The six finalist architectural works of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021

Carmody Groarke, William Matthews Associates, Groupwork, Stanton Williams, Grafton Architects, Marks Barfield Architects, Ney & Partners,

Offices, Housing, Museums,

Riba Stirling Prize,

On 16 September the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the six finalists contending for its most prestigious award, the RIBA Stirling Prize, now in its 25th year. From the six buildings competing for the title of Best Architecture in the UK, the following projects were selected: 15 Clerkenwell Close by GROUPWORK, Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects, Key Worker Housing by Stanton Williams, Town House (Kingston University London) by Grafton Architects, Tintagel Castle Footbridge by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates for the English Heritage, Windermere Jetty Museum by Carmody Groarke.

The six finalist architectural works of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021

These are the six finalists for the RIBA Stirling Prize, announced on 16 September by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA):
. In London, 15 Clerkenwell Close, an office and apartment building designed by GROUPWORK and built within the remains of an 11th century Norman abbey in limestone.
In Cambridge, the Central Mosque designed by Marks Barfield Architects, a contemporary, sustainable place of worship inspired by the local architecture of British churches, incorporating traditional elements and decorative motifs of Islamic mosques.
Also in Cambridge, specifically in the new district of Eddington, Key Worker Housing by Stanton Williams. This is a complex of buildings with accommodation for university staff, set in a network of interconnected courtyards and spaces with public and semi-public facilities, which become the focus of communal life.
The Town House designed by Grafton Architects, a new multifunctional building for Kingston University London. As its name indicates, it is a building with a great public purpose, free of visual barriers. The glass walls reveal to the outside all the activities taking place, while the system of porticoes and pillars offers informal and comfortable meeting spaces.
In Cornwall, the Tintagel Castle Footbridge designed by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates. The pedestrian bridge, built for English Heritage, creates a link between the mainland and the headland and provides access to Tintagel Castle, a spectacular historic site in Britain.
. In the town of Windermere in Cumbria, the Windermere Jetty Museum designed by the Carmody Groarke studio, by repurposing a historic gravel extraction plant. The museum consists of a group of buildings that frame the view of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, and is dedicated to steamboats, motorboats and other types of boats to narrate their history, construction techniques and use on the lake.

Six projects that, as Simon Allford, president of RIBA notes, are very different in function and location, but are united and distinguished by several elements. Among these, Simon Allford praises the ingenuity and creativity of the architects, as well as the consideration of the local environment and historical context, the use of high quality materials and attention to detail. Last but not least, he also mentions the tenacity and commitment of the clients, which are equally important in achieving excellence in architecture. From these six projects, the expert jury will select the winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize which will be announced on 14 October at an awards ceremony at Coventry Cathedral, an event that is part of the programme of initiatives for Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021.


(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of RIBA


2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist collage, courtesy of RIBA
Clockwise from top left: Cambridge Central Mosque © Morley von Sternberg; 15 Clerkenwell Close © Tim Soar; Key Worker Housing – Eddington © Jack Hobhouse; Windermere Jetty Museum © Hufton + Crow; Tintagel Castle Footbridge © Allan Crow; Kingston University London – Town House © Dennis Gilbert

15 Clerkenwell Close © Tim Soar;

Cambridge Central Mosque © Morley von Sternberg

08 – 10
Key Worker Housing – Eddington © Jack Hobhouse

Kingston University London – Town House © Ed Reeve (11), © Dennis Gilbert (12-13)

14 – 16
Tintagel Castle Footbridge © Allan Crow - Hufton + Crow (14-15), © English Heritage (16)

Windermere Jetty Museum © Hufton + Crow (17) ; © Christian Richters (18-19)