy and Highshore School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Source: Timothy Soar

RIBA icon   School

Region London
Client Balfour Beatty, Southwark Council and ARK
Contractor Balfour Beatty
Structural engineer James Lupton Consultants 
Completed May 2014
Area 11,716m²
Cost £19.3 million

Judges’ citation This is a brilliant transformation of a failing school. The success of the architecture is reflected in the achievements of pupils and teachers. It is a building that not only the staff and students are proud of, but the local community as a whole. Internal voids, open spaces and wide corridors create an overall sense of connection, transparency and generosity. The facades use simple materials to achieve external elevations that feel very sophisticated and refined. This is an important part of raising ambition, expectations and standards in a challenging area. The architect’s experience of building many schools is evident. This is not showy, just classy, successful and elegant.

61 Oxford Street by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

61 Oxford Street by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

61 Oxford Street by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Source: Timothy Soar

RIBA icon   Commercial

Region London
Client Dukelease Properties & BA Pensions Trust 
Contractor Wates Construction 
Structural engineer Walsh Group 
Completed July 2015 
Area 4,741m²
Cost £26.5 million

Judges’ citation This building represents a contemporary beat on the eastern end of Oxford Street, composed of a clever sandwich of flexible use trapped in a sensuous glass skin. The single building through the varied proportion of vertical glazed fluting recalls the several buildings that once inhabited the site, while the tripartite arrangement in elevation reflects the hierarchy of surrounding buildings. A corner lantern is a successor to the feature of the previous Victorian pub, and the ‘racy’ canopy nods to the Selfridges store, among others, expressing a joy of consumerism. This is thoroughly delightful, with clever references to context, mixed-use and skyline.

Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute by Allies and Morrison

Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute by Allies and Morrison

Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute by Allies and Morrison

Source: Stale Eriksen

RIBA icon   Workplce

Region London
Client King’s College London
Executivearchitect PM Devereux
Contractor  Morgan Sindall
Structuralengineer AECOM
Completed June 2015
Area 9,611m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation The project represents a very intelligent response to a complex brief and a difficult site. It not only articulates an internal hierarchy and logic but also manages to impose rationality to the external context. The building all at once connects to the high street, the hospital campus and the adjacent residential terraces. The play between the different scales is very successful; the building is monumental while also referencing the domestic through a clever change in scale. At both scales, the facades respond with clarity and conviction and a remarkable sensitivity towards the neighbouring housing. In the difficult context of a large hospital campus that is growing without an overall masterplan, the project intelligently anticipates and sets up the key moves of any future masterplan.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by BDP 

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by BDP

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by BDP

Source: David Barbour

RIBA icon   Healthcare

Region North West
Client Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Contractor Laing O’Rourke
Structuralengineer WSP
Completed  October 2015
Area 60,000m²
Cost £167 million

Judges’ citation The client and architect have created something special here. This is more than just a complete contrast to the previous Alder Hey building (which still lurks next door as an institutional reminder of how most of us think of hospitals), it offers a new model for the design of children’s healthcare facilities far and wide. A hugely complex brief and a short delivery timescale were handled superbly well by the design team, with an obviously tenacious and astute client team driving forward at every step.

Derry Avenue by Bell Phillips Architects

Derry Avenue by Bell Phillips Architects

Derry Avenue by Bell Phillips Architects

Source: Killian O’Sullivan

RIBA icon   Housing

Region East
Client Confidential
Contractor  Willmott Dixon Housing
Structuralengineer  John Newton & Partners
Completed February 2016
Area 2,440m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation Located in South Ockendon, Essex, Derry Avenue provides 25 flats designed specifically for elderly residents. Bell Phillips Architects and Thurrock Council Housing Department have worked together to produce a noteworthy scheme that both encourages a community spirit within the development and acts as a positive landmark with the potential to kick-start a new era for the locale. The building form is simple, but dramatic in its setting. Although somewhat higher than neighbouring properties, the scheme is not overpowering, as it reduces in scale towards the extremities of the site. The external materials are simple but well chosen, with a strong brick base giving way to upper elevations clad in weatherboarding and animated by generous balcony spaces for each apartment.

Greenwich Housing by Bell Phillips Architects

Greenwich Housing by Bell Phillips Architects

Greenwich Housing by Bell Phillips Architects

Source: Edmund Sumner

RIBA icon   Housing

Region London
Client Confidential
Contractor  Newlyns
Structuralengineer Richard Jackson
Completed September 2015
Area 1,911m²
Cost  Confidential

Judges’ citation Greenwich Housing provides clean, simple and elegant housing for elderly and disabled people, supplying much-needed homes for social rent for people aged over 60. At a strategic scale the building’s formal articulation is flexible and clever, allowing the same typology to sit harmoniously on six different sites, with changes in brickwork creating relationships with its immediate context. The elevations have an intimate and varied scale, equally comfortable as a terrace row and on a stand-alone back-land site. Brick and zinc are the main elements of a simple and robust palette of materials. The scheme provides innovative, generous, and light- filled homes, bringing joy to their occupants and new life to the bungalow building type.

