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RIBA reveals UK's best buildings for 2021

RIBA reveals UK's best buildings for 2021

The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced 54 winners of the 2021 RIBA National Awards for architecture including a floating church, the MK gallery and a mosque in Cambridge.

Awarded annually since 1966, the RIBA National Awards celebrates the best buildings in the UK.

This year's 54 winning projects were chosen from the shortlist for the 2020 RIBA Regional, RIAS, RSUA, and RSAW Awards after last year's awards were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Ranging from radical, cutting-edge new designs to clever, creative restorations that breathe new life into historic buildings, these projects illustrate the enduring importance and impact of British architecture," said RIBA president Simon Alford.

Cambridge Mosque
Above: the Cambridge Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects was one of the 54 winners. Photo is by Morley von Sternberg. Top: MK Gallery also won an award

Included on the list are numerous educational projects, including the Centre Building at LSE by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and the School of Science and Sport by OMA at Brighton College.

"There are a good number of well-designed school and university buildings that are powerful investments in the future, and I am sure they will inspire young people, their teachers and communities," said Alford.

"I am also thrilled to see many of these make creative use of existing structures. Well-designed education facilities should be the rule rather than the exception – every child deserves an effective learning environment, and these projects provide rich inspiration."

Bath Schools of Art and Design
Grimshaw's Bath Schools of Art and Design was one of several educational winners. Photo is by Paul Raftery

Alford also drew attention to the number of projects that adapt and extend existing buildings.

These included the extension to the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes by 6a Architects (pictured top) and Grimshaw's renovation of its former Herman Miller factory into a building for Bath Schools of Art and Design.

"When a new building is essential, we need to make sure it will last and serve the future well – so it needs to be flexible and reusable," he said. "Long life; loose fit; low energy architecture is the present and the future."

"It is therefore very encouraging to see restoration and sensitive adaptation feature so prominently this year; with many buildings acknowledging their history, the needs of the present and the potential of their dynamic future," he added.

Floating church by Denizen Works
Floating church by Denizen Works was also a winner. Photo is by Gilbert McCarragher

The 54 national winners form the longlist for the Stirling Prize – the UK's most prestigious architecture award. The Stirling Prize shortlist will be announced next week with the winner revealed on 14 October.

See the full list of winners, divided by RIBA region, below:

Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects
Imperial War Museums Paper Store by Architype
› Key Worker Housing, Eddington by Stanton Williams
› The Water Tower by Tonkin Liu

95 Peckham Road housing by Peter Barber Architects
Peter Barber Architects' Peckham housing was one of the winners. Photo is by Morley von Sternberg

95 Peckham Road by Peter Barber Architects
› Blackfriars Circus by Maccreanor Lavington
› Caudale Housing Scheme Mae Architects
Centre Building at LSE by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
› Centre for Creative Learning, Francis Holland School by BDP
English National Ballet at the Mulryan Centre for Dance by Glenn Howells Architects
Floating Church by Denizen Works
House-within-a-House by Alma-nac
› Kingston University London – Town House by Grafton Architects
› Moore Park Mews by Stephen Taylor Architects
› North Street by Peter Barber Architects
Royal Academy of Arts David Chipperfield Architects
› Royal College of Pathologists by Bennetts Associates
› The Ray Farringdon by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
The Rye Apartments by Tikari Works
The Standard by Orms
› The Student Centre, UCL by Nicholas Hare Architects
› Tiger Way by Hawkins\Brown
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium by Populous
› Wooden Roof by Tsuruta Architects
› Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children by Stanton Williams

Windermere Jetty Museum by Carmody Groarke
Windermere Jetty Museum won one of two awards for Carmody Groarke. Photo is by Christian Richter

North East
› Lower Mountjoy Teaching and Learning Centre Durham University by FaulknerBrowns Architects

North West
› Pele Tower House by Woollacott Gilmartin Architects
› The Gables by DK-Architects
› The Oglesby Centre at Hallé St Peter's by Stephenson Hamilton Risley Studio
Windermere Jetty Museum by Carmody Groarke

Brighton College – School of Science and Sport by OMA
Brighton College was another winner. Photo is by Laurian Ghinitoiu

› Aberdeen Art Gallery by Hoskins Architects
› Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh by Bennetts Associates
› Sportscotland National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde by Reiach and Hall Architects
› The Egg Shed by Oliver Chapman Architects
The Hill House Box by Carmody Groarke

South & South East
Brighton College – School of Science and Sport by OMA
› Library and Study Centre St Johns College Oxford University by Wright & Wright Architects
MK Gallery by 6a architects
› Moor's Nook by Coffey Architects
› The Clore Music Studios New College Oxford University, John McAslan + Partners
› The Dorothy Wadham Building Wadham College Oxford University, Allies and Morrison
The King's School, Canterbury International College by Walters & Cohen Architects
› The Malthouse, The King's School Canterbury by Tim Ronalds Architects
The Narula House by John Pardey Architects
Walmer Castle and Gardens Learning Centre by Adam Richards Architects
› Winchester Cathedral South Transept Exhibition Spaces by Nick Cox Architects with Metaphor

Tintagel Castle Footbridge for English Heritage by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates
Tintagel Castle Footbridge was designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates. Photo is by David Levine

South West
› Bath Schools of Art and Design by Grimshaw
› Redhill Barn by TYPE Studio
› The Story of Gardening Museum by Stonewood Design with Mark Thomas Architects and Henry Fagan Engineering
Tintagel Castle Footbridge for English Heritage by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates
Windward House by Alison Brooks Architects

Maggie's Cardiff by Dow Jones Architects
Maggie's Cardiff was the only winner in Wales. Photo is by Anthony Coleman

Maggie's Cardiff by Dow Jones Architects

West Midlands
› Jaguar Land Rover Advanced Product Creation Centre by Bennetts Associates
› Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building University of Warwick by Cullinan Studio