RIBA names best British architecture projects of 2016

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RIBA names best British architecture projects of 2016

The Royal Institute of British Architects has revealed the 46 winners of its national awards, including a library covered in weathering steel, a bulbous blue drawing studio and Damien Hirst's London gallery (+ slideshow).

Drawing Studio by CRAB studio Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau Ltd. Photograph by Richard Bryant
Drawing Studio; Poole, Dorset, England, by CRAB Studio. Photograph by Richard Bryant

A sensitively refurbished London home and a grass-roofed motorway service station in the Cotswolds also feature on the list for the RIBA National Awards 2016, which recognises the best of British architecture from the last 12 months.

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsHerzog & de Meuron and Wilkinson Eyre are all recognised for projects completed for Oxford University, while London studio Gort Scott makes the list for its building for Cambridge.

Photograph by Luke Hayes
The Investcorp Building; Oxford, England, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Photograph by Luke Hayes

Residential projects on the list range from social housing for elderly and disabled residents to a countryside villa in Gloucestershire, while cultural buildings include a restored Georgian music hall in London's east end and an art gallery with a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

But there is one notable omission – the House for Essex designed by architecture studio FAT and artist Grayson Perry, which couldn't be selected in the national awards, as it wasn't nominated by the regional judges.

Greenwich Housing by Bell Phillips Architects. Photograph by Edmund Sumner
Greenwich housing; London, England, by Bell Phillips Architects. Photograph by Edmund Sumner

The RIBA Awards were changed last year to only recognise projects in the UK, and this year's list of winners comprises 42 in England, three in Scotland, one from Northern Ireland but none in Wales.

The shortlist for the Stirling Prize – awarded by the RIBA to the UK’s best building of the year – can only be drawn from these 46 winners, meaning House for Essex will once again miss out.

Outhouse by Loyn & Co Architects. Photograph by Charles Hosea
Outhouse; Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, by Loyn & Co Architects. Photograph by Charles Hosea

RIBA president Jane Duncan described the 46 projects selected as 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 are in this category," she said.

Newport Street Gallery by Caruso St John Architects. Photograph by Hélène Binet
Newport Street Gallery; Vauxhall, London, England, by Caruso St John Architects. Photograph by Hélène Binet

"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 praised the variety of schools and residential projects selected, and also noted the importance of some of the smaller projects on the list, particularly the Drawing Studio in Bournemouth and the reinvigoration of Wilton's Music Hall.

Blavatnik School of Government by Herzog & de Meuron.
Blavatnik School of Government; Oxford, England, by Herzog & de Meuron. Photograph by Iwan Baan

"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," she added.

Scroll down for the full list of winners in the RIBA National Awards 2016:


» 51 Hills Road; Cambridge, England, by Gort Scott
» 61 Oxford Street; London, England, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
» 8 St James's Square; London, England, by Eric Parry Architects
» A private house in Cumbria; England, by Bennetts Associates
» A private house in Northamptonshire; England, by James Gorst Architects
» Alder Hey Children's Hospital; Liverpool, England, by BDP
» ARK All Saints Academy and Highshore School; London, England, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
» Banbridge Health and Care Centre; Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, by Kennedy FitzGerald Architects in association with Avanti Architects

Photograph by Edmund Sumner
City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus; Glasgow, Scotland, by Michael Laird Architects, Reiach and Hall Architects. Photograph by Edmund Sumner

» Blavatnik School of Government; Oxford, England, by Herzog & de Meuron
» Bob Champion Research and Education Building; Norwich, England, by Hawkins\Brown
» City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus; Glasgow, Scotland, by Michael Laird Architects, Reiach and Hall Architects
» Corner House; London, England, by DSDHA
» Davenies School; Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, by DSDHA
» Derry Avenue; South Ockendon, Essex, England, by Bell Phillips Architects
» Drawing Studio; Poole, Dorset, England, by CRAB Studio

Hebburn Central by FaulknerBrowns Architects. Photograph by Hufton + Crow
Hebburn Central; Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, England, by FaulknerBrowns Architects. Photograph by Hufton + Crow

» Ely Court; London, England, by Alison Brooks Architects
» Essex University – Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre; Colchester, England, by Patel Taylor
» Gloucester Services; Gloucestershire, England, by Glenn Howells Architects
» Greenwich Gateway Pavilions; London England, by Marks Barfield Architects
» Greenwich housing; London, England, by Bell Phillips Architects
» Heart of Campus, Nottingham Trent University; Nottingham, England, by Evans Vettori
» Hebburn Central; Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, England, by FaulknerBrowns Architects
» HOME; Manchester, England by Mecanoo
» House of Trace; London, England, by Tsuruta Architects

House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects.
House of Trace; London, England, by Tsuruta Architects

» Laidlaw Library, University of Leeds; Leeds, England, by ADP
» Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; London, England, by Allies and Morrison
» Murphy House; Edinburgh, Scotland, by Richard Murphy Architects
» National Graphene Institute; Manchester, England, by Jestico + Whiles
» New QEII Hospital; Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, by Penoyre & Prasad LLP
» Newport Street Gallery; Vauxhall, London, England, by Caruso St John Architects
» Outhouse; Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, by Loyn & Co Architects

Murphy House by Richard Murphy Architects. Photograph by Keith Hunter
Murphy House; Edinburgh, Scotland, by Richard Murphy Architects. Photograph by Keith Hunter

» Regent High School; London, England, by Walters & Cohen Architects
» Royal Road; Elephant & Castle, London, England, by Panter Hudspith Architects
» Saunders Centre, Science & Technology Building; Glasgow, Scotland, by Page\Park Architects
» Sir John Soane Museum; London, England, by Julian Harrap Architects
» Stanbrook Abbey; York, Yorkshire, England, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
» The Avenue; Saffron Walden, Essex, England, by Pollard Thomas Edwards
» The Cheeran House; Reading, Berkshire, England, by John Pardey Architects

Stanbrook Abbey by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Photograph by Peter Cook
Stanbrook Abbey; York, Yorkshire, England, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Photograph by Peter Cook

» The Investcorp Building; Oxford, England, by Zaha Hadid Architects
» The Portland Collection; Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England, by Hugh Broughton Architects
» Trafalgar Place; London, England, by dRMM Architects
» Turnmill; London, England, by Piercy&Company
» Weston Library; Oxford, England, by WilkinsonEyre
» Wilton's Music Hall; London, England by Tim Ronalds Architects
» Wirral Metropolitan College; Wallasey, Merseyside, England by Glenn Howells Architects
» York Art Gallery; Yorkshire, England, by Ushida Findlay Simpson Brown