Private House by Bennetts Associates

Private House by Bennetts Associates

Private House by Bennetts Associates

Source: Brian Ormerod

RIBA icon   House

Region North West
Client Confidential
Contractor Duckett Building Services
Structural engineer David Narro Associates
Completed  August 2015
Area 386m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation The only shame about this project is that not many people will be able to experience it. The context of a heavily constrained Cumbrian market town with a very active conservation lobby is not where you would expect to find support for such an essay in contemporary domestic architecture. The architect worked hard to clearly demonstrate how its pavilion design for the site – despite being more modern – would be a far better fit for the town than the higher density pastiche units that originally won planning permission. There is quality in abundance here, but the building does not shout or present as being ostentatious – it is a very good neighbour. The planning of this upside-down house takes full advantage of the spectacular views afforded to it, while maximising privacy within a very tight urban fabric.

Newport St Gallery by Caruso St John

Newport St Gallery by Caruso St John

Source: Helene Binet

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region London
Client Science
Contractor  Walter Lilly
Structuralengineer Alan Baxter and Associates
Completed August 2015
Area 3,386m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This is a bold and confident project wherein old and new are seamlessly joined and reinterpreted to create superb gallery spaces in a building with a very significant civic presence. Its approach to conservation, at once radical and sensitive, is based on a deep appreciation of the qualities of the host building and the potential of the new programme. The internal restructuring is forthright and unsentimental, giving a powerful and coherent set of gallery rooms that can show the most challenging individual works but also ambitious large shows. As a street, the collection of five buildings is beautifully curated; pulled together by the forthright brick treatment yet expressive of their individuality. The twisting of the familiar is evident in the spiky, saw-tooth roof but also in the use of Fletton-like bricks. The gallery is set to have an important beneficial impact on the surrounding community.

Drawing Studio by CRAB Studio

Drawing Studio by CRAB Studio

Drawing Studio by CRAB Studio

RIBA icon   Campus

Region South West and Wessex
Client Arts University Bournemouth
Contractor Morgan Sindall
Structuralengineer AKTII
Completed  February 2016
Area 165m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation Reportedly the first dedicated drawing studio to be built in a British art school for a century, the extraordinary atmosphere within this building left the jury wondering why this would be so. It is sure to re-ignite interest in a forgotten building type. An exemplary art-making space lurks within a colourfully wrapped sweetie of a building that will inevitably become emblematic of its host institution. This is a building that stridently reinforces the agenda of the arts university, leading the transformative effects of an evolutionary building programme. From the outside the studio pavilion fulfils its intended role as a marker at a primary but unassuming student entry point to the campus. On the inside all is calm. The soft curves create an almost intangible, cave-like form dominated by the elliptical light that beautifully frames tree canopies. This is a building that fits its purpose perfectly; a space for drawing that invites you to draw.

Trafalgar Place by dRMM

Trafalgar Place by dRMM

Trafalgar Place by dRMM

Source: Alex de Rijke

RIBA icon   Housing

Region London
Client Lend Lease
Contractor Lend Lease Construction
Structuralengineer  Robert Bird Group
Completed March 2015
Area 16,660m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This scheme has an outstanding site plan which connects the development to the surrounding context and local community. The public pedestrian path through the middle feels like genuine historic grain; it is sympathetic to the buildings, and gives a natural permeability. Public space is a key aspect of the project, with boundaries blurred between the public realm and private development. It is a refreshing and successful change from the gated or insular housing community. Brick is the principal facade material, with eight different types used, referencing the neighbouring buildings. At junctions between varying brickwork colours, keyed-in corners refer to traditional brickworking methods while whimsically playing on proportion and scale. The subtlety of the brickwork and detailing is both beautiful and playful. The quality achieved should be an example for future housing developments.

Corner House by DSDHA

Corner House by DSDHA

Corner House by DSDHA

Source: Christoffer Rudquist

RIBA icon   Housing

Region London
Client Derwent London
Contractor Knight Harwood
Structuralengineer  Elliott Wood
Completed November 2015
Area 1,365m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This simple, elegant building celebrates the ordinary corner. Its massing of three forms resonates with the urban morphology typical of this part of London with the two rooftop pavilions articulating the roofscape. The sense of the ordinary belies the quality of this scheme – the journey through the building is a delight. From the outside it sits well in its context; the metalwork and upper glazing drawing second and third glimpses. The load-bearing brickwork is carefully detailed and constructed and adds a tactile nature to the building. The scheme is exemplary in demonstrating how apparent ordinariness can be lifted to an enjoyable and delightful piece of townscape and equally a place to live in central London.

