The RIBA has 20 long-listed homes to choose from when it selects the House of the Year – a task that won’t be made any easier by the diverse range of different projects
The quest to find the RIBA House of the Year 2022 has kicked off with the announcement of a 20-strong longlist – a diverse assortment of projects encompassing both the lean and the lavish, with a broad geographic distribution (though nothing in Wales), and representing the work of both new and established practices.
New-build houses make up just half of the list, with the remainder comprising conversions, renovations or extensions of existing buildings. Among them are a trio of new homes in former agricultural buildings. 31/44 Architects’ conversion of a modern Norfolk grain store maintains a barn-like outward appearance, while inside the volume of the steel-framed shed is exploited to dramatic effect. Rustic references abound in Sandy Rendel Architects’ Dutch Barn in West Sussex, where a Corten-clad tower – resembling a weathered silo – provides a viewing platform over public prairie gardens. In Dorset, Crawshaw Architects’ reinvention of an old cowshed replaces cattle stalls with an oak-framed library.
Extension projects among the nominees showcase the creativity of new and emerging practices. Will Gamble Architects’ Parchment Works takes an inventive approach to reuse and material upcycling, binding a ruined cattle shed to a grade-II-listed Victorian house in Northampton. CAN’s Mountain View references Disneyland’s Matterhorn bobsled ride in the roofline of a south London garden room. Brisco Loran Architects’ Garden Studio is a modest addition that enriches the spatial and material character of a Norwich house, using reclaimed materials to reduce whole-life carbon impact.
Sustainability is a recurrent concern among the longlisted renovation projects, which range from Prewett Bizley’s low-energy retrofit of a west London mews house to Chiles Evans + Care Architects’ painstaking renewal of the quirky Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Ravine House in Derbyshire. Combining two flats into a holiday home at Tighnabruaich, Scotland, Technique Architecture has wrapped the building in a new insulated metal jacket, allowing the stone walls to remain visible inside while improving energy efficiency. In remodelling and extending an old stone cottage in Suffolk, HaysomWardMiller Architects has achieved levels of thermal performance close to the Passivhaus standard.
Passivhaus principles were also followed in Mole Architects’ Mere House, a newbuild low-energy home in Huntingdon, and by Paper Igloo in a self-built low-budget home in the semi-rural setting of Kippen, Stirlingshire.
Other out-of-town contenders are David Kohn Architects’ Red House – an arts & crafts-inspired family home in North Dorset – and the House at Lough Beg by McGonigle McGrath. (The Belfast practice is one of three former House of the Year winners on this year’s longlist, together with HaysomWardMiller and Macdonald Wright Architects). RX Architects’ Seabreeze is designed to withstand the coastal rigours of Camber Sands.
Suburban contexts are addressed in different ways by two new houses that have replaced existing bungalows. Surman Weston’s Surbiton Springs embraces local character, making references to mock Tudor and Art Deco as well as Californian modernism. Blee Halligan’s Derwent Valley Villa is cleverly arranged to direct views towards open countryside and create a feeling of privacy in the house and surrounding courtyard gardens, despite the close proximity of neighbours.
Tight constraints are common to the three new-build urban houses on the longlist, all of which are in London: Macdonald Wright Architects’ bijou Library House is just 4m wide; Fletcher Crane Architects has used a split section at Peeking House to maximise the potential of a restricted former garage site; and smart planning of Leyton House allowed McMahon Architecture to achieve nearly twice the floor area previously consented on a small plot.
The shortlist and winner will be revealed in the seventh series of Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year, airing later this year.
Ostro Passivhaus by Paper Igloo
The Red House by David Kohn Architects
Seabreeze by RX Architects
Derwent Valley Villa by Blee Halligan
Mere House by Mole Architects
House at Lough Beg by McGonigle McGrath
Surbiton Springs by Surman Weston
The Library House by Macdonald Wright Architects
Leyton House by McMahon Architecture
Peeking House by Fletcher Crane Architects
The Dutch Barn by Sandy Rendel Architects
Norfolk Barn by 31/44 Architects and Taylor Made Space
The Cowshed by Crawshaw Architects
Ravine House by Chiles Evans + Care Architects
The Den by Technique Architecture and Design in collaboration with Stallan-Brand
The Garden Studio by Brisco Loran Architects
The Parchment Works by Will Gamble Architects
Mountain View by CAN
Suffolk Cottage by Haysom Ward Miller Architects
Mews House Deep Retrofit by Prewett Bizley Architects
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