Housing at the heart of Stirling Prize shortlist

RIBA has shortlisted six buildings for its annual Stirling Prize, and for the first time in the awards history, the shortlist is made up entirely of projects from outside London.

Now in its 18th year, the RIBA Stirling prize, named after the British architect James Stirling, looks for the most original, imaginative and well executed designs, which also meet the needs of their users.

And this year’s shortlist puts housing at its focal point - featuring a reinvented 1960s Sheffield housing block, an Essex housing development and the University of Limerick’s student housing building.

The other shortlisted deigns include a holiday home created from the burnt-out shell of a 12th century Castle; an Oxfordshire chapel and Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.

Angela Brady, RIBA President, said: 'The RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the biggest contribution to the evolution of architecture, and nowhere is the need for fresh-thinking needed more than in housing. The UK is blighted with unimaginative, poor quality houses that people don’t want to live in but have little other choice, so I am delighted to see two amazing and highly original housing projects on this year’s shortlist. These projects show how when talented architects and clients work together and focus on quality, affordable and desirable new homes can be created. They shine a light on what the future of UK housing can be.”

This year’s RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist also features some fresh architecture talent – with five of the six practices on the list for the first time.

It is also the first year in the prize’s 18 year history that half of the shortlisted firms have women at the helm, including Alison Brooks Architects, Grafton Architects and Heneghan Peng.

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