Davenies School by DSDHA

Davenies School by DSDHA

Davenies School by DSDHA

Source: Dennis Gilbert

RIBA icon   School

Region South
Client Confidential
Contractor  Beard
Structuralengineer Jane Wernick Associates
Completed September 2015
Area 1,450m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation DSDHA was appointed to carry out the final phase of a 20-year masterplan to replace the most outdated blocks at this private primary school in Beaconsfield. The new building is uncompromisingly contemporary without being harsh. There is a sense of progression of scale, which mirrors the child’s journey through the school. The plan form nestles into the landscape, providing intimate external spaces with a constant connection to the landscape. Different views and features have been framed and the classrooms are flooded with light. The section is used to provide classroom spaces with different atmospheres. All this provides a wonderful contemporary environment, without being in any way condescending to the child. Within the constrained and sometimes pastiche surroundings, this building challenges the notion of what education buildings are and can be, and it will stimulate the wider public to think about the power of architecture.

8 St James’s Square by Eric Parry Architects

8 St James’s Square by Eric Parry Architects

8 St James’s Square by Eric Parry Architects

Source: Dirk Lindner

RIBA icon   Workplce

Region London
Client Green Property
Contractor Galliford Try
Structuralengineer  Price & Myers
Completed October 2015
Area 6,085m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This is a wonderfully crafted building, which sits well within a sensitive context. Its materiality is playful yet respectful to its surroundings. The varying scales and window types are a bold, brave move that illustrates masterful skill and original thinking. There are many beautiful, subtle details, such as the tilting glass in the windows and the granite surrounds to the ground-floor windows. This large building is nicely reticent, beautifully tailored, spirited and full of the deep personal commitment of a sensitive architect.

Heart of the Campus by Evans Vettori

Heart of the Campus by Evans Vettori

Heart of the Campus by Evans Vettori

Source: Martine Hamilton Knight

RIBA icon   Campus

Region East Midlands
Client Nottingham Trent University
Contractor GF Tomlinson
Structuralengineer Curtins
Completed  September 2015
Area 4,174m²
Cost  Confidential

Judges’ citation Sitting at the centre of Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton campus, the scheme has created a new identity for this eclectic site that sets the benchmark for new developments. The new social heart – the Pavilion – has been augmented with a teaching building set at right angles, and the creation of a triangular plaza. This defines a much-needed centre to the campus, and provides some coherence. The Pavilion building provides a generous, light and airy ‘heart space’ offset by intimate study pods that punctuate the glass facade. The whole area encourages students to work collaboratively and celebrates the university’s educational vision.

Hebburn Central by FaulknerBrowns Architects

Hebburn Central by FaulknerBrowns Architects

Hebburn Central by FaulknerBrowns Architects

Source: Hufton + Crow

RIBA icon   Leisure

Region North East
Client South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
Contractor  Willmott Dixon
Structuralengineer Structures 
Completed July 2015
Area 5,800m²
Cost £11.1 million

Judges’ citation This library and community sports facility is a striking addition to Hebburn, and marks the first phase of an ambitious regeneration project led by South Tyneside Council. On approach the building sits as a large rectilinear Cor-ten-clad form, its aspect clearly creating a new face towards an emerging urban realm. The building’s length would normally seem extreme, however its scale is perfectly proportional to its context and sits remarkably well next to its neighbours. Detailing is controlled, well executed and follows through the same precision set out by the elevation. The result is a calm and peaceful interior, able to cope with the challenging brief of mixed-use community facilities under one roof. There is no doubt Hebburn Central will enrich the lives of the community.

Stanbrook Abbey by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Stanbrook Abbey by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Stanbrook Abbey by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Source: Peter Cook

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region Yorkshire
Client Conventus of our Lady of Consolation, Stanbrook Abbey 
Contractor William Birch Construction (phase one), QSP Construction (phase two)
Structuralengineer Structures One (phase one), Buro Happold (phase two) 
Completed September 2015
Area 6,836m²
Cost £7.5 million

Judges’ citation This new monastery in the North York Moors National Park for an enclosed order of Benedictine Nuns is a truly extraordinary piece of architecture. Having a blank canvas can present more problems than a tight, hemmed-in site, but to execute the scheme in such a beautiful organic form suggests divine intervention. It sits majestically within the woodland, rising out of the ground to form the crescendo to the plateau. It aims to foster contemplation through its simplicity, beauty, sense of space and tranquillity, taking advantage of natural light and views over the Vale of York. Its straightforward palette of materials – oak, stone and copper – demonstrates a thorough ethos carried through from the sisters’ brief.

Wirral Metropolitan College by Glenn Howells Architects

Wirral Metropolitan College by Glenn Howells Architects

Wirral Metropolitan College by Glenn Howells Architects

Source: Paul Miller

RIBA icon   Campus

Region North West
Client Peel Holdings
Contractor Morgan Sindall
Structuralengineer  Jacobs Engineering
Completed September 2015
Area 3,809m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This scheme provides a facility for the acquisition of technical skills, providing a local skill-base to deliver elements of the wider Wirral Waters masterplan and the historic dock system over the next 30 years. Industrial when viewed from a distance, the form and materials are true to their function and context. The simplicity of the grid and section appears to be a result of the need to fast track the project, with complexity – such as the external perforated skin – added where appropriate and in a restrained manner. This is a simply planned building, which has been delivered with rigour, and will also act as a pedagogical device for students. One of its most successful aspects is the way it works within an excellent landscape scheme. The setting of the dockside has been fully exploited.

