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Hill House by Hampson Williams Architects

[STEPHEN LAWRENCE PRIZE] The beautifully crafted all-plywood interior creates a simple, serene series of interconnected spaces

The brief called for a house that reflected the environmental sensitivities of the client, was contemporary in design, honest in its expression both of form and material, and rooted in place. As with all private houses, the type of spaces and their arrangement is intensely personal, and the design process sought to be open, collaborative and flexible.

The house, at Ulcombe near Maidstone in Kent, was conceived as a primarily timber construction. By using recycled excavation material as a retaining wall, the carbon footprint was kept low and the project on budget. The beautifully crafted all-plywood interior creates a simple, serene series of interconnected spaces. The ambitious in-situ welded steel stair is a dramatic sculptural element, contrasting with the warmth of the plywood.

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