The wait is over: a new holiday home by London-based Witherford Watson Mann Architects, created from the ruins of the 12th-century Astley Castle in Warwickshire, has been awarded the RIBA's most prestigious distinction for architecture, the Stirling Prize.

The project beat out competition from a six-strong shortlist announced in July, including Sheffield's Park Hill (Phase 1) redesign by Hawkins\Brown with Studio Egret West; the Newhall Be housing development in Essex by Alison Brooks Architects; the Bishop Edward King Chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects; the monumental Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland by Heneghan Peng Architects; and the University of Limerick Medical School and student housing by Grafton Architects.

The judges - architects Stephen Hodder, Sheila O'Donnell and Paul Williams, journalist Tom Dyckhoff and Dame Vivien Duffield, chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation - convened yesterday, reaching a unanimous decision by evening. The award was announced in a ceremony at Central Saint Martins in King's Cross, London.

Astley Castle will join last year's winner, the Sainsbury Laboratory by Stanton Williams, on the prestigious list of winning designs, along with the Evelyn Grace Academy and the MAXXI Museum in Rome, both by Zaha Hadid Architects.

TAGS: RIBA, ARCHITECTURE AWARDS AND PRIZES