Longlist revealed for Manser Medal

23 Jun 2014

Homes across the UK battle it out for the 2014 RIBA Manser Medal

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released the longlist for the 2014 Manser Medal, recognising the best in residential building design across the UK this year. Each of the 23 properties that made it to the final stages was selected for their aesthetic prowess, sustainable qualities and innovative design elements.

Click here to view the full longlist as selected by Honorary President of Hiscox, Robert Hiscox, Michael Manser CBE, Lady Patty Hopkins and Carl Turner, the 2013 recipient of the Manser Medal and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards. The following are excerpts from the submissions for the six projects pictured to the left, starting top left and working clockwise.

Tree House, 6a Architects

This sensitive and subtle little building elegantly extends a Grade II listed house, so its occupant, who has become increasingly immobile and wheelchair bound, can live independently in her home as an integral member of her family, with her husband and their daughters; and can continue actively to enjoy her garden. This new single storey extension makes all the public rooms and principal bedroom accessible and effectively re-orientates the focus of the house. A ramp within the frame of the veranda connects the two ground floor levels, providing access between the kitchen and living room.

Red Bridge House, Smerin Architects

The client sought a new 4 bedroom house set in a pastoral glade. The procurement was a conventional contract - however the contractor became in financial difficulty and the client self-managed the completion of the house. The house employs a dramatically cantilevered box aligned with the primary view over a small pond and brook to the south. The northern entrance facade has a largely closed Corten elevation through which a Corten footbridge signals the entrance. 

WoodBlock House, dRMM Architects

This is a joyful, sensual house which is the product of a genuine collaboration between inventive architects and their imaginative artist clients. The building is almost totally made of timber, including its floors, walls and ceilings. This gives it an exceptional visceral quality; everywhere one can smell the wood and everything has a tactile handmade quality. The brief was to create a studio, home and office for the artists Richard Woods and his partner; and their family. Woods required a printing workshop where his work can be manufactured.

Loughloughan Barn, McGarry-Moon Architects Ltd

Built from rough-cut and locally found stone, these simple vernacular barn structures can be found dotted throughout the rural landscape of Northern Ireland. The site for Loughloughan Barn in County Antrim overlooks a lush farming landscape with scenic views of Slemish Mountain. The talented young practice of McGarry Moon Architects has maximised the potential of the barn and its setting with a simple and carefully detailed contemporary design. The restrained palette of materials includes stone, timber, glass and zinc for the roof. Refined detailing allows these materials to be fully appreciated.

Luker House, Jamie Fobert Architects

This beautiful house is an essay in how to transform a totally unpromising site into something poetic and memorable. Sited in backlands with the prospect of new development overlooking the site, the design makes a benefit of developing a one-sided relationship to a sequence of external spaces. It is difficult to evoke the quality of visual refinement within this building. Wherever you look there are combinations of planes, surfaces and light of unusual quality. A huge horizontal opening connects the kitchen and dining room to the garden, the whole window opening and disappearing against the adjacent wall. The plan and section have an unexpected geometry, a kind of stretching out of forms and shapes that plays games with the orthogonal.

House no 7, Isle of Tiree, Denizen Works

This restoration and extension of a ruined, B-listed, Tiree black-house effectively provides two houses within a single curtilage. The extensions follow the spirit of local agricultural buildings in their materials, roof forms and particularly in the use of corrugated cladding. The tradition of reconstructing Hebridean black-houses with black tarred roofing, rather than their original thatched roofs (held down by stone weighted netting), is sufficiently long established to have become an alternative local vernacular. This approach, allied to the utilitarian agricultural appearance of the extensions, creates an external form that is both contextual and appropriate.

The RIBA Manser Medal 2014 winner will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize dinner in October 2014.

News Review image credits

Top row l-r: Tree House, 6a Architecture; Red Bridge House, Smerin Architects; WoodBlock House, drMM Architects

Second row l-r: Wildfowl Cottage, 5th Studio; 121 The Kench, MELOY Architects; The Luker House, Jamie Fobert Architects

Third row l-r: House no7, Isle of Tiree, Denizen Works; Loughloughan Barn, McGarry-Moon Architects Ltd; New Barn, Rural Office for Architecture

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