Gloucester Services by Glenn Howells Architects

Gloucester Services by Glenn Howells Architects

Gloucester Services by Glenn Howells Architects

Source: Paul Miller

RIBA icon   Commercial

Region South West & Wessex
Client  Westmorland
Executivearchitect AFL Architects
Contractor Buckingham Group 
Structuralengineers Buro Happold and BWB Consulting
Completed May 2015
Area 3,278m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation Motorway services are not supposed to be architecturally meritorious. This is a building that reinvents and reinvigorates the type. Not since the glorious infancy of the British motorway network, when motorists would travel to the perceived sophistication of motorway services, has a new example of the type itself been worthy of the journey. The facilities are carefully planned to isolate the service environment from the motorway, and succeed in creating a place that emanates quality as well as clarity. The main visitor buildings are primarily visible only as sweeping concave facades, their grass-topped roofs contiguous with existing and redefined topography, which promotes a welcoming atmosphere translating easily from outside to in.

51 Hills Road by Gort Scott

51 Hills Road by Gort Scott

51 Hills Road by Gort Scott

Source: Dennis Gilbert

RIBA icon   Workplce

Region East
Client Confidential
Contractor Ashe Construction
Structuralengineer Solution Consulting Engineers
Completed September 2015
Area 780m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation A well-known gap site on one of Cambridge’s busiest arteries has been blessed with a building that skilfully defies the usual ‘spec office development’ title, and points to a different approach from other recently completed commercial developments nearby. Amid the rush to provide commercial property in the area, this development stands out as a project of real quality. It is a thoughtful, respectful, confident, skilful and sustainable addition to Cambridge’s growing commercial sector. It shows what can be achieved when the skill of the architect and design team meet the client’s commitment to quality.

Bob Champion Research and Education Building by Hawkins\Brown

Bob Champion Research and Education Building by Hawkins\Brown

Bob Champion Research and Education Building by Hawkins\Brown

Source: Gareth Gardner

RIBA icon   Campus

Region East
Client University of East Anglia
Contractor RG Carter
Structuralengineer Arup and Carter Design
Completed November 2014
Area 4,465m²
Cost £12 million

Judges’ citation The building provides a striking and very different aesthetic for clinical and research facilities, while continuing the University of East Anglia’s history of low-energy sustainable projects. The scheme’s modest budget is only apparent when looking at the construction costs, not when looking at the building as a whole. The limitations on budget and programme, and the potential loss of quality control with a two-stage Design-and-Build project have not restricted the high technical content of the brief or the expressive nature of the external form. The architect has delivered a highly sustainable and striking building, which has transformed the client’s mode of operation in a most positive way.

Blavatnik School of Government by Herzog & de Meuron

Blavatnik School of Government by Herzog & de Meuron

Blavatnik School of Government by Herzog & de Meuron

Source: Jim Stephenson

RIBA icon   Campus

Region South
Client Blavatnik School of Government
Contractor Laing O’Rourke Construction
Structuralengineer Pell Frischmann
Completed November 2015
Area 7,934m²
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation The building has been designed as a precise geometric form which allows its important historic neighbours to maintain and improve their presence along Walton Street, while also opening up generous and inviting access into the new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. From the street, this is a statement piece. It is radically different from the urban and intellectual context of its Oxford setting, but with subtle references that ground it. The more you stand and stare, the more these references become clear and add a richness that elevates this building beyond a bold iconic statement. The project plays on the idea of the picture frame – the window on the world – the players within, the world outside. This is both intriguing and theatrical: the stage is set for an interesting collaboration or confrontation. On display, ready to interact - anything is possible. Inside, the building is quite simply breathtaking. It is one of those rare moments in architecture when the spirit soars. This is a modern cathedral of learning that at the same time stimulates, soothes and excites.

The Portland Collection by Hugh Broughton Architects

The Portland Collection by Hugh Broughton Architects

The Portland Collection by Hugh Broughton Architects

Source: Hufton + Crow

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region East Midlands
Client The Harley Foundation
Contractor Caddick Construction 
Structuralengineer Price & Myers
Completed  November 2015
Area 874m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This philanthropic project allows the Portland Collection to be seen by the general public for the first time, in a carefully curated, carefully crafted new building, which perfectly suits its world-class collection. The judges commended the way the scheme was delicately nestled in a cluster of buildings around a central courtyard, using existing stone walls and a simple palette of materials to blend into its historic setting. Externally, elevations have been crisply detailed in handmade Danish brick, contrasting with and complementing the original stone walls. Protruding barrel-vaulted zinc roofs provide a dynamic roofline, evoking silhouettes of the abbey and hinting at the drama within.

