Review |  21st Century Homes: RIBA Award Winning Homes |  Exam

Review | 21st Century Homes: RIBA Award Winning Homes | Exam

It is a e-book for folks within the RIBA award-winning homes in Britain constructed over the past ten years or so.

The e-book is break up into two, the primary half being descriptions of the homes themselves, with chapters organized by geographic area: a mirrored image on how regional judging within the RIBA is split.

The second half is a brief information to working with architects. On this means, 21st Century Homes speaks on to the general public, fairly than to the architects ourselves. The e-book conveys a sense of high quality sitting subsequent to you on the desk and is over 300 pages.

The primary chapter is about within the south (of England) and kicks off robust with Matthew Barnett Howland and Dido Milne’s 2019 Cork Home, set within the shadow of Eton College. This constructing with its easy form and beehive roof is the results of a analysis challenge carried out over 5 years. As an structure reader, I used to be instantly determined to see a plan drawing to know the way it all labored, however extra on that later.


One other ultra-low-energy home comes subsequent, Lark Rise by Bere Architects, and serves as a take a look at and reference case for PassivHaus’ superior design, as austere as the home itself is.

That is adopted by a collection of flat-roofed linear homes, designed by specialist architects similar to Gregory Philips and John Pardey. These present the nonetheless huge affect of mid-century modernism within the design of those kinds of huge, opulent nation villas. Sarah Griffiths and Amin Taha’s Pheasant Home stands out right here, with its sculptural backyard elevation set towards a swimming pool, a picture that additionally graces the duvet of the e-book – though unusually no inside of this home is proven.

Within the subsequent chapter of the South East, McLean Quinlan’s Harbor Home Chichester has an authenticity and empathy for its setting that makes you glad you studied structure. And the Caring Wooden home in Kent by James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell is a superb and poetic tackle the normal wooden home.


There are numerous different homes within the e-book that use vernacular varieties, together with one other full oast-type reimagining by ACME and a number of other utilizing the now acquainted barn typology, together with the minimalist Hill Home Passivhaus by Meloy Architects. Equally, Rodic Davidson’s black-clad North Wat home, with magically an identical sloping roofs and partitions (and the phantasm of no gutters), may be very becoming for Derek Jarman’s aura and unhappiness. and his beloved Dungeness.

Le Petit Fort in Jersey by Hudson Architects appears, regardless of its title, huge and unique, and with out interiors or a plan to clarify this home, it’s arduous to understand.

Windward Home by Alison Brooks is so unpredictable, geometrically sudden, quirky and but unobtrusive for me too – that I’m left speechless at this piece of design. Brooks, like many excellent architects, can scale from massive housing estates or Oxford schools to this home scale. It will be an essay in itself to clarify how sure architects handle this transformation of scale so nicely. And hooray, there are plans right here too, important to understanding how this intricate home is laid out.

Gavrilux Tin House

Transferring on to the London chapter, with the inherent density constraints of the placement, the temper modifications. Right here predominate the infills, the ends of the terrace, the courtyards and the hinterland plots. It is a surprisingly small chapter given the big variety of architect-owned/architect-designed homes you see in these slender metropolis websites. Jonathan Pile’s home in South London stands out for its timber-framed innovation in a crowded atmosphere: I might most definitely wish to dwell right here myself.

Then there are the properties of the super-contextualists right here, like Chris Dyson, who so beautifully carves his buildings into the very partitions of historic London. The self-built backyard home clad in DSDHA white in stark distinction is decidedly fashionable. In one other architectural language distinction, Henning Stummel’s Tin Home for his household breaks any molds we would acknowledge, with uncommon tin-clad huts organized round a hidden website in Shepherd’s Bush.

Transferring to the east of England we come into an agrarian setting, with broad skies and stark agricultural references or darkish estuarine areas with seawater lapping on the edges of buildings. A standout exterior for me right here is Blee Haligan’s 5 Acre Barn, a collection of shingled ziggurat roofs in a wooded setting. I am additionally employed by Lisa Shell’s tiny Redshank home, a field on stilts above the water with a uncooked exterior, mimicking hen pores and skin with an equally fundamental inside – there’s absolute financial system right here, a small refuge, in such a distinction so many tasks within the e-book.

Water tower.1

The ultimate challenge in East Anglia is eccentric, even so sudden that I’m not stunned by the RIBA’s resolution to award it a prize. Tonkin Liu’s Water Tower challenge is actually that. Quirky, daring and darkish, but magnetic nonetheless.

It is solely after we get to the East Midlands that the e-book appears utterly sincere concerning the constructing prices, as I really feel lots of the e-book’s values ​​are absolutely understated. So right here in Northamptonshire, James Gorst arrange Hannington Farm for the tidy sum of £6.3million – which, to be honest, contains numerous ancillary buildings. However the conventional supplies are beautifully used, and the monastic interiors ecclesiastical and virtually medieval. I would not pay £6million for this home, however I might pay dearly for a constructing that may stand the take a look at of time like this.

In truth, will we thoughts if one thing is pricey if it ends in nice structure? I can not think about that this 12 months’s Stirling Prize winner, Magdalene School Library, did not break the bank, solely to serve a handful of fortunate Cambridge college students. However the cash was price it, making a constructing of nationwide and maybe even historic significance.


Reverse in scale, within the West Midlands part, a small home extension on Corten Avenue in Shropshire by kind:kind architects exhibits important architectural talent on a small funds.

The very best home within the North of England is the Bennetts Associates home in Cumbria, so contextual to an unnamed stone city that it’s barely seen. It’s a well-judged contextual modernity.

In Yorkshire, Tonkin Liu breaks the mould once more with their Previous Shed New Home, a unprecedented house primarily based on a love of books, set in a reinterpreted farm barn form. I additionally like ID Structure’s Barrow Home, typologically one other barn, however sitting unexpectedly on a contemporary concrete base, as if two homes in a single. However from a distance, this dwelling all the time blends nicely into the panorama.


The Welsh chapter is pleasantly rural. The attractive properties right here by Corridor+Bednarczyk and Martin Edwards are rightly contextual to their rural environment. The latter is of a captivating modesty and ease.

In Northern Eire, the choice of homes is presentable however lacks distinctive character. Nonetheless, in Scotland, an excellent new custom of good, contextual retreats and coastal properties by Mary Arnold-Foster, Dualchas and Denizen Works brings the e-book to a stable conclusion. These usually modest homes are arguably the best kind of development produced within the Scottish context as we speak.

21st Century Homes might be not a e-book I might select to purchase. It lacks a single, compelling story, and the homes listed below are too diverse in high quality. Edited a lot decrease, and the variety of homes perhaps halved, with correct architectural drawings, and there could be a clearer challenge right here. So a way more refined e-book by the identical crew, analyzing modern British home structure in better depth at its most glorious – what I feel it truly is – would absolutely have architects who would purchase it en masse whereas remaining interesting to a wider viewers.

Though the e-book manufacturing itself is enticing and the buildings are nicely described by Dominic Bradbury. However you’d at the very least count on that from the RIBA, would not you.

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