RIBA highlights the big, bold and beautiful in British architecture
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the 2018 National Awards. Established to highlight the very best new architecture in Britain, the projects included range from the extension of a historic cathedral to gleaming skyscrapers.
This year's 49 winners (you have to admire RIBA's reluctance to add one more building and make it a round 50) are mostly located in London, as you'd expect, though there are some buildings in the north of England, as well as Scotland (including the Lochside House pictured below) and even Wales, too. However, Northern Ireland doesn't field a single entry this time.
The buildings featured will be whittled down to a shortlist next month, before the best overall building is eventually chosen for the Stirling Prize later this year.
"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.
"I am particularly pleased to see some excellent examples of large-scale housing schemes among this year's winners. Projects such as these are beacons showing how it is possible for enlightened local authorities and developers to create the well-designed, desirable and sustainable homes that communities so desperately need."
High-profile firms make an appearance, including Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with its "Cheesegrater" skyscraper (seen above) and Foster + Partners, with its massive new Bloomberg office building (below), which takes up an entire city block in London. Filled with artworks and decorative flourishes, RIBA's judges liken moving through the building to being in Willy Wonka's factory.
Purcell's sympathetic extension of the historic Durham Cathedral (pictured below) is another important project. Dating back to circa 1018, it's considered one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gasholders London (seen below), by WilkinsonEyre with Jonathan Tuckey Design, involved transforming old industrial gas holders, originally built in 1867, into luxury residences. Consisting of three large drums that hold the residences, along with a central courtyard, it's a remarkable looking project with a futuristic appearance that belies its age.
Head to the gallery to see each project in full. Other highlights include a London memorial to a WWII-era tube disaster, a Liverpool theater, and an Edinburgh school.