Other buildings shortlisted for this year’s prize included the new City Campus at the City of Glasgow College and the Barrett’s Grove housing scheme in north London.
Originally built in 1872, Hastings Pier was judged Pier of the Year in April following its £14.2m restoration.
The redevelopment took more than two years and saw the pier’s former pavilion turned into a restaurant and bar.
The rebuilt pier was designed by dRMM Architects, a London-based firm named after founders Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan.
Accepting the prize, de Rijke praised the other nominees, saying: “You’ve all done fine buildings, but it seems that this year what really captured the imaginations was not doing one – in favour of making public space.”
The Stirling Prize judges praised the company for going “above and beyond” in its “campaigning, galvanising and organising [of] local support”.
They also praised the timber-clad structure “for its remarkable use of sustainable materials” and said that councils “should take inspiration” from the project.
This year’s judges included BBC journalist Evan Davis and Peter St John of Caruso St John Architects.