Britain's best new buildings
RIBA National Award winners for 2015 are announced, including nine education buildings
Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 06, 2015 | Facilities & buildings
RIBA, school buildings, education buildings, RIBA National Award, architecture

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 RIBA National Awards, the most rigorous and prestigious awards for new buildings in the UK.  

RIBA National Award-winning buildings set the standard for good architecture. The shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year will be drawn from the 37 award-winning buildings announced today.

The stand-out trend of the 2015 RIBA National Awards is the prevalence of high quality new housing developments. One quarter (8) of the 37 award winners are housing projects by developers ranging from large housebuilders and housing associations to smaller bespoke schemes by private investors.  

At a time when the lack of decent housing dominates the political agenda, amongst the winning projects are some exceptional examples of well-designed affordable and sustainable new developments. Great examples include the regeneration of over 200 homes on the Gorbals district of Glasgow (Laurieston Transformational Area) and, at the other end of the size scale, an elegant five-storey, 13-home affordable housing block for Peabody in East London (Darbishire Place). 

Private housing developments include Richard Rogers’ housing towers on prime London real estate (Neo Bankside), a 45 home canal-side development in west London (Brentford Lock West) and 14 distinctive homes stepping down through a gap in the heart of St Andrews’ old town conservation area (West Burn Lane).

Exceptional education buildings also feature strongly on the winners list. From a small delightful nursery school for the University of Edinburgh (Arcadia Nursery), new state schools (Burntwood School, Ashmount Primary School), an independent school building (Uppingham School Science Centre) and a special needs school building (Alfriston School pool building) to major university buildings (University of Greenwich library building, Manchester Met Student Union), these projects will benefit generations of children, students and staff. 

RIBA President, Stephen Hodder, said: “The RIBA National Awards provide a unique insight into UK construction, investment and design trends.

“The UK is blighted by poor-quality new housing and dilapidated school buildings, so I am delighted that the notable trends amongst this year’s RIBA National Award-winners are the volume of inspiring new housing and education projects.

“Well-designed school buildings have the power to inspire students and teachers. This doesn’t mean every new school needs to be a show-stopper - like Burntwood or Ashmount - but we must ensure that value for money and the best possible design go hand in hand.

“One intriguing design trend is the use of brick, in all its hues (British, Danish), patterns and textures, as the dominant material for many of the award winners.  Brick is firmly established in the British psyche as a safe, long-lasting, familiar material. Our award winners have used bricks to great effect – whether to respond contextually, or to imbue their buildings with humanist qualities.

“The admirable aspect shared by every one of our winners is ambition. The combination of ambitious clients, architects, local leaders and a supportive local community leads to great new buildings. All 37 of our RIBA National Award winners should provide inspiration for developers, local authorities and architects alike and will delight generations to come.” 

The 37 buildings that have won a 2015 RIBA National Award are:


  • University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 by Heneghan Peng architects
  • Burntwood School, Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • St Mary of Eton Church, Apartments and Community Rooms, Hackney Wick E9 by Matthew Lloyd Architects LLP
  • The Foundry, SE11 by Architecture 00 Ltd
  • NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • University campus for Hult International Business School, E1 by Sergison Bates architects
  • Bonhams, W1 by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
  • Ashmount Primary School, N8 by Penoyre & Prasad
  • Levring House, north London by Jamie Fobert Architects Ltd              
  • Foyles, WC2 by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
  • Kew House, TW9 by Piercy&Company
  • Brentford Lock West, TW8 by Duggan Morris Architects
  • Darbishire Place, E1 by Niall McLaughlin Architects 
  • National Theatre (NT Future) by Haworth Tompkins


  • Abode, Great Kneighton, Cambridge by Proctor and Matthews Architects


  • Parkside, Matlock by Evans Vettori Architects Limited
  • Uppingham School Science Centre by Orms


  • Lancaster University Engineering Building byJohn McAslan and Partners
  • Manchester Metropolitan University Student Union by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • The Whitworth, Manchester by MUMA 


  • Alfriston School, Beaconsfield by Duggan Morris Architects
  • Flint House, Waddeston by Skene Catling de la Pena
  • The Fishing Hut by Niall McLaughlin Architects                       

SOUTH EAST                                                      

  • Sussex House by Wilkinson King Architects 
  • WWF-UK Headquarters Living Planet Centre, Woking by Hopkins Architects 

SOUTH WEST/WESSEX                                                                                                                  

  • Myrtle Cottage Garden Studio, Bradford on Avon by Stonewood Design
  • Dundon Passivhaus, Compton Dundon by Prewett Bizley Architects               

WEST MIDLANDS                                                                                                                            

  • Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent by Feilden Clegg Bradley 


  • Sheffield Cathedral, New Main Entrance and reordering by Thomas Ford & Partners


  • Cliff House, Southgate by Hyde + Hyde Architects

NORTHERN IRELAND                                            

  • Old See House, Belfast by RPP Architects Ltd with Richard Murphy Architects
  • House at Maghera by McGonigle McGrath 


  • Maggies Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects
  • Arcadia Nursery, University of Edinburgh by Malcolm Fraser Architects
  • West Burn Lane, St Andrews by Sutherland Hussey Architects
  • Dalmunach Distillery by Archial Norr (Inverness Studio)
  • Laurieston Transformational Area, Glasgow by Elder and Cannon Architects & Page Park Architects

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year will be selected from these winners and announced on Thursday 16 July.  The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced at a special event on Thursday 15 October in London.