RIBA House of the Year 2021 Winner, Best British Homes, UK Residential Properties
RIBA House of the Year 2021 Winner News
9 + 8 December 2021
RIBA House of the Year 2021 winner : House on the Hill by Alison Brooks Architects
Extraordinary Gloucestershire farmhouse extension named UK’s best new house
RIBA House of the Year 2021 Winner – House on the Hill
House on the Hill, a strikingly contemporary extension to a Georgian farmhouse in Gloucestershire, designed by Alison Brooks Architects, has been named RIBA House of the Year 2021. The prestigious annual award is given by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to the UK’s best new architect-designed house. The winner was revealed in the final episode of Grand Designs: House of the Year, on Wednesday 8 December at 9pm on Channel 4.
House on the Hill by Alison Brooks Architects:
photo : Paul Riddle
To complement its arresting new wing, the 18th century stone farmhouse, which overlooks the Wye Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has also been meticulously restored. Together the farmhouse and extension create an extraordinary new home for the owners and their art collection. The three-storey farmhouse has been converted into one vast gallery space that seamlessly integrates with the contemporary extension.
Larger than the original house, the new two-storey wing is set back, partially embedded into the hillside, with its dark tones and cladding pattern inspired by the nearby Forest of Dean.
On the ground floor, the kitchen, living and dining areas flow into each other and onto exterior terraces. With the kitchen in the centre, overlooked by a gallery on the floor above, the space is flooded with natural light, and offers up panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including into a new, bespoke dry-stone-walled garden.
The home’s main staircase doubles-up as a gallery and leads up to two bedrooms, an office and a further terrace.
From the skylights to the walls and the cruciform-steel-columns, the angles throughout the house are intentionally skewed and undulating, echoing the topography of the adjacent meadows, and drawing the eye onwards to new and surprising focal points. Niches, benches and recesses add to the fluidity and playfulness of the space and provide practical areas to display the owner’s art.
Ground and air source heat pumps and solar panels work together to reduce the building’s overall energy consumption, and the new wing has an extensive green roof planted with native wildflowers to reduce rainwater loss. As part of the renovations, the surrounding grounds have also been revitalised with new wildflower meadows and orchards, bordered by hedges that have been repaired and renewed with pollen-rich species of plants.
RIBA President, Simon Allford said:
“This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new – connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years.
Intriguing and distinguished, House on the Hill is the impressive result of a ten-year collaboration between the homeowners and their architect. This is an extraordinary labour of love in architectural form.
Every detail has been meticulously considered and exquisitely finished, resulting in a truly remarkable home that enhances its unique setting.”
Architect, Alison Brooks said:
“It’s a real honour to win RIBA House of the Year amongst an accomplished shortlist of beautiful projects. I see private house commissions as a rare opportunity to test new ideas in a concentrated form – they are the built equivalent of writing an essay. So, this accolade is a testament to my client’s belief in the value of architecture and their willingness to embrace the new. I’m grateful for their trust in me and my team of talented architects, in Akera Engineers and the brilliant team of builders and gardeners whose skilful contributions produced this remarkable house and gardens, that together reveal a new way of living in the landscape.”
David and Jenny, the owners of House on the Hill said:
“Ours was a very protracted project, so the client and architect relationship had to be one of mutual confidence. It was always a pleasure working with Alison and her project architects and we learned a great deal in the process.
The interplay of the house and its gardens with the wider surrounds provides an ever-changing source of pleasure. The house is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the house, and the landscape complement each other. To return to the house after a spell away is to renew our admiration of the scheme.
To win this important accolade is an endorsement of the creativity of Alison Brooks Architects.”
Chair of the RIBA House of the Year 2021 jury, architect Amin Taha, said:
“Some decades in the making, the replacement of a very large 1970s shed housing a pool and ancillary spaces with Alison Brooks Architects lower scaled and fragmented form impressed the jury, in a highly competitive year with contenders excelling in sustainability, craftsmanship, reuse, economy of means and thought-provoking sensitivity. House on the Hill balanced these where others may have, for instance reused but at disproportionate cost, or crafted but to no innovative end.
The jury felt Alison Brooks Architects had applied their long-researched process of subtly breaking down the rigid and spatially predictable grid with gentle inflection. Adding depth of scale and richness of experience to the existing house, and through the new extension, transitioning with ease into the beautifully landscaped gardens.
It is a model of architectural approach applicable to all scales, resulting from the architects’ long practiced ideas and the clients’ successful collaboration.”
House on the Hill was revealed as the winner in the final episode of the Channel 4 series Grand Designs: House of the Year, broadcast on 8 December 2021.
Previously on e-architect:
28 Oct 2021
UK’s best new homes – RIBA announces House of the Year 2021 longlist
Shortlist and winner to be revealed on Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year
RIBA House of the Year 2021 Longlisted Homes
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the longlist for the RIBA House of the Year 2021.
The shortlist and winner of the RIBA House of the Year 2021 will be revealed in the sixth series of Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year, produced by Naked West (a Fremantle label).
RIBA House of the Year 2021 Longlist images / information from Royal Institute of British Architects
RIBA House of the Year Awards
Richard Murphy’s House in Edinburgh is RIBA House of the Year 2016
photo : Keith Hunter
RIBA House of the Year
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