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  1. Wealth
September 8, 2011

RIBA announces best new house shortlist

By Spear's

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the six new private houses shortlisted for the 2011 RIBA Manser Medal for the best new house in the UK in association with HSBC Private Bank

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the six new private houses shortlisted for the 2011 RIBA Manser Medal for the best new house in the UK in association with HSBC Private Bank.

The prize is awarded to an individual house or major extension of architectural excellence, and this year’s shortlisted homes have budgets ranging from £500,000 to £2.6 million. The winning house will be announced at a prestigious ceremony on 10 November at the RIBA in London and the winning architect will receive £10,000 from the prize sponsor, HSBC Private Bank.

The architects on this year’s shortlist have summarised the hottest trends and current ‘must-haves’ for clients investing in newly designed private homes in the UK; wish-lists include the use of natural materials in a contemporary way, a strong integration with nature and the external environment, open plan living and a dedicated place for home working. Low maintenance and highly energy-efficient homes are also key to people’s requirements. The quality that is most likely to add value to a new home, according to one of the shortlisted architects, is a ‘sense of timelessness’, a good investment that will look as good in 10 or 20 years as it does today.

This year’s shortlisted houses certainly get close to nature with two dramatic homes, Balancing Barn and Ty Hedfan, both characterised by a dramatic cantilever: an overhanging structure which places the living rooms right in the middle of the woods or hovering over a river. Watson House’s large horizontal windows provide views from a hideaway spot in the New Forest and New Mission Hall in West Sussex makes a feature of its proximity to a protected oak tree.

The private house in North London is an architect’s reworking of a Brutalist house from the 1960s; the aim was to restore it to its original glory whilst creating more contemporary spaces by opening up the rooms and creating a beautiful roof garden. The house in Epsom has a luxurious double-height living space and strong environmental credentials with ground source heating and solar thermal water heating panels. One of the houses shortlisted this year (Balancing Barn) is available for the public to rent and experience life in a grand design.

The six houses shortlisted for the RIBA Manser Medal are:

– Balancing Barn, Suffolk by MVRDV with Mole Architects (top)
– House in Epsom, Surrey by Eldridge Smerin (above)
– House in North London by Duggan Morris Architects
– New Mission Hall, West Sussex by Adam Richards Architects
– Ty Hedfan, Brecon, Powys by Featherstone Young
– Watson House, New Forest National Park by John Pardey Architects

RIBA President Angela Brady said: “We all dream of our perfect home, moving around its light-filled spaces, sitting on a terrace or in a landscaped garden. It might be far from the madding crowd or in the heart of the city but it will transform the way we live our lives; because that is what great architecture does. These six clients have commissioned architects (in one case themselves) to realise that dream and the results are truly inspiring. Once again we are grateful to HSBC Private Bank for its work on this award and for rewarding the winners.’

Declan Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Private Bank, said:
“Our sponsorship of the RIBA Manser Medal reflects our belief that investing in innovative design adds both to the value of the property and the quality of the living experience. The shortlist showcases some outstanding examples of how clients and architects can work together to create exceptional homes and we look forward to finding out who will win the prestigious accolade later this year.”

Previous winners include Acme for Hunsett Mill (2010), Pitman Tozer Architects for The Gap House (2009), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Oxley Woods (2008) and Alison Brooks Architects for the Salt House (2007).

This year’s judges include:
Michael Manser CBE, architect
Friedrich Ludwig, architect with ACME
Peter Mackie, Managing Director, Property Vision (subsidiary of HSBC Private Bank)
Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards
Jo van Heyningen from Heyningen and Haward

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