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Properties Articles

RIBA House Of The Year Award

Published: 10/12/2021 By Mathilda Boyle

Channel 4 aired the house of the year awards, where 7 shortlisted properties competed to win the RIBA award for 2021. Each project displayed contrasting ideas and forms of architectural prowess, signifying skilful design and construction. This award, established in 2013, aims to “celebrate innovation and excellence in design”.

Here are some of our favourites this year!

House on the Hill - Alison Brooks Architects

Situated in Gloucestershire, this 18th century farmhouse has been redesigned to create an architectural blend of old and new. The original building sits proudly at the peak of a hilltop, overlooking the rural landscape. 

The modern grey cladded extension coils behind acting in submissive support; with floor to ceiling windows & open spatial living areas. Internally, there is a seamless transition behind the old and new buildings. 

Throughout the living spaces, residents are provided with double height ceilings, mahogany cladding features and exposed mezzanines. There is an importance to bring attention to the surrounding area; the curvilinear design of the extension allows for views across the  hilltops in the distance, in contrast to the high perspective outlook of the traditional building.  

The Water Tower

This project is the conversion of a 1950’s water tower into a residential family home. The steel frame acts as a dramatic outer shell, while manipulations like the laminated timber structure beneath gives residents the feeling of a normal family home. 

Within this space, sleeping chambers are given floor to ceiling windows to look over the rural landscape. A large horizontal slit window at the crown makes it impossible to ignore the bird’s eye view of the panoramic woodland and fields.

The architects have built a supporting tower alongside to provide access to the original whilst also benefitting the structures weight. Within this, a wooden spiral staircase and oculus skylight offer an inspiring addition to the property.

The Slot House - Sally Rendel 

The plot, originally an alleyway, is the approximate size of a tube carriage. An ignored and forgotten space within the middle of Peckham, Sally Rendel saw this as an opportunity. Utilising a prefabricated shell, they have created a 2 storey 1 bedroom house; maximising space, lighting and materials. Internally the exposed steel structure, double height windows, and timber cladding work to create an idyllic and uncomplicated living space.

Theo & Oskar - TCA

Tigg+Coll Architects won a commission to convert an existing family house into an accessible home for their two children suffering from a condition affecting their mobility. The aim of the residence was to provide them with a comfortable home to treat their needs accordingly. A large extension encompassing the ground floor accommodates the bedrooms and living space, with a further bedroom for a possible carer. 

The self supporting roof was an important factor for the family; it allowed for large bedrooms for the boys and the exposed roof joints facilitated hoists and health equipment to be attached. It was important to incorporate the outside space. By including bi-folding doors, it is easy to open the living spaces to the beautiful garden, acting as an aesthetic and therapeutic escape.

House in Assynt

The sustainable timber home built in the Highlands of Scotland is another of one of the finalists set into the competition to win the House of the Year award for 2021. Nestled in the reeds between two rocky structures, this pre-fabricated structure aims to consider the environment and provide a homely retreat within the harsh exposure on the site. 

The dark exterior planks of burnt larch morphs the residence into the hillside, while the floor to ceiling tripled glazed windows allow for views across the Scottish hillside. 

Contrasting to the exterior, the light timber interior cladding alongside frequent skylights throughout provides this property with bright open spaces.