Stirling Prize shortlist announced: Are these really the best buildings in the UK?

Emma Haslett
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It's that time of year again: the Stirling Prize shortlist has been announced, so brace yourself for weeks of debate about the merits of modern architecture around dinner tables...

On the shortlist this year are two university buildings, a school, a cancer support centre and a housing association development - as well as one of the South Bank's most recognisable new blocks of luxury flats, aka London's Neo Bankside, where apartments start at a cool £5.9m.

Without further ado, here's what the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) thinks are the UK's best buildings. Got a view? Post your opinions in the comments section at the bottom - or tweet us @CityAM.

Burntwood School, Wandsworth

Designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Riba calls the school a "bold, characterful new campus buildings with light-filled rooms and corridors add to a sense of this being a very collegiate school".

Darbishire Place, Peabody Housing, E1

"Dignified... with refined proportions and details", says Riba of the 13-home apartment building, designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects.

Maggie's Lanarkshire

"Modest, low building that gathers a sequence of domestic-scaled spaces. Visitors enter via a quiet arrival court, defined by the low brick walls and two lime trees. At once, a sense of dignity and calm is encountered," says Riba of the cancer support centre, designed by Reiach and Hall Architects.

University of Greenwich Stockwell Street building, SE10

Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects to house the university's main library and architecture, landscape and arts departments and located in a Unesco World Heritage Site, Riba calls the building "delightful".

The Whitworth, University of Manchester

Muma designed this extension to the 19th century Whitworth Gallery, which Riba says includes "carefully crafted spaces [that] emerge seamlessly from the existing as an integral yet individualistic part of the whole assembly".

Neo Bankside, South Bank

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Riba says the new luxury housing scheme includes "exo-skeleton and external lifts on London’s South Bank - a well-mannered example of a structurally expressive architecture".
(All images courtesy of Riba)

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