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Loyn & Co's Outhouse wins relaunched Manser Medal

  • 1 Comment

Loyn & Co’s ‘timeless’ house for a pair of artists in rural Gloucestershire is the winner of the 2016 Manser Medal 

PLAN • SECTION • AXONOMETRIC • PROJECT DATA

Outhouse, which missed out to Caruso St John’s Newport Street Gallery in this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize, was named the UK’s best new house at a ceremony in London on Friday (14 October). 

The 490m² house sits on a sloping plot overlooking the Wye Valley and features a series of courtyards, artists studios and a large, open plan kitchen and living spaces. 

The ‘relaxing [yet] intensely stimulating’ scheme saw off five other shortlisted homes, including Sandy Rendel Architects’ Cor-ten-clad home in Lewes, and AJ Small Projects Awards 2016 finalist the Folds by Bureau de Changer. 

Shortlist

  • Ansty Plum House by Coppin Dockray
  • North Vat by Rodic Davidson Architects
  • Gasworks by Chris Dyson Architects
  • 142 South Street by Sandy Rendel Architects
  • Outhouse by Loyn & Co
  • Folds by Bureau de Change

The accolade, which celebrates the best one-off houses in the UK and offers a £5,000 first prize, was originally set up by the late Michael Manser in 2001 to inspire innovation in house design and was backed for many years by the RIBA.

In 2015 the institute rebranded the annual award as the RIBA House of the Year Award, complete with its own four-part television series. 

But the Manser name has returned this year with the medal resurrected as part of the Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2016.

This year the prize was judged by the late Michael Manser’s son, Jonathan Manser, alongside architect and sustainability expert Lynne Sullivan and 2009 Manser Medal winner Luke Tozer of Pitman Tozer Architects.  

Commenting on the winner Manser said: ‘Outhouse feels as though it is not a new house. It has matured overnight into a genuine classic and this is a strange and rather wonderful achievement.’

Source: Jim Stephenson/Laura Mark

Ground floor plan

Drawings loyn ground

Drawings loyn ground

Section

Drawings loyn section

Drawings loyn section

Axonometric

Drawings loyn axo

Drawings loyn axo

East and west elevations

Drawings loyn east west elevation

Drawings loyn east west elevation

South elevation

Drawings loyn south elevation

Drawings loyn south elevation

Manser Medal jury’s citation

The judges enjoyed its multi-faceted appeal: a classic Modernist construct with a timeless quality but robust and capable of being inhabited and evolving; an energy-efficient exemplar of controlled environment but at one with the landscape and allowing changing weather and light conditions to be experienced through diversity of windows, rooflights and internal courtyards; apparently a house embedded in the hillside with a single long façade opening to the striking view, but whose soul equally derives from the layering of views through courtyards of differing characters and potential functions.

The layout and material quality had rigour but was relaxed, the effect was both relaxing and intensely stimulating.

Project data

Start on site May 2013
Completion December 2014
Gross internal floor area 490m²
Form of contract Design and Build 
Construction cost Undisclosed 
Architect Loyn & Co
Client Private
Structural engineer WL2
M&E consultant Vitec
Quantity surveyor Moseley Partnership
Landscape architect Morgan Henshaw
Approved building inspector Meridian Consult
Main contractor Forest Eco Systems 
CAD software used AutoCAD

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A deserved winner, but there is one aspect of it that seems to have been missed - the location of the house up on the hill slope, together with the lengthy white concrete face of the roof slab, is high enough to render it rather more visible in the landscape than the half buried nature of the building would otherwise suggest.
    For all I know planting at the front edge of the roof will eventually soften this - as might non-reflective glass, give the orientation of the house leading to the sometimes powerful reflection of the sun over the Wye valley.

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