Stirling prize winners 2023: How do the winners of the top prize in architecture compare to Grand Designs? - Grand Designs Magazine
Morden College designed by Mae

Stirling prize winners 2023: How do the winners of the top prize in architecture compare to Grand Designs?

Take inspiration for you own grand - or not-so-grand - design from the winner of architecture's top award, the Stirling Prize

By Mary Richards |

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) just announced the winner of its annual Stirling Prize for the building of the year, the most prestigious architecture prize in the UK. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted buildings and see what you think…

woman in a kitchen

Image credit: Jim Stephenson 2021

The winning building was the John Morden centre, a day centre for older people in Blackheath, London, designed by architects. The centre is part of Morden College, a retirement community housed in Grade I-listed buildings, including an alms house and chapel attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Prize winner

The centre is arranged as a series of red brick ‘pavilions’ housing care and social spaces, with a central timber ‘cloister’. The zinc-clad roof and high chimneys are designed to echo those of its 17th century neighbours. RIBA President Muyiwa Oki, said of the winning project: ‘Loneliness and isolation are critical issues, particularly for older people. The John Morden centre’s elegance and efficacy sets a high standard for spaces that support healthier, happier, and more independent lives. It illustrates the positive potential of architecture to strengthen vibrant and active communities.’

The first Stirling prize was awarded in 1996. It is given each year to the architect of the building thought to be the most significant for the evolution of architecture and the built environment. It is judged on a range of criteria including: design vision, innovation and originality, capacity to stimulate engage and delight occupants and visitors, accessibility and sustainability, how fit the building is for its purpose, and the level of client satisfaction.

Shortlisted buildings

These are the other buildings that made this year’s shortlist.

Central Somers Town community facilities and housing

People working inside a community space

Image credit: Lewis Khan

Courtauld Connects at the Courtauld Institute

A corridor in the Courtauld Institute

Image credit: Philip Vile

University of Warwick Faculty of Arts

staircase in a large building with lots of students on it

Image credit: Daniel Hopkinson

Lavender Hill Courtyard Housing in Clapham

A housing complex built round a courtyard with trees i n it

Image credit: Johan Dehlin

A House for Artists in Barking.

A sitting room containing lots of plants

Image caption: David Grandorge

Here on the RIBA website you can see more information about the shortlisted projects and lots of previous winners of the award.

What do you think?

What’s your verdict? Do you find these buildings inspiring or not? Which ones do you like and why?