RIBA House of the Year 2017
Over the last few months, Simply Storage have been looking at the future of modern housing in the UK and, more specifically, the ways in which houses in Britain are getting smaller and smaller in order to accommodate for the current housing crisis. We have also been looking at the ways in which this decrease in space will impact domestic storage, and the solutions offered by companies like Simply Storage which can combat this problem.
Continuing in a similar vein – albeit a more optimistic one – this month we will be taking a look at RIBA’s House of the Year award presented in conjunction with Grand Designs: House of the Year.
Located at the heart of the picturesque, rolling hills of Northumbria, Shawm is a remarkable feat of sustainable architecture. The house itself was conceived and built by Richard Pender in partnership with project architect Dan Kerr, with a view to providing a home for his ageing parents.
The building itself began with a barn which Richard aimed to convert. Firstly, he structured a bespoke jig in order to create the home’s timber frame, on top of which he applied timber cladding and other finishes. On the ground floor, there are wonderful panoramic windows which offer breathtaking views of the Northumbrian countryside.
Caring Wood, unlike Shawm, is a vast, labyrinthine home, the aim of which being to reconcile the traditional “English country house” with modern architecture, and to house three generations of the same family under one roof, too. It won its position on the RIBA shortlist thanks to its excellent manipulation of space, which is perfectly exemplified by its quirky, sloping roof lines and living room which is embedded in the hillside below.
The Kentish home was also praised for the particular set of construction materials used. That is, the core structure of the house is almost entirely composed of locally sourced handmade peg tiles, locally quarried ragstone and locally coppiced chestnut cladding. The result of all of this architectural resourcefulness is a home that feels at one with its environment, and offers a true sense of place.
Nestled neatly into the White Cliffs of Dover, Ness Point lives in perfect harmony with its perch. A white, undulating external shell forms the perimeter of the house, intercut with large, floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible sea views. Inside, each room follows the waving contours of the structure perfectly, with each room adapted to facilitate the viewing of a particular external landmark. One room, for example, offers an ideal vantage point to view the passing ships of the English Channel, while another looks straight out onto the dramatic cliffs from which the house acquired its name: Ness point.
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