Scheme tops list of 11 winners including Niall McLaughlin’s “faultless” Isle of White house

An extension of Radley College Chapel by Purcell has been named by RIBA as the best new building in the South of England.

Judges of RIBA’s regional awards said the Oxfordshire scheme, which was commissioned to boost the 19th century chapel’s capacity, was a “masterclass in modern architectural design”.

The jury said Purcell had skillfully combined contemporary design elements with traditional craftsmanship to create a relationship between the two which was a “delight to behold”.

“The chapel extension is a testament to the power of good design and the role that architecture can play in creating inspiring and functional spaces”, judges said.

The scheme topped a list of 11 RIBA South Awards winners which included a “faultless” Niall McLaughlin Architects-designed house on the Isle of Wight.

Judges said the 2022 Stirling-Prize winning practice’s Saltmarsh House achieves “pocket-watch levels of precision and attention to detail,” creating a building that is “truly breathtaking”.

The passivhaus steel-frame structure, which features a pyramidal copper roof above a glass pavilion, was described as a tour de force of clean lines and contemporary design.

Also on the list of winners is Hyde & Hyde’s “truly unique” Quatrefoil House in North Oxford, a contemporary extension to an 1870s gothic villa balanced on a concrete column.

Judges said the project was a “stunning example of how a contemporary extension can be added to a historic property without compromising the character of the original building in the wider streetscape”.

Other winning schemes included Hopkins’ Eton Sports and Aquatics Centre, Horris Hill School by Jonathan Tuckey Design, March House by Knox Bhavan Architects and St Hilda’s College by Gort Scott.

The list is completed by Adrian James Architects’ Vishuddha Yoga Centre, LA Architects’ Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, Miya Ushida Architects’ Island House and FarmED by Timothy Tasker Architects.

Special awards were handed out to three schemes, client of the year for Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, project architect of the year for Island House and the sustainability award for March House.

RIBA South Award winners will now be considered for a RIBA National Award, which will be announced on 22 June. 

The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building of the year will be drawn from the RIBA National Award-winning projects later in the year.