Stirling Prize: Vote for your favourite building

The shortlisted buildings

The winner of Britain's leading architecture prize will be announced later this month. But which of the buildings in the running is your favourite? You can vote here.

Six buildings have been shortlisted for this year's Royal Institute of British Architects' Stirling Prize - considered one of the top accolades in the world of architecture. The awards are for buildings with original and imaginative designs, which meet the needs of their users.

Riba Stirling Prize
  • Awarded by Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Architects must be Riba members to be in the running, and the building anywhere in the EU
  • In partnership with Riba, BBC News is running an online vote and a series of features on the shortlisted buildings
  • Past winners include Lord's Media Centre at the eponymous cricket ground, Terminal 4 at Madrid's Barajas Airport and Rotherham's Magma Centre

This year's shortlist is notable both for its assortment of building types - a renovated 1960s tower block, a modern housing estate, a rentable holiday home, a visitor centre, a university teaching block and a chapel - and the prominence it gives to fresh talent. Five of the six architects are nominated here for the first time.

Working in partnership with Riba for this year's awards, BBC News has cast a close eye on the half-dozen buildings competing for this year's prize. We have visited all of them, spoken to the architects, the clients, critics and the people who use them, to understand what makes the buildings worthy of shortlisting for the prize.

These are the six shortlisted buildings:

Astley Castle
Astley

Dating from the 12th Century, Astley Castle has had a colourful recent history. Listed in 1951, the castle in Warwickshire was converted into a hotel four years later. But in 1978 a fire left it ruined and the building fell into disrepair. A full restoration was not possible, so the task for architects Witherford Watson Man was to install a new house within the stabilised ruins. With the aim of adding to the many historical layers of the building, courtyards and outdoor rooms are formed by both old and new walls, while contemporary materials have been colour-matched to the original palette.

The layout of the house, which is owned by the Landmark Trust and rented to holidaymakers, is inverted with bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor and the living quarters on the first floor. With its deep-set windows and multiple vistas, it is a solid and practical building.

Find out more about Astley Castle

Bishop Edward King Chapel
Chapel interior

Standing at the centre of the grounds of Ripon College in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire, Bishop Edward King Chapel is an elliptical building crafted from natural materials such as larch and ash woods, and lime plaster. Part of the inspiration for the building was a play on the word "nave" which, as well as describing the central space of a church, is derived from navis - Latin for boat.

"From these words, two architectural images emerged," says architect Niall McLaughlin. "The first is the hollow in the ground as the meeting place of the community, the still centre. The second is the delicate ship-like timber structure that floats above in the tree canopy, the gathering place for light and sound."

Find out more about Bishop Edward King Chapel

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
Giants Causeway

One of the great natural wonders of the UK, the Giant's Causeway draws admirers from all over the world to the coast of County Antrim. But how to design and build a centre that caters for the needs of these hordes of visitors while not detracting from the main draw? The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre sets out to be an object lesson in subtlety - peeping quietly but confidently out of the natural landscape and employing the same volcanic rock for its structure as that which created the Causeway 50 or so million years ago.

Find out more about the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre

Newhall Be
Housing in Harlow

Located in Harlow, Essex, Newhall Be is a reconfiguration of the traditional terraced house. A mix of apartments, villas, courtyard and terraced houses, architect Alison Brooks set out to rethink the nature of a new-build housing development. Instead of pitched roofs and brown bricks, she set out to design a set of homes that were packed closely together but also airy and spacious inside.

Conventional gardens have been replaced by balconies, patios and roof decks, acting as extensions to the living space while capturing sunlight at various times of the day. The angled buildings also feature high, cathedral-style roofs, which can be converted into another bedroom, and have been designed to avoid overlooking by neighbours.

Find out more about Newhall Be

Park Hill Phase 1
Park Hill

Part of one of the UK's most iconic and infamous housing estates - and famous for walkways known as "streets in the sky" - Park Hill was built in 1961 and was one of the first Brutalist buildings in the UK. Inspired by Le Corbusier's Unite D'habitation, a famous block of flats in Marseille, France, the building divided opinion between some who loved it and many who loathed it. By the 1980s Park Hill had become dilapidated and was no longer a popular place to live.

Under the stewardship of property developer Urban Splash, part of the estate has been reimagined and renovated to suit 21st Century tastes and design standards. Many of the original residents were moved out to make way for the construction workers, and most have not been allowed back. Instead, most of the new dwellings have been sold to private buyers. A controversial redevelopment, Park Hill nevertheless shows the potential that exists in buildings which have been otherwise been largely written off.

Find out more about Park Hill Phase 1

University of Limerick Medical School
Medical school

The medical school in the Republic of Ireland's city of Limerick is a collection of buildings, which were required to complement each other. Together they form a public square on the campus located along the River Shannon. Designed by Ireland-based firm Grafton Architects, the project was completed on a "rock bottom budget".

It includes the medical faculty, two student accommodation blocks and a bus shelter, designed to represent a gateway to the monolithic medical school, which is a three-storey cliff-like building constructed using local limestone. Lots of natural light and ventilation flood the internal space.

Find out more about University of Limerick Medical School

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