Private House by James Gorst Architects

Private House by James Gorst Architects

Private House by James Gorst Architects

Source: Alex Franklin

RIBA icon   House

Region East Midlands
Client Confidential
Contractor Verde Construction
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Completed  January 2014
Area 3,900m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This contemporary interpretation of a country house creates a series of interlocking blocks that frame views across the landscape and into a sheltered private courtyard. The juxtaposition of each element, clad in ironstone, bronze and black timber, carefully reiterates the earthy tones of the fields beyond. The house stands alone, remote from the nearest village, on a ridge of higher ground overlooking the rolling agrarian landscape of the farm to the north. A line of stone set flush in the turfed landscape leads the visitor forward and, as the ground drops, this line continues and morphs into a wall, which in turn builds into the unfenestrated climax of the stepped east front’s Jurassic elevation.

National Graphene Institute by Jestico + Whiles

National Graphene Institute by Jestico + Whiles

National Graphene Institute by Jestico + Whiles

Source: Daniel Shearing

RIBA icon   Campus

Region North West
Client University of Manchester
Executivearchitect CH2M
Contractor  BAM
Structuralengineer Ramboll
Completed  March 2015
Area 6,160m²
Cost £61 million 

Judges’ citation This fascinating building is a world-leading research centre dedicated to the development of graphene, helping keep the UK at the forefront of this revolutionary material. It was delivered at an impressive pace despite its complexity, and provides a flexible platform upon which future research and industry collaboration can flourish. This could have been a very utilitarian and inward-looking project, focusing solely on delivery of the core function. Instead the client and team have developed a compact and well-detailed scheme, which still manages to give something back to the street. The public can view down into the main clean rooms and to the campus, where stainless steel cladding works as both metaphor and functional screen.

The Cheeran House by John Pardey Architects

The Cheeran House by John Pardey Architects

The Cheeran House by John Pardey Architects

Source: James Morris

RIBA icon   House

Region South
Client Confidential
Contractor  self-build
Structuralengineer Barton Engineers 
Completed March 2015
Area 284m²
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation The house sits between two worlds: a courtyard and a walled garden. The design is based on the desire to enjoy a south-facing aspect, while also engaging with the walled garden to the north. This is a serene and relatively modest house, which creates some beautiful reflective spaces with excellent use of light, in particular the first-floor corridor space with low-level windows. The architects have relished using natural materials that will weather well. The ground floor walls are faced in flint (pre-cast in blocks) to pay respect to a Grade II-listed old schoolhouse next door, reverting to brick where it becomes part of the walled garden. Within its locality this is an entirely fitting, contextual and elegant response, and results in a very good building indeed.

Sir John Soane’s Museum by Julian Harrap Architects

Sir John Soane’s Museum by Julian Harrap Architects

Sir John Soane’s Museum by Julian Harrap Architects

Source: Gareth Gardner

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region London 
Client The Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum 
Contractor Kingswood Construction 
Structuralengineer Mann Williams 
Completed January 2015 
Area 83m²
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation Like the firm’s earlier award-winning work for the museum, this latest phase continues the exemplary approach to repair, conservation, restoration and presentation adopted earlier. The works include carefully researched and soundly considered reinstatement, reversing later and less considered changes and recovering Soane’s original vision for the interior of the property. What gives this outstanding conservation project distinction is the commendable attention given by the architects to extensive documentary research, detailed analysis of the existing building and a highly sensitive approach to change, enabling visitors to enjoy and appreciate the work of one of England’s greatest architects.

Banbridge Health and Care Centre by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Banbridge Health and Care Centre by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Banbridge Health and Care Centre by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Source: Donal McCann

RIBA icon   Healthcare

Region Northern Ireland
Client Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Executivearchitect  Avanti Architects
Contractor Felix O’Hare & Co 
Structuralengineer RPS Consulting
Completed  January 2016
Area 6,510m²
Cost £12.1 million 

Judges’ citation The building performs in three ways: firstly it provides community outpatient treatment facilities; secondly it accommodates adults with physical and learning disability in a daycare setting; and thirdly the building is an administrative centre for the healthcare trust. The architectural design uses the site contours to step these three distinct zones of accommodation across the site. The project provides much needed health facilities that can be accessed by all through design and application of all relevant standards.

Outhouse by Loyn & Co

Outhouse by Loyn & Co

Outhouse by Loyn & Co

Source: Charles Hosea

RIBA icon   House

Region South West and Wessex
Client  Confidential
Contractor Forest Eco Systems 
Structuralengineer WL2
Completed January 2015 
Area 490m² 
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation The Outhouse is located on a fabulous sloping plot in the Forest of Dean, running beside Offa’s Dyke, with long views to the Wye Valley and Severn Estuary. The design exploits the site potential to the full with a discreet design that beds into the site literally and metaphorically, finely balancing respect to context with confident architectural expression. The simplicity of the house, which is undoubtedly hard-won, is founded on rigour and restraint.  It is a concrete house where the material feels warm and luxurious, and a considered and crafted palette of surfaces forms a backdrop for the artist-owners’ own refined art and furniture. The design eloquently and effortlessly tackles many familiar issues: the blurred relationship between interior and exterior space, the penetration of light into a deep, single-aspect plan, and the control of sustainability without flaunting it.

