It’s official: 12 of the UK’s most beautiful new buildings are in London

You’re hard pressed to walk more than a few metres in London without seeing some sort of architectural marvel, whether that be historic structures, shiny skyscrapers, labyrinthine subterranean networks or power stations turned into a shopping malls

Countless new buildings spring up in London every year, but what makes a select few of them the best in the UK? Forget your bog-standard skyscrapers: the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) annual National Awards set out to find the most brilliant new buildings in the UK and provide insight into the country’s design and social trends. And this year, 12 of the 26 award winners are right here in the capital. 

London’s winning buildings were a diverse bunch. They ranged from the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery, the second phase of Battersea Power Station and the Elizabeth Line (who knew a train line could be considered a building?!) to family homes, local schools and community chapels. 

All RIBA’s National Award winners will now compete for the even more prestigious Stirling Prize for the best building of the year. The shortlist for that will be announced on July 31, and the winner revealed in October.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of all the London buildings that bagged a 2024 RIBA National Award. 

Chowdhury Walk, Clapton 

Chowdhury Walk, a group of super-modern, redbrick houses with a futuristic look
Photograph: Rory Gardiner

The Arbour, Walthamstow 

The Arbour, a large, industrial-looking group of buildings, built from corrugated iron and steel
Photograph: Chris Wharton

Thames Christian School and Battersea Chapel, Battersea 

Thames Christian School courtyard, filled with schoolchildren running about, wearing black school uniforms
Photograph: Nick Kane

Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea 

The interior of the Royal Academy of Dance, which is white marble, with a huge pillar in the middle of room and a bright yellow abstract painting on one of the walls.
Felix Koch

Paddington Elizabeth Line Station, Paddington 

The entrance hall and escalators at Paddington's Elizabeth Line station.
Photograph: Morley von Sternberg

National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square 

A man and a woman walk across the entrance hall of the newly renovated National Portrait Gallery, surrounded by
Photograph: Olivier Hess

King’s Cross Masterplan, King’s Cross 

Children playing in the fountains of Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross
Photograph: John Sturrock

Bradbury Works, Dalston 

The courtyard of Bradbury Works, showing modern, large, glass buildings with huge windows
Photograph: French and Tye

Battersea Power Station, Phase Two

Aerial view onto the roof gardens of Battersea Power Station, Lo
Photograph: Jason Hawkes

Six Columns, Crystal Palace 

The view of the front door of the Six Columns house; it's built of light brown bricks, while the front door itself is dark brown
Photograph: 31/44 Architects

You can see the rest of the UK winners for the RIBA National Prize 2024 here.

Get the latest and greatest from the Big Smoke – from news and reviews to events and trends. Just follow our Time Out London WhatsApp channel.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out London newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox