Stirling Prize 2023 Winner: building + architects

Stirling Prize 2023 Winners, John Morden Centre Blackheath, Mae London architects, UK architecture award, Building design news

Stirling Prize 2023 Winner News

26 + 20 October 2023

RIBA Stirling Prize London retirement home wins top architecture award

John Morden Centre in Blackheath, London

Design: Mae • Architects • Urban Designers • Researchers • Policy makers

Photos onlien soon by Jim Stephenson / RIBA

The John Morden Centre complements existing historical buildings dating back to the 17th Century

The John Morden Centre, a retirement day care facility in London, has won the UK’s leading architecture award.

The building in Blackheath was praised by the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize 2023 jury for its use of sustainable materials.

Designed by Mæ, the Riba judges said it set an example of how to “raise the bar of quality in social healthcare”.

It beat five rival contenders including A House for Artists and the University of Warwick’s Faculty of Arts.

Stirling Prize 2023 Finalists

The other finalists, in full, were:

A House for Artists, Barking – Apparata Architects
Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing, CamdenAdam Khan Architects
Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing, ClaphamSergison Bates architects
Courtauld Connects – The Courtauld Institute of ArtWitherford Watson Mann Architects
University of Warwick – Faculty of ArtsFeilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The six buildings explored addressing a specific social problem, such as rising wealth disparities and housing shortages.

Riba president Muyiwa Oki said: “These six remarkable buildings offer thoughtful, creative responses to the really complex challenges we’re facing today.

“Whether it’s tackling loneliness, building communities or preserving our heritage, these projects lay out bold blueprints for purposeful architecture.”

Stirling Prize 2023 winning building – John Morden Centre

Judges said the centre set an example of how to “raise the bar of quality in social healthcare”

The John Morden Centre was added to a 300-year-old Grade One-listed residential and nursing site for the elderly, called Morden College.

It complements existing historical buildings dating back to the 17th Century. The almshouse and chapel have been attributed to St Paul’s Cathedral architect Sir Christopher Wren.

The centre is described as a series of red brick “pavilions” housing care and social spaces, stitched together by a central timber “cloister”.

It offers residents a variety of facilities such as an art room, a hair salon, nail bar and events space aimed at encouraging social interactions. This in turn supports healthier and longer lives.

‘Really fulfilling project’

The UK’s rapidly ageing population combined with a declining birth rate poses challenges in the longer term. According to a government report, “families will face increasing pressure to balance care with other responsibilities, particularly work. This is likely to mean that demand and supply of care will diverge”.

Around 19% or one-fifth of the UK population was aged 65 years or over in 2019. That is forecast to grow to around 24% of the population by 2043, or 17.4m people, resulting in further pressure on public services and the wider care industry unless more innovative solutions are found.

The head of the winning design agency Mæ called the John Morden Centre a “really fulfilling project to work on”.

“At a time when adult social care is in a perilous state, this award demonstrates that there is hope for the sector and the project offers up a model for others working within health and care – inspiring them to create environments that positively impact on people’s mental and physical health,” founding director Alex Ely said.

Speaking on behalf of the Riba Stirling Prize jury, Ellen van Loon, said: “The John Morden Centre is a place of joy and inspiration… This building provides comfort and warmth, with thoughtful features designed to prevent isolation.

“It illustrates how buildings can themselves be therapeutic – supporting care and instilling a sense of belonging”.

The building was praised for “thoughtful” features designed to prevent isolation.

Design features to meet the different needs and abilities of elderly residents include concealed wooden handrails and built-in seating along walkways. High-contrast patterns on the edges of floors help those living with dementia a visual way to navigate the building.

The centre uses principles of “biophilic design”, which means it connects with its surrounding natural environment. A large cedar tree, for example, is the focal point of the garden, with different seating areas to appreciate the changing natural light.

The building also used construction materials such as cross-laminated timber to reduce its carbon footprint, while lime-based mortar and passive ventilation, utilising the buildings chimneys, minimises the energy needed for heating and cooling.

