NEO Bankside and Manchester's Whitworth among this year's Stirling Prize shortlist

Burntwood School in Wandsworth with a lovely green grass area
The six nominees for this year's RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist have been announced. Pictured: the Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Photography: Timothy Soar
(Image credit: Timothy Soar)

Six UK buildings have been shortlisted for the coveted annual RIBA Stirling Prize (opens in new tab). The award, now in its landmark 20th year, is the UK's highest architectural accolade for the most original, imaginative and well-executed designs, and – drum roll! – nominees have just been announced.

They are: the Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Darbishire Place, Peabody housing, E1 by Niall McLaughlin Architects; Maggie's Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects; NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; the University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 by Heneghan Peng Architects; and The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. The latter was also recently awarded Museum of the Year (opens in new tab)

The list is certainly varied, and this year's includes several considered, community-focused projects, such as the Wandsworth school and Niall McLaughlin's low key Darbishire Place housing. Big cultural projects were not left out – Manchester's Whitworth is a case in point, while the University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building was praised by the judges as a 'delightful building', located in a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

With previous winners including the Liverpool Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins (2014), the Evelyn Grace Academy, London by Zaha Hadid Architects (2011) and the Maggie's Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (2009), this year's recipient will be in good company. The winning design will be announced during a ceremony at the RIBA headquarters in London on 15 October – watch this space. 

Burntwood School in Wandsworth from the side with green grass and trees

The award, now in its landmark 20th year, is the UK's highest architectural accolade for the most original, imaginative and well-executed designs. Pictured: the Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Photography: Timothy Soar

(Image credit: Timothy Soar)

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth in the evening

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Photography: Timothy Soar

(Image credit: Timothy Soar)

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth in Autumn with tree on the side

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Photography: Timothy Soar

(Image credit: Timothy Soar)

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth in the cafeteria

The Burntwood School in Wandsworth by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Photography: Timothy Soar

(Image credit: Timothy Soar)

Peabody housing in Darbishire Place with a huge tree in front of the building

Darbishire Place, Peabody housing, E1 by Niall McLaughlin Architects. Photography: Nick Kane

(Image credit: Nick Kane)

Peabody housing in Darbishire Place in between other buildings

Darbishire Place, Peabody housing, E1 by Niall McLaughlin Architects. Photography: Nick Kane

(Image credit: Nick Kane)

Peabody housing in Darbishire Place with cars parked in the street

Darbishire Place, Peabody housing, E1 by Niall McLaughlin Architects. Photography: Nick Kane

(Image credit: Nick Kane)

Maggie's Lanarkshire with steps going up to the front door and a garden in front

Maggie's Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects. Photography: David Grandorge

(Image credit: David Grandorge)

Maggie's Lanarkshire with aluminium and glass doors and windows and a garden

Maggie's Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects. Photography: David Grandorge

(Image credit: David Grandorge)

Maggie's Lanarkshire kitchen area

Maggie's Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects. Photography: David Grandorge

(Image credit: David Grandorge)

NEO Bankside buildings with clear and orange windows

NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Photography: Edmund Sumner

(Image credit: Edmund Sumner)

NEO Bankside on a balcony with a lovely view of the city

NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Photography: Edmund Sumner

(Image credit: Edmund Sumner)

NEO Bankside kitchen / lounge area with a lovely view through the windows

NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Photography: Edmund Sumner

(Image credit: Edmund Sumner)

NEO Bankside with a closer view of the apartments from the outside

NEO Bankside, SE1 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Photography: Edmund Sumner

(Image credit: Edmund Sumner)

The University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building with people standing around

The University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 by Heneghan Peng Architects. Photography: Hufton + Crow

(Image credit: Hufton + Crow)

The University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building in the evening with a train passing by

The University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 by Heneghan Peng Architects. Photography: Hufton + Crow

(Image credit: Hufton + Crow)

The passages of the University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building with people walking

The University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 by Heneghan Peng Architects. Photography: Hufton + Crow

(Image credit: Hufton + Crow)

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester at night with cars parked in the street

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester in the evening. You can see groups of people through the windows

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester with green trees and a green lawn

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

The beautiful garden of the Whitworth at the University of Manchester

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

Relaxing area of the Whitworth at the University of Manchester with tables and chairs

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

In the passage leading to an outside door at the Whitworth at the University of Manchester

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

Many framed pictures on the walls in the Whitworth at the University of Manchester

The Whitworth at the University of Manchester by MUMA. Photography: Alan Williams

(Image credit: Alan Williams)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).