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RIBA names UK’s 30 best buildings for National Awards 2023


A home clad in recycled TV screens and a fishbone-shaped bridge have been named among the winners of the Royal Institute of British Architects‘ National Awards for 2023, which was dominated by projects in London.

Thirty buildings in the UK have been named as winners this year, in locations ranging from Greenwich in London to Argyll and Bute in Scotland.

Saltmarsh House by Niall McLaughlin Architects
Top image: Hundred Acre Wood is one of the winners. Photo by Gilbert McGarragher. Above: Saltmarsh House also won a National Award. Photo by Nick Kane

The prize, which has been awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) since 1966, aims to recognise the country’s best new buildings and provide insight into its architecture.

“At this time, when building collaboratively and working towards a sustainable future are paramount, the 2023 RIBA National Award winners offer a rich source of inspiration,” RIBA president Simon Allford said. “Each project looks, in its own way, to address both its client brief and the wider role architecture can play in serving society.”

Brick facade of John Morden Centre by Mae Architects
Mae Architects designed the John Morden Centre. Photo by Jim Stephenson

Projects built in London dominate the list this year, with more than half – 16 out of 30 – located in the British capital. This is up from 12 out of 29 in 2022.

Among them are the John Morden Centre by Mae, a day-care and health facility in Blackheath and Spruce House and Studio by Ao-ft, a timber-clad home in east London.

Spruce House by Ao-ft
Spruce House is among the projects on the list. Photo by Rory Gardiner

A number of projects with a focus on sustainability were among the winners this year. These include Agar Grove in Camden, London, a Passivhaus social housing project by  that comprises 57 new homes.

Denizen Works’ Hundred Acre Wood home in Scotland, which has a facade made from glass chipping created from recycled TV screens and a recycled paper ceiling, also made the list.

Cuddymoss by Ann Nisbet Studio
Cuddymoss in Scotland was designed by Ann Nisbet Studio. Photo by David Barbour

All the projects in the awards have been in use for at least a year and have given RIBA data about their environmental performance as part of the organisation’s aim to encourage sustainable development.

“Among the winners are a number of projects that offer a model for an architecture that is more widely responsible,” Allford said.

“These buildings intelligently illustrate the potential of well-designed spaces to bring people together and, ultimately, architecture’s power to change our world for the better,” he added.

The RIBA National Awards 2023 list also showcases multiple projects that have a focus on community.

Among these is A House for Artists by Apparata Architects, a live-and-work space for artists that also has a community hall, and the Holborn House community building in London by 6a Architects, which occupies a refurbished gym.

Swing Bridge by Tonkin Liu
A swing bridge informed by fishbones made the list. Photo by James Balston

Several cultural buildings also made the cut, including Lea Bridge Library Pavilion, an extension to a red-brick Edwardian library that was designed by Studio Weave in London, and a Corten-steel-clad museum building in Manchester for the Manchester Jewish Museum by Citizens Design Bureau.

The only infrastructure project to make the top 30 is Tonkin Liu’s Swing Bridge in Crystal Palace Park, London, which was modelled on fishbones.

The winners of the RIBA National Awards are eligible to be selected for the shortlist for the Stirling Prize, the most prestigious architecture prize in the UK.

This will be announced on 6 September, with winners of the Stirling Prize revealed on 19 October.

The full list of RIBA National Awards winners is below:


A House for Artists by Apparata Architects
› Agar Grove Phase 1b by Mæ
› Bloqs by 5th Studio
› Central Somers Town Community Facilities and Housing by Adam Khan Architects
› Courtauld Connects – The Courtauld Institute of Art by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
› Edith Neville Primary School by Hayhurst & Co Architects
Great Things Lie Ahead, Holborn House by 6a architects
› Hanover by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
John Morden Centre by Mæ
› Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing by Sergison Bates architects
Lea Bridge Library Pavilion by Studio Weave
Spruce House and Studio by Ao-ft
Swing Bridge by Tonkin Liu
› Taylor & Chatto Courts and Wilmott Court Frampton Park Estate by Henley Halebrown
› The Fireworks Factory at Woolwich Works by Bennetts Associates
› The Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre by Carmody Groarke

Holborn House by 6a Architects
Holborn House by 6a Architects is one of this year’s winners

North West

Manchester Jewish Museum by Citizens Design Bureau

Northern Ireland

› Hill House by McGonigle McGrath


› Cuddymoss by Ann Nisbet Studio
› Hundred Acre Wood by Denizen Works
› Laidlaw Music Centre, University of St Andrews by Flanagan Lawrence


› Radley College Chapel Extension by Purcell
› Saltmarsh House by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Radley College Chapel Extension, Purcell Architecture Limited
The Radley College chapel extension is one of Britain’s best. Photo by Nick Kane

South West

› Blackbird by Nicholas Lyons and Hamish Herford

South East

› Middle Avenue by Rural Office


› Pen y Common by Nidus Architects and Rural Office
› Rhossili House by Maich Swift Architects

West Midlands

› Brick House by Howells Architects
› University of Warwick – Faculty of Arts by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios


› Hushh House by Elliott Architects


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