Attractions industry news

28 Sep 2013

Astley Castle named Stirling Prize winner

A luxury holiday home built within the walls of a derelict castle in Warwickshire has won this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture.

Astley Castle, near Nuneaton, was chosen from six shortlisted buildings – including the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland – to win the award, which is the highest accolade of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The building dates back 1,000 years, has links to three English queens and gained Grade II listed status in 1951.

The moated manor house was rescued and restored by the Landmark Trust, having been destroyed by fire in 1978. It's available to let through the Trust and is fully booked up until 2015.

It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the ground floor and an open-plan lounge and kitchen above.

“Astley Castle is an exceptional example of how modern architecture can revive an ancient monument,” said RIBA president Stephen Hodder. "Rather than a conventional restoration project, the architects have designed an incredibly powerful contemporary house which is expertly and intricately intertwined with 800 years of history.”

Hodder added: “Every detail has been carefully considered, from a specific brick pattern, to the exact angle of a view, resulting in a sensually rich experience for all who visit. It was realised in true collaboration between a visionary client, designer and contractors and is a real labour of love.”

London-based Witherford Watson Mann Architects, designed the rebuild of the castle, inserting the contemporary spaces into the original outer walls.

The ambitious £2.3 million project had funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Stirling Prize – now in its 18th year – is awarded to the best new building constructed in the EU which has been designed in the UK.

NOTES
The Sterling Prize shortlisted Giant's Causeway visitor centre is profiled in the current edition of Leisure Management magazine, which is available to read here.

For more information on Astley Castle click here.

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