Heat around the UK’s most prestigious RIBA’s annual award for ‘House of the Year’ 2015 is heating up. With four projects already announced till date and three to follow, the final winner will be announced on Wednesday 25 November.

An experimental London house incorporating the walls of a 19th century stable into its split-wing design (Kew House) and Vaulted House, a sophisticated family house in Chiswick characterised by six skylight topped roofs, joined Flint House and Sussex House on the 2015 RIBA House of the Year award shortlist, sponsored by specialist insurer, Hiscox. The annual award is run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The four projects shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year are:

  • Kew House, London by Piercy&Company
  • Vaulted House, London by vPPR Architects
  • Flint House, Buckinghamshire by Skene Catling De La Pena
  • Sussex House, West Sussex by Wilkinson King Architects

The RIBA House of the Year award (formerly the Manser Medal) is awarded every year to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK. It was created in 2001 to celebrate excellence in housing design.

The judges for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year award, sponsored by Hiscox, are Jonathan Manser, Chair of the jury; James Standen of Hiscox; award-winning architect, Mary Duggan; Chris Loyn, the recipient of the 2014 award and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards.

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Kew House, London By Piercy&Company

This four bedroom family house is formed of two prefabricated weathering steel volumes inserted behind a retained 19th century stable wall. The layout is relaxed; rich with incidental spaces and surprising daylight sources. A delicate, glazed circulation link reveals the contrast between a rustic exterior and sophisticated interior. Split into two wings, the simple plan makes the most of a constrained site and responds to the living patterns of the young family. Completed in January 2014, Kew House was an experimental project, driven by the architect’s and clients’ shared interest in a ‘kit-of-parts’ approach, prefabrication, and the self-build possibilities emerging from digital fabrication.


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Vaulted House, London By vPPR Architects

This family house, built on the walled site of a former taxi garage, is almost entirely hidden in the middle of a Victorian block in Chiswick. The approach is via a covered passage, beyond which is a brick-lined front porch. A recessed, chamfered surround for the front door hints at the geometric language of the house’s primary formal and spatial idea: a walled enclosure above which a cluster of six conjoined hipped roofs hovers enigmatically.

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The house is arranged so that on entry, one is poised between the two levels, with stairs leading up to the open-plan living level, and down to the lower level of bedrooms. The six roofs, each topped by a skylight, are lifted above the enclosing boundary wall. This creates a sense of weightlessness and a borrowed panorama of neighbouring gardens. The hipped roofs’ sloping planes join precisely to form a series of large coffers or ‘vaults’. These vaults spatially define and individually illuminate various parts of the open plan main living space; kitchen, dining and living areas. In two places, the vaulted roofs are absent, leaving two storey deep voids that act as garden courtyards for the basement level bedrooms and children’s playroom. Glazed walls slide back to expand the living space onto balconies that project into the voids, formed with perforated mesh. This material and its careful detailing create beautiful shadows on pristine courtyard walls.

The Flint House, Waddesdon.  Architect Charlotte Skene Catling flint05jamesmorris_8534


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flint12jamesmorris_8490Flint House, Buckinghamshire By Skene Catling De La Pena

Flint House is a dramatic and innovative new house on a country estate in Buckinghamshire. The house sits within the grounds of a wider estate and forms accommodation for visitors who include family members as well as artists. The building is split into two parts: the main house plus an annexe. The building is constructed of masonry with flint cladding. The project is a rare example of a poetic narrative whose realisation remains true to the original concept. The site is on a seam of flint geology and is surrounded by ploughed fields where the flint sits on the surface. The building is conceived as a piece of that geology thrusting up through the flat landscape. The innovation and beauty of the scheme is particularly evident in the detail of the cladding that starts at the base as knapped flint and slowly changes in construction and texture until it becomes chalk blocks at the highest point. This gives both a feeling of varying geological strata with the building dissolving as it reaches to the sky. The architects worked with a number of specialist and skilled craftsmen to achieve the end result. The development is part of a wider artistic project that has involved engagement with artists, photographers and musicians.

Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects


Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects


Sussex House, West Sussex By Wilkinson King

This stand-alone contemporary & elegant villa set in the Sussex countryside is an exceptional retreat. Externally the house is quietly confident, with its row of low-profile roof pyramids, windows positioned to take advantage of the views and a muted colour palette of materials. A lack of decoration and ornament gives this modern house a functional feel, but one that is cleverly considered to the very last detail. Internally the double-height void and staircase orchestrate the house, effortlessly, organising a contiguous open plan and cellular spaces into a simple but elegant arrangement. The over-sailing first floor produces the feeling of a quiet monastic cloister with sun-filled spaces and carefully framed views. There is much to admire about the project, and it is clear the designers have invested a lot of energy into guiding the project to have a crafted feel through modern materials and technologies. The design fulfils the brief and provides the clients with so much more.

Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects


Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects


Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects Orchard Farm - Wilkinson King Architects


Fabulous Photographs Courtesy by:



JAMES MORRIS-Flint house

PAUL RIDDLE- Sussex house

We at The Interior Directory wish luck to all the shortlisted Project owners and Architects. The fabulous ideas and their execution have fruitfully created some very amazing looking homes.

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