Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre/ Credit.Keith Barnes

Centre shortlisted for 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize

19 July 2018

The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, Oxford, is on the shortlist for this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize, the UK’s top accolade for architecture. It is one of six 2018 RIBA National Award winners to have made the final shortlist.

Commenting on the shortlist, RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said: ‘It doesn’t go unnoticed that half of the buildings were commissioned by UK universities, suggesting that parts of the higher education sector value the importance of improving the quality of their buildings and estates to reward and attract students, staff and visitors, and to make a positive contribution to their local area. It’s encouraging to see clients who recognise the broad range of benefits that can be achieved by working with skilled and resourceful architects, and I hope more public-sector organisations will follow their lead.’

Níall McLaughlin Architects designed the £9m Centre, which includes a 150-seat single-storey theatre and conference centre, and an e-hub and social space overlooking Worcester’s sports field and lake.

The Provost of Worcester College, Sir Jonathan Bate, said: ‘We are thrilled that our building has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious award for architecture. Thanks to the vision of Níall McLaughlin Architects and the immense skill of our contractors, we have a breathtakingly beautiful venue for lectures and conferences that benefits our students and visitors alike. We are delighted that RIBA regards it as one of the best modern buildings in Britain today.’

Níall McLaughlin said: ‘This Stirling Prize shortlisting is testament to the success of a wonderful team. Worcester College has been a very supportive client with a consistent ambition to create good architecture. The builders, carpenters, masons and gardeners have worked harmoniously with the design team to realise the work to the highest standard. The skill and dedication of everyone involved has given us the confidence to produce ambitious work.’

The Centre was officially opened on 18 October 2017 by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall who was joined by the benefactor of the building, His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak. Since then, it has hosted high-profile events, such as lectures for the Oxford Literary Festival, as well as being very popular with students who use the lecture theatre and e-hub on a daily basis.

The main contractors involved in the award-winning project were Níall McLaughlin Architects, Beard Construction, Benchmark and the project management team Bidwells. Worcester College will find out whether the Centre has won the overall RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture at a ceremony on 10 October 2018. The Nazrin Shah Centre has received an award from the Oxford Preservation Trust in its New Buildings category. It has also been shortlisted for a British Construction Industry Award (BCIA) for Social Infrastructure Projects of the Year.

For more information and/or to arrange interviews with the Provost, Sir Jonathan Bate, please contact Maria Coyle at 01865 278358 or Email:

Notes for Editors

The Team involved in the project

Contractor: Beard Construction

Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

M&E Engineer: King Shaw Associates

Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner and Theobald

Project Management: Bidwells

Acoustic Engineer: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design

Landscape Architects: Simon Bagnall

Stone Work: Szerelmey

Hydrological Design: Wallingford Hydro Solutions

Furniture: David Colwell Design

CDM Coordinator: Gardiner and Theobald

Approved Building Inspector: Aedis Group

Decorative Mouldings: Fine Art Moulding

Joinery: Barn 6

Furniture Design: Benchmark

*Worcester College

Worcester is one of 38 independent and self-governing colleges that make up the University of Oxford. Approximately 400 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students are resident at any one time at the College, undertaking courses of study across a wide variety of disciplines. Over 50 Fellows give lectures throughout the University departments and teach within College in tutorials. Originally established by Royal Charter in 1714 with a legacy from the Worcestershire baronet, Sir Thomas Cookes, Worcester has 26 acres of grounds, which include a lake and extensive sports grounds. Next to the Nazrin Shah Centre is the Sainsbury Building, which won a Civic Trust Award in 1984. Designed by Sir Richard MacCormac, it provides student rooms in clusters around communal kitchens and terraces that overlook the sports field.

*Conferences at Worcester

Our events and hospitality teams draw on many decades of experience and work together to deliver any event, from one-off private events to large-scale, residential conferences for delegations ranging from summer school programmes, corporate events, receptions and fine dining.

For further information, please go