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RIBA Award Winners 2011 – House

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Nearly one in five RIBA Awards were given to the architects of one-off houses this year

Two of them, the Shingle House and Balancing Barn, were designed for philosopher Alain de Botton and his Living Architecture programme. These had the luxury of large (undisclosed) budgets, but few others struggled with tight budgets.

The Hampstead Lane refurbishment for example, weighs in at £2,500 per square metre. For sheer romanticism, one project stands out: the White House on the Isle of Coll by WT Architecture. The most interesting however, is Marsh:Grochowski’s Meat Factory, a low-carbon exemplar with no fridge and no oven required. Rory Olcayto

The Meat Factory, marsh:grochowski architects

Client Julian and Judy Marsh
Contract value £500,000, £2,252/m²
Citation The Meat Factory is a domestic experiment in sustainable living, located in a deprived area of Nottingham and occupied by the architect owner who is practising what he preaches. The house will no doubt act as a catalyst for change and increase awareness of sustainable issues in the neighbourhood.
Region East Midlands
See AJ 10.03.11 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Hoxton House, David Mikhail Architects

Client Private
Contract value £200,000, £1,612/m²
Citation The lower-ground and ground floors have been unified by the addition of a double-height extension, just one metre deep. This has allowed the ground floor to be pulled away from the existing rear wall, uniting bothfloors with a double-height volume. There is a delightful sense of space and light.
Region London
See AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Shadow House, Liddicoat & Goldhill

Client David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill
Contract value £210,000, £2,658/m²
Citation A thoughtful, rigorous, inspirational house on a tight site built with a limited budget. It’s rich and inviting, with a sense of durability that will mellow the house with age. The backdrop to the intimate living area is a picture window onto a miniature courtyard. This is minimum scale, maximum effect.
Region London
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

Strange house, Hugh Strange architects

Client Hugh Strange and Adriana Ferlauto
Contract value £160,000, £2,133m²
Citation This enduringly likeable house is dropped into a tight housing hinterland, surrounded by backs and boundaries. Above a highly glazed timber-framed base sits a set-back upper tier clad in profiled rigid board. This industrial-looking top gives a sense of historic continuity of use, belying the function and sophistication of the concealed base.
Region London
See AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Carnathan Lane, Twenty Two Over Seven

Client Robert and Bernie Service
Contract value £330,000, £943/m²
Citation Retaining the memory of the Donaghadee site’s former 1970s house, the design features a thoughtful plan phrased within a fresh interpretation of a Celtic vernacular. Detailing is consistent, robust and thoroughly executed throughout, while the use of porcelain stone floors and oak gives Carnathan Lane a sense of quality that belies its modest budget.
Region Northern Ireland

The Houl, Simon Winstanley Architects

Client Simon Winstanley
Contract value £306,000, £1,654/m²
Citation This elegant single-storey zero-carbon ‘long house’ commands wide views over the surrounding countryside of Castle Douglas, its roof plane following the line of the hillside, reducing the building’s impact. Walls are highly insulated timber-framed panels clad in cedar weatherboarding. Detailing throughout is immaculate, with particularly light and spacious interiors.
Region Scotland
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

White House, WTArchitecture

Client Private
Contract value £735,000, £2,753/m²
Citation This family home on the Isle of Coll incorporates the listed shell of a small 18th-century ruined house.
It provides a break with the local vernacular, yet still connects with landscape and tradition. A new timber structure perches on a substantial dry stone wall, built on old enclosure lines and reusing stone from the site.
Region Scotland
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

House in Epsom, Eldridge Smerin

Client Ian and Lelyana Harris
Contract value £2.6 million, £3,636/m²
Citation Equilateral triangles repeat throughout the plan: the house is angled at 60 degrees to the pool wing, with triangular columns and garden planters. This unrelenting geometry, which has something of the obsessiveness of Frank Lloyd Wright, gives way to a warm and welcoming interior. Environmental features include ground-source heating.
Region South East
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

Shingle House, Nord

Client Living Architecture
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation This house, built for hire under the Living Architecture scheme, engages with the unique landscape of Dungeness and its shingle desert like a sculptured piece of burnt driftwood. The house merges the mystical with the vernacular, with blackened timber facades, white wainscoting interior and polished concrete hearth.
Region South East
See AJ 03.03.11 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Watson House, John Pardey Architects

Client Charles and Fiona Watson
Contract value £640,000, £2,013/m²
Citation John Pardey Architects has overcome the planners’ reticence, who insisted this house be invisible from the public realm in its New Forest location. The concept is beautifully simple: a single linear shape with a central living space open to both ends. Locally grown, sweet chestnut structural panels minimise the carbon footprint while allowing a quick build.
Region South
See AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Blue Door, Hall and Bednarczyk Architects

Client Mr and Mrs M Milling
Contract value £430,000, £1,680/m²
Citation This new-build dwelling for a retired couple is cut into a steep elevated site in the Wye Valley. Clad in oxidised copper-coated ceramic tiles and horizontal cedar boarding, the building is a confident piece of architecture that has provided the clients with a visually quiet and delightfully understated home.
Region Wales
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

Ty-Hedfan, Featherstone Young Architects

Client Jeremy Young and Sarah Featherstone
Contract value £550,000, £2,300/m²
Citation Mimicking a traditional Welsh long house, Ty-Hedfan (which means ‘hovering house’ in Welsh) cantilevers over its site to avoid the planning constraint of not building within seven metres of a river. The design also features a striking nine metre tall dry-stone wall with generous full-height glazing and intriguingly detailed interiors.
Region Wales
See AJ 14.04.11 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

New Mission Hall, Adam Richards Architects

Client Nicholas Taylor and Dean Wheeler
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation On the site of a sunken Baptist chapel in West Sussex, two slim offset buildings are joined by the house’s entrance and stair. The lower level is solid, secure and cave-like, with black stone, white brick barrel-vaults and oak cupboards. The upper floor is airy and light, with four-metre windows in deep reveals. A beautiful
design for a difficult site; simultaneously complex and simple.
Region South East

Hampstead Lane, Duggan Morris Architects

Client Private
Contract value £500,000, £2,500/m²
Citation A self-built structure with compromised spaces has been transformed into a delightful house that truly lifts the spirits. The character and qualities of the original Brutalist structure remain intact, taking on an altogether different quality when set against the sensitive interventions that define the project. This has evidently been a labour of love.
Region London
See AJ 17.02.11 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Love Shack, Sutherland Hussey Architects

Client Karen Guthrie and Adam Sutherland
Contract value £100,805, £2,458/m²
Citation This rural retreat is an essay in doing much with very little. It is a highly skilled architectural piece that demonstrates how a small domestic residence might touch the earth lightly. This building works with its locale by preserving what is there, and exploiting for pleasure the local Lake District resource of timber, topography and views.
Region North West
See AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Balancing Barn, MVRDV with Mole Architects

Client Living Architecture
Contract value Not disclosed
Citation The holiday home was designed as one of Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture projects. The walls, floors and ceilings give a carved quality to the interior, cleverly at odds with the visual cues that remind visitors they are suspended in mid air. The overall composition evokes peaceful feelings of obscure but pleasurable unease.
Region East
See AJ 21.10.10 and AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Bavent House, Hudson Architects

Client Lucy and Richard Turvill
Contract value £600,000, £2,069/m²
Citation The success of Grand Designs has spawned a new generation of would-be housebuilders who are prepared to fight the planners to create their dream homes in idyllic rural settings. This home is part of the local Suffolk vernacular, a mix of timber and metal cladding expressed through a series of pitched forms that could easily have been modified over time.
Region East
See AJBuildlingsLibrary.co.uk

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