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Langdale, Brampton, Cumbria

Words:
RIBA Regional Jury

Mary Arnold-Forster Architects successfully fulfils the brief for a family house that balances simple practicality with an appreciation of its wild and beautiful setting, to win it a 2024 RIBA North West Award

Langdale.
Langdale. Credit: David Barbour

2024 RIBA North West Award

Langdale, Brampton, Cumbria
Mary Arnold-Forster Architects for Private Client
Contract value: Confidential 
GIA: 195m2

Langdale is a modern house for a family of four. Forming a subtle threshold between the town of Brampton and the landscape of Cumbria, it nestles into a steep site where it replaces a 1960s stable/workshop that had fallen into disrepair. It is generous without being ostentatious, practical but refined. The house comprises three simple shed-like volumes, assembled with conviction and clad in primarily Scottish larch wood. Highly insulated construction has been prioritised, supplemented by renewable energy from solar panels. There is a confident modesty about the architecture, which provides proper space for the stuff of life: storage, shoes, and coats, alongside a combination of spacious and snug family spaces with incredible views. The architect has successfully fulfilled the family’s brief for a house that balances simple practicality with an appreciation of its wild and beautiful setting.

  • Langdale.
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
  • Langdale.
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
  • Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
  • Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
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A dry-stone wall (constructed from reclaimed red sandstone from the former Brampton Methodist Chapel, built in 1878) marks the boundary of the plot and addresses the town, while the use of Scottish larch for the house addresses the landscape.

From the street, three blank gables face the road with a glazed link, signifying an entrance lobby that is conceived as a covered, external space, with the wooden cladding continuing inside and offering views into the valley beyond. The house’s volumes are arranged around a three-sided courtyard looking into the fields, with a more expansive living/kitchen/dining space projecting over the hillside and offering stunning views. A smaller snug room closes the ensemble to the road. Sliding glazed doors allow these spaces to combine, opening onto the courtyard in the summer. The third volume is a large storage shed – a reassuring addition in a modern house, providing realistic accommodation for extra storage space. The volumes appear single-storey to the road, with the bedrooms on a lower floor, tucked into the hillside.

  • Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
    Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
  • Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
  • Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
    Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
  • Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
    Langdale. Credit: David Barbour
  • Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
    Langdale. Credit: Douglas McCorkell
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The exterior cladding is beautifully and simply detailed – clearly through tried and tested experience of designing within exposed landscapes. Larch cladding is set out over battens and counter-battens to conceal downpipes, gutters, fuse boxes, external taps and other services. The timber fixings are carefully positioned in relation to window and door openings, elevating the language of agricultural sheds in the most modest but refined way.

See the rest of the North West winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor SIBA Construction
Structural engineer SF Structures

 

Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
Credit: Mary Arnold-Forster Architects

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