Greenwich Gateway Pavilions by Marks Barfield

Greenwich Gateway Pavilions by Marks Barfield

Greenwich Gateway Pavilions by Marks Barfield

Source: Timothy Soar

RIBA icon   Commercial

Region London
Client Knight Dragon
Contractor Wates Construction
Structuralengineer Price & Myers
Completed September 2014
Area 2,648m²
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation The Greenwich Gateway Pavilions play an important role in the Greenwich Peninsula, an area undergoing huge transformation. They are a statement of intent; sculptural and distinctive, signalling the quality and character of the place the peninsula is to become. The accommodation is housed in two curved glass pavilions. A floating canopy above the pavilions forms a shelter for frequent artistic and community events on the peninsula. The building is part of a bigger landscape – it defines the southern edge of the Peninsular Square, and forms a well-composed gateway to Central Park and the major residential developments beyond in this new and vibrant district.

HOME by Mecanoo

HOME by Mecanoo

HOME by Mecanoo

Source: Machteld Schoep

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region North West 
Client Manchester City Council
Contractor Wates Construction
Structuralengineer BuroHappold 
Completed  April 2015 
Area 7,500m² 
Cost £25 million

Judges’ citation HOME forms the cultural heart of one of the largest areas of development in Manchester city centre. The deceptively simple form and enclosure masks a complexity of interconnected and overlapping spaces and functions that are a lesson in being just right. There’s a lack of pretension within the building that reflects the client brief perfectly. Its position (adjacent to a very busy rail line) posed serious technical problems, which appear to have been handled extremely well, and the building gives back more to the public sphere than its neighbours. There was a sense of generosity within the spaces that was unexpected – it was surely devised in section rather than plan-led – and this, combined with simple honest detailing, has created a confident building that is unlikely to date or be unable to be adapted in the future.

City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus by Michael Laird Architects with Reiach and Hall Architects

City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus by Michael Laird Architects with Reiach and Hall Architects

City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus by Michael Laird Architects with Reiach and Hall Architects

Source: Keith Hunter

RIBA icon   Campus

Region Scotland
Client City of Glasgow College 
Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
Structuralengineer Arup
Completed August 2015 
Area 21,403m² 
Cost £66 million 

Judges’ citation Located at the edge of a major crossing of the River Clyde, the site marks a gateway in the city and projects the college’s importance as a civic institution as well as creating a new landmark. New buildings are organised around two civic spaces – a cloistered garden and a grand hall – which encourage students to mix and realise opportunities for learning across disciplines.

Saunders Centre Science and Technology Building by Page\Park Architects

Saunders Centre Science and Technology Building by Page\Park Architects

Saunders Centre Science and Technology Building by Page\Park Architects

RIBA icon   School

Region Scotland
Client Glasgow Academy 
Contractor Dunne Group
Structuralengineer  Woolgar Hunter
Area 3,437m² 
Cost Confidential  

Judges’ citation This facility at the Glasgow Academy includes a new 178-seat auditorium complemented by a generous foyer, which wraps around the sculptural elliptical form. On each upper floor, four general teaching labs, together with a sixth-year lab, are arranged along a glazed breakout and bay-windowed passage overlooking the historic main school.

Royal Road by Panter Hudspith Architects

Royal Road by Panter Hudspith Architects

Royal Road by Panter Hudspith Architects

Source: Morley von Sternberg

RIBA icon   Housing

Region London
Client Confidential
Contractor  Higgins Construction
Structuralengineer Thomasons
Completed January 2014
Area  9,240m²
Cost £12.2 million

Judges’ citation This is an ambitious housing project, which pushes the boundaries in difficult circumstances and sets an important precedent for the quality and diversity of units that can be achieved in social housing. Each flat has its own identity with a different orientation, plan and exterior. This contributes to the sense of individuality, but also creates a sense of identity at the larger scale. External and internal vistas give the project an overall permeability that cleverly reduces the scale of what is in fact quite a large building. A remarkable level of thought has gone into the detailing, such as brick treatment and window sizing. This has allowed fine qualities to survive a challenging cost environment. The site strategy is bold and successful, working around existing mature trees, drawing the massing back from the road and creating a series of shared gardens around the outer street edge and a courtyard within.

Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre by Patel Taylor

Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre by Patel Taylor

Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre by Patel Taylor

Source: Timothy Soar

RIBA icon   Campus

Region East
Client University of Essex 
Contractor Kier Eastern
Structuralengineer  Techniker
Completed August 2015
Area 6,081m² 
Cost £17.5 million

Judges’ citation Patel Taylor has worked with the university for a number of years so was able to persuade it to divide the brief into two projects that would both complement and respect the existing architecture and provide a completion of the campus development to the north of the site. The new student centre sits on a stone base at the edge of the lake with an oversailing canopy, which welcomes the visitor and can be seen from the existing square to the south. The library extension is also a skilled piece of work, with expressive use of external in-situ concrete complementing the existing architecture, but not merely copying. As with the student centre, a simple palette of materials both inside and out has been handled with expertise and care.

