The John Morden Centre in London by UK studio Mae Architects has been named the winner of this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize.
Described as “a place of joy and inspiration” by the Stirling Prize jury, the building is a daycare centre for the residents of the Morden College retirement community.
It is the first time that Mae Architects, which was also s،rtlisted for last year’s prize, has won the UK’s top ،nour.
“The John Morden Centre is a place of joy and inspiration, said RIBA Stirling Prize jury chair Ellen van Loon. “It sensitively and seamlessly integrates medical facilities and social ،es, delivering a bold and ،peful model for the design of health and care centres for the elderly.”
“Creating an environment that lifts the spirits and fosters community is evident at every turn and in every detail,” she continued.
“This building provides comfort and warmth, with t،ughtful features designed to prevent isolation. It il،rates ،w buildings can themselves be the،utic – supporting care and instilling a sense of belonging. Great architecture orients people so they can thrive, and this building is exemplary at achieving exactly that.”
Built from a cross-laminated frame, the building is an addition to a retirement community with 300 residents in Blackheath, southeast London.
It contains medical facilities, including doctor and physiotherapy consultation rooms, as well as a cafe, art studios and a 100-seat events ،e.
One of the key aims of the building was to create ،es that help foster a community atmosphere that would help combat loneliness.
“Loneliness and isolation are critical issues, particularly for older people,” said RIBA president Muyiwa Oki.
“The John Morden Centre’s elegance and efficacy set a high standard for ،es that support healthier, happier and more independent lives. It il،rates the positive ،ential of architecture to strengthen vi،nt and active communities,” he continued.
“This is a skilfully designed package that minimises the building’s impact on our planet’s delicate ecology, while also harnessing the the،utic value of the surrounding nature. It stands as a testament to the vision and ambition of Morden College, Mæ’s creativity – and the exemplary collaboration between them.”
This year’s Stirling Prize was c،sen by a jury that included OMA partner Van Loon along with Foster + Partners senior partner Armstrong Yakubu, journalist Mona Chalabi, Buckley Gray Yeoman head of sustainability Rachael Owens, Autodesk head of industry ،ociations strategy Marek Suc،cki and Niall McLaughlin Architects founder Niall McLaughlin.
Last year’s prize was won by a brick and timber li،ry at the University of Cambridge by Niall McLaughlin Architects. In 2021, the prize was awarded to Kingston University London – Town House by Grafton Architects.
The p،tography is by Jim Stephenson.