Riba has given the award for the UK’s best new buildings since 1996. Judging criteria includes design vision, innovation and originality, the capacity to stimulate engage and delight, as well as accessibility and sustainability.

Previous winners include The New Library, Magdalene College in Cambridge by Níall McLaughlin Architects (2022), Bloomberg by Foster and Partners (2018) and the Liverpool Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins (2014).

Stirling Prize 2023 Finalists, in alphabetical order:

Apparata Architects
Adam Khan Architects
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Mae Architects
Sergison Bates architects
Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Previously on e-architect:

Stirling Prize 2022 Shortlist

The RIBA Stirling Prize, is the UK’s most prestigious architecture award.

100 Liverpool Street
by Hopkins Architects

Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus
by Reiach and Hall Architects
Forth Valley College Stirling

Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road
by Henley Halebrown
Hackney New Primary School Building

Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park
by Panter Hudspith Architects
Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park

Sands End Arts and Community Centre
by Mæ Architects
Sands End Arts and Community Centre

The New Library, Magdalene College
by Niall McLaughlin Architects
The New Library, Magdalene College

Images of the winners:

100 Liverpool Street, design by Hopkins Architects:
100 Liverpool Street design by Hopkins Architects - 2022 RIBA London Awards
photograph © Charles Hosea

Forth Valley College, Stirling, design by Reiach and Hall Architects:
Forth Valley College, Stirling Education Campus
photo Courtesy architecture office

Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road, design by Henley Halebrown:
Hackney New Primary School and 333 Kingsland Road
photo © Nick Kane

Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park, design by Panter Hudspith Architects:
Orchard Gardens, Elephant Park, Panter Hudspith Architects
photograph © Timothy Soar

Sands End Arts and Community Centre, design by Mæ Architects:
Sands End Arts Community Centre - 2022 RIBA London Awards
photo © Rory Gardiner

The New Library, Magdalene College, design by Niall McLaughlin Architects:
Magdalene College University of Cambridge Building Design
photo : Nick Kane

2021 Stirling Prize Winners

Stirling Prize 2021 Winner - Kingston University London, Town House
photo : Ed Reeve

The Royal Institute of British Architects names Kingston University London – Town House designed by Grafton Architects, as the winner of the 25th RIBA Stirling Prize.

Kingston University London Town House

Stirling Prize 2021 Shortlisted Building + Architects

Shortlist for RIBA Stirling Prize 2021, alphabetical order:

15 Clerkenwell Close, London, south east England
– by Groupwork

Cambridge Central Mosque, south east England
– by Marks Barfield Architects

Key Worker Housing, Eddington, Cambridge, south east England
– by Stanton Williams Architects

Kingston University London – Town House, London, south east England
– by Grafton Architects

Tintagel Castle Bridge, Cornwall, south west England
– by Ney & Partners, William Matthews Associates

Windermere Jetty Museum, north west England
– by Carmody Groarke Architects

2021 Stirling Prize Shortlisted Building + Architects

Key Worker Housing in Eddington, Cambridge
Design: Stanton Williams Architects
Key Worker Housing, Eddington, Cambridge by Stanton Williams
photo © Jack Hobhouse
Housing in Eddington

Tintagel Castle Bridge, Cornwall
Design: Ney & Partners, William Matthews Associates
Stirling Prize 2021 Shortlist Tintagel Castle Bridge
photograph © David Levene
Tintagel Castle Bridge

Windermere Jetty Museum Building
Design: Carmody Groarke Architects
Windermere Steamboat Museum Lake District
photo © Hufton – Crow
Windermere Jetty Museum

Cambridge Central Mosque Building
Design: Marks Barfield Architects
Cambridge Mosque Romsey Building
photo : Morley von Sternberg
Cambridge Central Mosque

15 Clerkenwell Close Building
Design: Groupwork + Amin Taha Architects
15 Clerkenwell Close London apartments
photo : Tim Soar
15 Clerkenwell Close

Kingston University London – Town House Building
Design: Grafton Architects
Kingston University London, Town House
photo : Ed Reeve
Kingston University London – Town House

Stirling Prize 2019 Winner
Design: Mikhail Riches

Goldsmith Street, an eco-friendly council estate in Norwich.

