Along with the 2017 Stirling Prize winning announcement, RIBA also revealed the Houseboat by Mole Architects and Rebecca Granger Architects as the 2017 Stephen Lawrence Prize winner, and the Bedales School as Client of the Year.
Established by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation in 1998 in memory of aspiring young architect Stephen Lawrence, the prize recognizes the best UK-based projects designed by emerging talent and were built with a construction budget of less than £1 million.
The Client of the Year Award honors notable clients and their role in the creation of fine architecture and the positive impact that they can help create for their local communities.
Keep reading for more about the winning projects.
2017 Stephen Lawrence Prize winner: Houseboat by Mole Architects and Rebecca Granger Architects
Selected out of six shortlisted projects, The Houseboat is a new residential home overlooking Poole harbor. Designed for developer Solidspace, the project is a result of several years of design and collaboration between the client and Mole Architects, with Rebecca Granger Architects as project managers.
The Houseboat is “based upon a staggered section with a half-basement; this configuration enables an open staircase which allows a house of interconnected volumes rather than rooms — a section that Solidspace explores in all their homes. The house is approached through the trees, and the curved form minimises the actual volume of the house,” Mole Architects describes.
“Once inside the space soars above, with living spaces perched within the two curved spaces, looking out to sea. It’s a breath-taking series of spaces. Internal materials are exposed concrete, timber, encaustic tiles and steel. Externally the black-stained timber larch boards sit above the exposed concrete base. The organic form of the house, together with the staggered section and spectacular site has created a house of originality and delight,” Mole Architects continues.
“The house was conceived as two upturned hulls propped together and facing the sea. Douglas Fir ribs are propped against a concrete frame that extends up from the solid base. The ribs in turn support curved prefabricated panels to create the external walls. A glazed west screen faces the sea. Although a simple concept, this is a complex building. Geometries were carefully considered to make construction possible; specialist timber frame manufacturer The Timber Frame Company produced their own 3D model, and collaborated with us on the method of construction. The concrete portal is central to the overall structural stability, as well as being an incredible sculptural presence in the house.”
2017 Client of the Year: Bedales School (nominated by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios)
This project brought about a new Art and Design building in the heart of the Bedales School campus to replace the existing facility. Students were involved throughout the design process — from its inception to helping select the architect to the use of spaces and details.
“The honesty of the building’s material expression allows users to see how it was put together, which really chimes with the client’s idea of creating an educational instrument, especially given the school’s interest in ‘hands on’ building construction. For the spatial arrangement, a lead was taken from the previous well-lit single-storey interconnecting studio block and passing between each of the studios, hence seeing each of the design disciplines to reach the next.”
“The single-storey existing studios have been re-invented over two storeys, with generous overhangs to make external spaces for use by students, which was also a conscious move to manage area and the tight budget. This is a building that engages with the landscape, bringing the outside and inside spaces together, and with the use of simple materials which help to make the two be read together.”
“Playful use of light through layering of lattice screens to façade and external covered areas offers a joyful and varied experience for users and visitors alike. It is a piece of intelligent client commissioning and a great design response.”
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