New Queen Elizabeth II Hospital by Penoyre & Prasad

New Queen Elizabeth II Hospital by Penoyre & Prasad

New Queen Elizabeth II Hospital by Penoyre & Prasad

RIBA icon   Healthcare

Region East
Client Assemble Community Partnership
Contractor Balfour Beatty 
Structuralengineer Aecom/URS Corporation 
Completed May 2015
Area 8,541m² 
Cost £22 million  

Judges’ citation The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City replaces the 1950s hospital accommodation that previously occupied the site. It incorporates clinical layouts and generic spaces to enable flexibility of use on a day-to-day basis and adaptability to future service changes. Penoyre & Prasad designed the building in the form of three L-shaped wings. These define a central courtyard around which the main public circulation is arranged. The building’s open and well-lit interior stands in stark contrast to most similar facilities. If architecture can stimulate health and wellbeing then this building will go a considerable distance to help its patients. The project has high sustainability aspirations with an ethos that runs through the project, from the initial layout through to the adaptability of the hospital in future years.

Turnmills by Piercy & Company

Turnmills by Piercy & Company

Turnmills by Piercy & Company

Source: Al Crow

RIBA icon   Commercial

Region London
Client Derwent London 
Contractor McLaren Construction with Veretec 
Structuralengineer AKTII
Completed January 2015
Area 9,032m² 
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation Turnmill is a successful building that skillfully responds to the character of Clerkenwell’s building fabric. A handmade Petersen Roman format brick is what makes the facade special. The architect has used three subtle tones of brick to relate to the neighbouring Old Sessions House, grounding the building in its immediate context. The warmth and tactility of this brick has an endearing quality. The long-format bricks also give a feeling of movement, further emphasised by the flush vertical joints and raked horizontal joints. The refined and careful approach to materiality and formal massing has created a building with street presence and solidity, which stands apart from commercial speculative office buildings. The jury thought the strong curved form and deep reveals showed a generosity of articulation that would give the building a lasting appeal.

The Avenue by Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Avenue by Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Avenue by Pollard Thomas Edwards

RIBA icon   Housing

Region East
Client Hill
Contractor Hill
Structural engineer Rossi Long
Completed November 2014
Area 9,110m² 
Cost £14 million

Judges’ citation The Avenue represents the best of new housing developments: a committed client, a skilled architect, and a site with a fabulous mature landscape. The lack of a pattern book of designs meant the architect was able to develop its own kit of parts, without reducing individuality or variety across the scheme. The palette of materials is traditional but the detailing is modern and crisp. The housing off the main avenue forms a series of courtyards that strike a clever mix of coherence and community for the owners. This is a great lesson in defensible space without the requirement for any signage – simple and successful urban design in action.

Murphy House by Richard Murphy Architects

Murphy House by Richard Murphy Architects

Murphy House by Richard Murphy Architects

RIBA icon   House

Region Scotland
Client Richard Murphy
Contractor Inscape Joinery
Structuralengineer  Create Engineering
Completed December 2014 
Area 165m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This is a rare example of a modern house within the World Heritage Site of the Edinburgh New Town. It is a house designed by Richard Murphy for his own use and is consequently something of an architectural and environmental experiment. There are many influences at work, not least the work of Carlo Scarpa, on whom Murphy is an authority. The roof terrace is a homage to the garden of the Querini Stampalia in Venice, using the same exposed aggregate walls and sourcing tiles from Scarpa’s original manufacturer in Venice. Internally, ‘stucco lucido’ plasterwork is used extensively. Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Maison de Verre and Reitveld’s Schroder house are also great influences. This house is as intricately crafted as a precision watch. It boldly challenges its context in the douce New Town, and is a unique one-off, designed with consummate skill.

Wilton’s Music Hall by Tim Ronalds Architects

Wilton’s Music Hall by Tim Ronalds Architects

Wilton’s Music Hall by Tim Ronalds Architects

Source: Helene Binet

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region London
Client Wilton’s Music Hall Trust
Contractor Fullers Builders (phase one), William Anelay (phase two)
Structuralengineer  Cambridge Architectural Research
Completed  September 2015
Area 1,496m² 
Cost £3 million 

Judges’ citation The atmosphere of the music hall behind dilapidated houses is seductive and unforgettable. You pass through a rambling pattern of interconnected domestic-scale rooms before you discover the hall. This was the case when it was first built, and the interventions have been designed so as not to compromise Wilton’s existing character. The project was not a conventional restoration, but driven by aesthetics; preserving the building’s character and the items revealed during the building work. The architects say they followed a principle of ‘doing only what is essential’, and that ‘an enormous amount of care and ingenuity went into apparently doing nothing’. This of course is an understatement. The hall has been invisibly strengthened, soundproofed, heated and ventilated. Everything possible was preserved: from disused roofs, Georgian brickwork, ceramic electrical fittings, to an abandoned bird’s nest.