Goldsmith Street Housing Norwich
photograph © Tim Crocker

Goldsmith Street Housing in Norwich

Mikhail Riches Architects

Stirling Prize 2018 Winner

Bloomberg London Headquarters building design by British architects Foster + Partners:

Bloomberg European Headquarters London office building
photo © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Bloomberg London HQ

Bloomberg European Headquarters in London
photo © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Bloomberg London Headquarters

Bushey Cemetery
by Waugh Thistleton Architects

Chadwick Hall
by Henley Halebrown

New Tate St Ives
by Jamie Fobert Architects with Evans & Shalev

Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery
by MUMA LLP

The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre
by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Stirling Prize 2018 Shortlisted Building + Architects on RIBA website

Stirling Prize 2017 Winner

Stirling Prize 2017 Winning Building + Architects

Hastings Pier, Sussex, Southeast England
Design: dRMM Architects

Hastings Pier, Hastings by dRMM Architects
photo : Alex de Rijke
Hastings Pier on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Winner

Barretts Grove, Stoke Newington, Northeast London, Southeast England
Design: Amin Taha + Groupwork
Barretts Grove on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

City of Glasgow College, City Campus, Glasgow, Scotland
Design: Reiach And Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects
City of Glasgow College Building

Command of the Oceans, Chatham, Kent, Southeast England
Design: Baynes and Mitchell Architects
Command of the Oceans in Chatham on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

Hastings Pier, Sussex, Southeast England
Design: dRMM Architects
Hastings Pier Regeneration on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

Photography Studio, Ladbroke Grove, west London, Southeast England
Design: 6a architects
Photography Studio for Juergen Teller on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, London, Southeast England
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre on 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

RIBA Awards

Stirling Prize 2016

Stirling Prize 2016 Buildings + Architects

2016 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist – 14 Jul 2016

Newport Street Gallery London Stirling Prize 2016 winner
photo : Hélène Binet

Readers comments welcome! info(at)e-architect.com

Stirling Prize 2016 Shortlisted Buildings & Architects

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, England
Herzog & de Meuron
Blavatnik School Building - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : Iwan Baan
Blavatnik School of Government University of Oxford

City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow, Scotland
Michael Laird Architects / Reiach and Hall Architects
City of Glasgow College - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : Keith Hunter
City of Glasgow College

Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London, England
Caruso St John Architects
Newport Street Gallery - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : Hélène Binet
Newport Street Gallery Building

Outhouse, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England
Loyn & Co Architects
Outhouse - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : CHARLES HOSEA

Trafalgar Place, Elephant & Castle, London, England
dRMM Architects
Trafalgar Place - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : Alex de Rijke
Trafalgar Place

Weston Library, University of Oxford, England
WilkinsonEyre
Weston Library - RIBA Stirling Prize
image : James Brittain
Weston Library at University of Oxford

RIBA Stirling Prize 2013

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

Astley Castle wins

Astley Castle Nuneaton Stirling Prize 2013 winner
photograph © Hélène Binet

Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann

Stirling Prize Shortlist, alphabetical:

Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann

Chapel at Cuddesdon by Niall Maclaughlin

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre by Heneghan Peng

Newhall Housing, Harlow, Essex by Alison Brooks Architects

Park Hill Sheffield by Hawkins/Brown and Studio Egret West

University of Limerick Medical School and Pergola Bus Shelter, Ireland by Grafton Architects

Stirling Prize 2013 – judges citations

RIBA Awards : contenders for the Stirling Prize

2012 Winner News

2012 RIBA Stirling Prize winner

The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge
Stanton Williams
Sainsbury Laboratory was bookies second favourite (odds: 7/2)

RIBA Special Awards

Stirling Prize 2012 : further information on the shortlisted buildings

Stirling Prize Awards background on shortlist / buildings / architects / odds / favourite

Stirling Prize 2010

Stirling Prize 2009

Stirling Prize 2008

Pritzker Prize architects – Architect Winners

Comments re Stirling Prize 2023 Winner news welcome.