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Britain's Best New Buildings

8 of the UK’s most eye-catching and innovative buildings.


An art form appreciated by many, architecture has surpassed everyone's expectations once again. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced this year's 37 winners of the 2015 RIBA National Awards, the most prestigious award for contemporary buildings in the UK. They are all spectacular in their own way and are certainly worth exploring - have a look at the latest architectural feats with our top eight choices!

1. Dalmunach Distillery

The Dalmunach Distillery by Archial Norr (Inverness Studio), is an eclectic mixture of aesthetics, highlighting the functionality of a modern distillery with extensive attention to its history. Located on the banks of the River Spey, this building contrasts beautifully with its natural surroundings, which complement and draw attention to its contemporary character.

2. The Fishing Hut

The Fishing Hut is among many of Niall McLaughlin's genius buildings. This one in particular, located in Hampshire, smartly hovers over a lake on galvanised supports, creating a double effect with its reflection. The timber-framed and clad construction, which blends seamlessly with its environment, inspires a truly serene feeling.

3. Alfriston School

Designed by Duggan Morris Architects, this building covers a sculptural indoor swimming pool for the Alfriston School for girls in Buckinghamshire. The angular wooden roof, which creates the illusion of a zigzag form, is specifically designed to reduce sound reverberation. It adds value to the sports facility and provides the students and faculty with a spacious swimming pool hall, one that gives the school its own unique twist.

4. Kew House

A perfect example of combining old and new using mixed materials. Piercy & Company and the client were both very interested in pre-fabrication. The four-bedroom family house is a modern addition to the old, complementing the detailing of the original building. The dominating material is Corten Steel, which eliminates any need to paint and creates a modern, oxidized finish.

5. Ashmount Primary School

This eco-friendly and zero-carbon school, designed by Penoyre & Prasad, has an inspiring effect on its pupils. It's set up to draw in natural light and simultaneously reveal the surrounding landscape. Meanwhile, the exterior of the building is finished beautifully with cedar cladding which will weather elegantly over time.

6. The National Theatre

London-based studio, Haworth Tompkins is the brains behind the winning design of The National Theatre, including the addition of an all-new aluminium-clad theatre production facility. The building echoes brutalist style with a combination of heavy looking, raw materials and block-like forms, enhancing one of London's greatest landmarks of the 20th century.

7. Foyles

Living above a library is no doubt a dream for all book lovers, and it could soon become a reality thanks to Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, who has transformed the old home of Central Saint Martins Art and Design into a retail space. Bookstore Foyles' multi-purpose store includes a bookshop cafe, gallery and event space. The majority of these designs have been heavily inspired by the late renowned 20th century designer, Alvar Aalto.

8. Flint House

Last but not least, Flint House by Skene Catling De La Pena is recognised for architectural excellence. This unusual design captures attention with its overall innovative and abnormal shape. The building makes use of its local geology, utilising flint found on the site, and represents a wedge of rock breaking through the earth's surface.

For more inspiring projects, check out our feature on the Power of Colour with Architects Journal

To read the full article, click here.