RIBA announces the UK’s best buildings for 2018
Anticipation about who will snap a coveted spot among the country’s best architecture of the year has been building, ever since the RIBA announced its regional awards during the spring. Now, the wait is over, as the major architectural institution has just revealed its 2018 National Award winners – a 49-strong list of worthy winners.
The list always comprises a wide range of typologies and scales, as the RIBA awards – with the exception of specific categories, such as the House of the Year – cast the net far and wide across the nation’s newest architectural gems. The result? A series of winners that appear as extensive as possible, ranging from the tiny sculptural Bethnal Green Memorial, which commemorates the 173 people who died in the Bethnal Green tube disaster of 1943, to large-scale cultural landmarks such as the Tate St Ives, or skyscrapers like the Leadenhall Building in the City of London.
Even so, common threads start to appear across the winning designs. It is a welcome trend that several were created for the direct benefit of local communities, operating with more than a single function – for example, Chester’s Storyhouse, a library-by-day and theatre-by-night. Housing – always a contentious topic in the capital and across the country – also features quite prominently, as does heritage, spanning from reuse and regeneration to the sensitive use of materials.
‘For over 50 years the RIBA Awards have celebrated the best new buildings, large or small; shining a light on trends in the construction industry, and illustrating why the UK’s architects and architecture have an enviable global reputation,’ says RIBA president Ben Derbyshire.
The next step? The announcement of the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist of course; which will take place on the 19 July, with the big winner finally crowned this autumn. §