Derwent Valley Villa Duffield, Derbyshire, East Midlands Building News, English Architecture Award

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield Building

15 July 2022

Derwent Valley Villa is one of the UK’s best new homes

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the longlist for the 2022 RIBA House of the Year. Shortlist and winner to be revealed on Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year.

RIBA House of the Year 2022 Winners

29 April 2022

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire, England, UK

Thursday 28th of April 2022 – five projects were selected by the expert jury, who visited all of the shortlisted projects.

Design: Blee Halligan

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire

Photos © Henry Woide

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire, UK

Jury Report

The first quality that strikes you on arriving at Derwent Valley Villa is the relaxed modesty and straightforward approach to materials and entry. The surprises and delights are held back for your experience in walking through the house. The plan is orchestrated as a series of axial routes that always end in framed views of the landscape beyond.

The house has been deliberately pulled apart, pinning the entry court and guest wing in the southeast corner, while pushing the main living spaces to the northwest. This sets up a promenade from entry all the way to a spectacular willow seen beyond the main living room, passing through garden courts on either side of the glazed link that separates the wings.

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire

On reaching the living room a new route crosses your path connecting kitchen dining on your left to a snug and playroom on the right, reached beyond a stair slotted between brick walls rising to access the bedrooms above. In moving around the house, you pass through a sequence of discrete garden courts that create their own sequence of outdoor rooms, to be enjoyed at different times of day – each with their own character and purpose. Windows are well placed to maintain a constant connection between inside and outside, so that the whole plot is brought into the service of the internal rooms, and vice versa. It is a house full of circuits, with options that clearly delight the young family.

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire

The house is constructed with a directness and simplicity that allows the courtyards to be viewed externally as walled gardens, while from the inside immaculately set out lignacite block work and timber joists give the interiors a sense of calm composure.

The design of house and garden has risen to the opportunities of the immediate landscape in a relaxed and assured manner, offering a frame for living that is full of variety, and the jury panel were delighted to give the team an RIBA regional award.

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire – Building Information

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire

Title: Derwent Valley Villa
RIBA region: East Midlands
Architect practice: Blee Halligan
Date of completion: Jul 2020
Date of occupation: Jul 2020
Client: Confidential
Project city/town: Belper
Contract value: Confidential
Gross internal area: 407.00 m²
Net internal area: 391.00 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: Derwent Valley Construction Ltd

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire


Structural Engineers: Hayne Tillet Steel
Landscape Architects: J+L Gibbons
Environmental Economics: SAP Calculations
Building Control: Approved Building Control Ltd
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: Appleyard and Trew


• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Client of the Year

2022 RIBA East Midlands Award Winners

2022 RIBA East Midlands Award Winners

Derwent Valley Villa, Derbyshire designed by Blee Halligan

Derwent Valley Villa, Duffield, Derbyshire building images / information from the Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: Duffield, Derbyshire, England, UK

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