The RIBA reveals longlist for the world’s best building

Overview of large building with many tables & chairs
The exciting news about the long list of contenders for the next RIBA International Prize has hit our offices. Pictured here, one of the nominees, the BBVA Bancomer Tower by LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in Mexico City.
(Image credit: Dolores Robles Martinez)

We have been keenly following developments on the RIBA International Prize ever since its inaugural edition was launched in 2016. Spanning continents, building styles and typologies, this is the ultimate architectural recognition for design excellence across the globe – and Wallpaper* is partnering with the RIBA to follow the process and champion the worthy candidates once more.

The long list of nominees has just been announced, and it’s one that is varied, as it is rich. The prestigious award will explore buildings such as ‘a tranquil chapel wrapped within a forest canopy (the Sayama Forest Chapel in Japan) to the bold reimagining of a grain factory into a new contemporary art museum (Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz MOCAA in Africa)’, explain the organisers.

There’s houses, such as the Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury in Australia; large-scale public works, such as King Fahad National Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Gerber Architects; and commercial buildings, such as the BBVA Bancomer Tower in Mexico City, designed as a collaboration between Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Legorreta + Legorreta. The impressive list includes 62 masterpieces from almost 30 countries.

The award’s Grand Jury is headed this year by Elizabeth Diller, of New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The panel – also including Joshua Bolchover, co-founder of Rural Urban Frameworks and winner of the 2016 RIBA International Emerging Architect, and lay juror Wayne McGregor CBE – will now study carefully the candidates to create a shortlist, from which they will select the worthy winner late next year. The results of the RIBA International Prize will be announced in December 2018. We can’t wait.

Library of books in glass container

The Beyazit State Library by Tabanlioglu Architects in Istanbul.

(Image credit: Emre Dorter)

Brick building built in the rocks

Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture in Bayview, Australia.

(Image credit: Michael Nicholson)

Multi-storey building with floor to ceiling windows

Central European University by O'Donnell + Tuomey in Budapest, Hungary.

(Image credit: Tams Bujnovszky)

Building with lots of green plants growing in & around

Factory in the Forest in Penang, by architects: Design Unit Sdn Bhd with Chin Kuen Cheng Architect, engineers: Web Structures and Design Unit.

(Image credit: Lin Ho)

Abstract exterior of building in city

King Fahad National Library by Gerber Architekten, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

(Image credit: Christian Richters)

Inside a metro station

Budapest's Metro Line 4 by Palatium Studio Ltd., with Budapesti Építőművészeti Műhely Ltd., Gelesz és Lenzsér Építészeti Ltd., Puhl és Dajka Építész Iroda Ltd., sporaarchitects Ltd., VPI Építész Studio Ltd., Palatium M4 Projekt Ltd.

(Image credit: Tams Bujnovszky)

Intricate wooden ceiling

The Mulan Weichang Visitor Centre
by HDD, in China.

(Image credit: Shengliang Su)

Large open building with tables, chairs & plants

The ROGIC -ROKI Global Innovation Centre in Japan, by Tetsuo Kobori Architects.

(Image credit: Takahiro Arai)

Stone building with stairs & circular ceiling design

The Sancaklar Mosque in Istanbul, by EAA-Emre
Arolat Architecture.

(Image credit: Cemal Emden  )

Large stones in the mountains

Structures of Landscape in Montana, USA by ENSAMBLE STUDIO.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

Tall housing block with plant covered balconies

Vertical Forest housing in Milan by Boeri Studio with Studio Emanuela Borio and Laura Gatti.

(Image credit: Paolo Rosselli)

High ceiling building with intricate design

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio with Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects (VDMAA), Rick Brown Associates, Jacobs Parker, in Cape Town.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)


For more information visit the RIBA website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director 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), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).