Holiday home within the burnt-out shell of the 12th century Astley Castle wins this year’s Stirling Prize

Architect Witherford Watson Mann was awarded this year’s Stirling Prize for a holiday home built within the burnt-out shell of the 12th century Astley Castle.

This is the first time Witherford Watson Mann (WWM) has won or been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Their previous buildings include the Amnesty International UK headquarters, the Whitechapel Art Gallery extension in London with Robbrecht en Daem, and Arts Council Manchester.

The main contractor on the project was William Anelay, the quantity surveyor was Jackson Coles, and the structural engineer was Price & Myers.

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said Astley Castle, designed for client the Landmark Trust, was “an exceptional example of how modern architecture can revive an ancient monument”.

Read Building architecture critic Ike Ijeh on this year’s Stirling Prize winner

“It is significant because rather than a conventional restoration project, the architects have designed an incredibly powerful contemporary house which is expertly and intricately intertwined with 800 years of history,” he said.

“Every detail has been carefully considered, from a specific brick pattern to the exact angle of a view, resulting in a sensually rich experience for all who visit.

“This beautiful new building is a real labour of love. It was realised in true collaboration between a visionary client, designer and contractors.”

The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist also included:

  • the revamp of the sixties Sheffield housing block Park Hill by Hawkins\Brown with Studio Egret West
  • Alison Brooks Architects’ Essex housing development Newhall Be
  • the Bishop Edward King Chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects
  • the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre by Heneghan Peng architects
  • the University of Limerick Medical School by Grafton Architects

Stirling prize shortlist

For the first time in the prize’s 18-year history half the shortlisted practices - Grafton, Heneghan Peng and Alison Brooks - were led by women.

Of the nominees, only Alison Brooks Architects, which was joint-winner in 2008, had previously made the shortlist.

Meanwhile, the National Trust was named the 2013 RIBA Client of the Year at the ceremony in central London last week.

The National Trust won the award for commissioning projects including Chedworth Roman Villa by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Giant’s Causeway by Heneghan Peng architects - which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize - and Stowe Visitor Centre by Cowper Griffith Architects.

Philip Gumuchdjian, acting chairman of the RIBA Awards Group, said: “The National Trust have won the 2013 Client of the Year Award because of the way they create the heritage of the future while protecting the heritage of the past, making special places even more special.”

Also shortlisted for the award were:

  • Hampshire County Council for Runway’s End Outdoor Centre by Hampshire County Council Property Services
  • Linden Homes/Galliford Try for Newhall Be by Alison Brooks Architects
  • Manchester Metropolitan University for MMU Business School by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios