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Manser Medal: shortlist announced for revived homes award

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A six-strong shortlist for the revived Manser Medal has been revealed

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.

However, 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.

The shortlist for this year’s gong includes Sandy Rendel Architects’ Cor-ten-clad home in LewesLoyn & Co Architects’ Stirling Prize-shortlisted Outhouse and the Folds scheme by Bureau de Change, which was among the finalists for the AJ Small Projects Awards 2016.

Shorlist in full

Michael Manser’s son, Jonathan Manser, who will be leading the Medal’s judging panel, has welcomed the revival of the Medal.

He previously told the AJ: ‘We are really pleased that the Manser Medal is continuing and returning to something like its original roots and with its original intentions: to encourage and nurture innovation and adventure in house design.

‘The award now has a cash prize and we intend to build on its existing track record to ensure that architects continue to see it as an award of significance.’

Commenting on the shorlist, Manser said: ‘Arriving at a shortlist is always difficult but this on this year [the projects] appear to have responded to site, brief and budget with a combination of rigour and imagination which sets them apart from the others.

‘Selecting a winner promises to be equally challenging; there are some great projects on the shortlist.’

The victorious home will be announced at the presentation of the Sunday Times British Homes Awards in London on 14 October.

Comment from the RIBA

We presented the RIBA Manser Medal from 2001-2014 and worked closely with the Manser family during this time [the Medal became part of the RIBA Awards in 2003, prior to that it was part of National Housebuilder Design Awards from 2001 which the RIBA supported].

The 2016 Manser Medal award presented as part of the British Homes Awards has no connection to the RIBA and is not part of our rigorous entry and judging processes.

In 2015, the RIBA renamed its annual award for the UK’s best one-off house or extension to the RIBA House of the Year award. The intention was to give even greater public understanding and clarity about the RIBA prize and its intentions – to reward and raise the bar for well-designed houses. We worked with Channel 4 on a special Grand Designs four-part series that reached record audiences of 2.2m per episode; and we are pleased to be working on a second series, featuring this year’s longlist and winner, to be broadcast later this year. 

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