House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects

House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects

House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects

Source: Tim Crocker

RIBA icon   House

Region London 
Client Confidential 
Contractor Karas, Zarzyczny Vasylyuk 
Structuralengineer TALL Consulting Structural Engineers 
Completed January  2015
Area 110m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation House of Trace is a surprising and delightful rethink of the terraced house extension. The play between old and new creates intriguing and playful spatial relationships. The central void, marking the split between the old and new, forms a focal point where living and communal spaces have a direct connection to the sleeping and private spaces upstairs. The master bedroom is beautifully detailed and thought‑out. Unusually, the space has light from two sides: an external window looking to the garden and an internal window looking across the central void and into the child’s bedroom, creating a unique sense of light and space. This is a very clever project, and indeed an inventive and exciting approach to conservation. Age, patina and even structural faults are lovingly preserved and deftly combined with bold abstraction.

York Art Gallery by Ushida Findlay with Simpson & Brown

York Art Gallery by Ushida Findlay with Simpson & Brown

Source: Giles Rocholl

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region Yorkshire
Client York Museums and Gallery Trust
Contractor Simpson 
Structuralengineer Arup
Completed August 2015 
Area 2,600m² 
Cost Confidential

Judges’ citation This beautiful gallery is both humbling and utterly inspiring. It was rambling and disorganised until the architects transformed and reinvigorated it by opening up a roof void that had not seen the light of day since the 1950s. The initial glimpse up into the new first-floor gallery is surprising, greatly impressive and creates good visual connections, which encourage you not only to explore the displayed pottery but also to experience anew the building as a whole. Externally the faience-tiled wall is stunning; exquisitely separated from the wall to the south-western end by a large glazed window. A simple stepped brick wall increases the height of the building’s rear, but is so subtly integrated that it appears always to have been there. The revitalised museum forms a fitting tribute to its sadly missed original design architect, the late Kathryn Findlay.

Regent High School by Walters & Cohen 

Regent High School by Walters & Cohen

Regent High School by Walters & Cohen

Source: Dennis Gilbert

RIBA icon   School

Region London
Client BAM Construction for London Borough of Camden
Contractor BAM Construction
Structuralengineer Buro Happold 
Completed July 2014
Area 14,606m²
Cost Confidential 

Judges’ citation This was a late Building Schools for the Future project; an impressively ambitious scheme which is both thoughtful and bold; a successful project set to change the lives of the children attending the school. Impressive site planning reorganises a disparate and piecemeal collection of buildings that was the original school. Selective demolition of existing buildings creates a landscaped court at the site’s centre. Circulation and social space wrap around the central court and on the entrance side a dramatic multi‑level arcade connects the original Victorian school buildings and the new insertions. These spaces are dramatic yet inviting and friendly, a series of interconnected spaces with natural light from many angles. A simple elegant concept works around the existing buildings to provide a rich variety of spaces of different character.

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Weston Library by WilkinsonEyre

Source: Jim Stephenson

RIBA icon   Cultural

Region South
Client University of Oxford Estates/The Bodleian Library
Contractor Mace 
Structuralengineer Pell Frischmann
Completed  March 2015
Area 18,828m² 
Cost £50 million 

Judges’ citation The brief for this historic, Grade II‑listed Giles Gilbert Scott building was to open the doors of the library to the public, combined with the technically challenging requirements of protecting the precious and very rare documents stored within the archive. Working with clear reference points, recognising the items of most significance, using sensitivity and a clear understanding of Scott’s design intention in carrying out careful and well‑executed repairs, while at the same time not being afraid to incorporate stunning bold interventions, WilkinsonEyre has achieved a masterpiece. This previously dead corner of Broad Street has had new life breathed into it, and a historic gem has been brought to life. The sheer ‘wow’ factor when entering stops you in your tracks and is an immediate reminder of what the building is about.

Investcorp Building by Zaha Hadid Architects

Investcorp Building by Zaha Hadid Architects

Investcorp Building by Zaha Hadid Architects

Source: Luke Hayes

RIBA icon   Campus

Region South
Client Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford 
Contractor BAM Construction
Structuralengineer  AKTII
Completed May 2015
Area 1,127m² 
Cost £11 million 

Judges’ citation The building weaves through the site to connect and incorporate the existing protected buildings and trees, while its stainless steel facade softly reflects natural light to echo the building’s context. This project demonstrates great virtuosity and a huge amount of technical skill. The articulation of the building contrasts greatly with the neighbouring vernacular on a very constrained site in a way that will stimulate much architectural debate. The exterior form suggests a rather larger interior space than is the case, due in part to the complexity of the geometry’s resolution. This results in a surprising feeling of moulded intimacy, in contrast with the weighty and beautiful concrete that forms those spaces. The study space off the main staircase with its curved walls exemplifies this. Internally, the central feature is the stairs, which are a complete success.

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