Winners of 2013 RIBA Manser Medal and Stephen Lawrence Prize
By Bustler Editors|
Monday, Sep 30, 2013
Last week Thursday at a special award ceremony in London, the Royal Institute of British Architects announced the winners of this year's Stirling Prize and Lubetkin Prize.
Also presented with institute honors that night were two projects which represent the UK's most excellent small projects: the 2013 Manser Medal for the best new home went to Slip House by Carl Turner Architects (click here for the shortlist), and the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize in recognition of fresh talent and smaller construction budgets went to Montpelier Community Nursery by AY Architects (shortlist).
Winner of the 2013 Manser Medal: Slip House
Location: Brixton, England
Architect: Carl Turner Architects
Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop
Contractor: Carl Turner Architects
Contract Value: £450,000
Date of completion: Sept 2012
Gross internal area: 195sqm
This is a project that captures the spirit of the 18th century terraced house – a prototype if ever there was one – and gives it a 21st century twist.
Sites like the one now graced by Slip House abound all over London and our major cities: slithers of backland, narrow gaps between other houses. On a tiny fragment of Brixton Carl Tuner has made an elegant and confident prototypical house composed of multiple standard elements and components. Yet the executed design is a highly personal solution, which results in a thoroughly adaptable interior environment.
A standardised and semi-industrial material palette is employed throughout, using readily available, cheap materials such sandblasted glass panels for the skin and Bison pre-cast concrete Hollowcore blocks for the floors, yet they are used in an innovative way. The joinery, hand-crafted by the architect, uses materials such as cheap ply, but again the art is in the deployment. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution.
In one sense, what the architect has created is a stage-set which in its current layout perfectly suits the taste of the family. Yet it could easily be transformed to suit the needs of different occupiers through the addition of colour, texture and soft materials, yet still remain true to the spirit of the original. Even its skin could change, chameleon-like, with other materials. Next door the architect has designed a very unidentical twin and he is busy discussing ideas for a terrace based on Slip House with house-builders.
The project demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design. Solar thermal panels are linked to the ground source heat pump to increase efficiency, utilising the multiple piled foundations.
The house was designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and Passiv Haus standards but is capable of being ‘unsealed’ by dint of opening windows. At no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created. Little wonder then the project was one of Kevin McCloud’s favourite ‘Grand Designs’, one he described as an urban sanctuary.
The four other houses shortlisted for the 2013 RIBA Manser Medal (previously on Bustler) were:
- Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
- Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects
- Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
- Rockmount, The Wirral by Shed KM
The 2013 Manser Medal judges were: Michael Manser CBE; Hugh Broughton, architect; Joe Morris, architect; Caroline Cole, architect and Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards.
Winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2013: Montpelier Community Nursery
Location: Brecknock Road, London N19, England
Architect: AY Architects
Client: Camden Community Nurseries
Contractor: Forest Gate Construction Co
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Services Engineer: King Shaw Associates
Contract Value: £429,000
Date of completion: April 2012
Gross internal area: 136 sq m
The architects were key to the vision for the nursery which is why it was delivered without compromise and produces an all-encompassing educational experience.
The location is a park set back from the street surrounded by rear gardens walls and a detached house used as a special school. The building is designed to maximise sunlight, with a part-glazed saw tooth roof orientated north-south. The form of the building is shaped to fill the permitted footprint and opens onto a part-sheltered play area.
Internally the rooms are treated as giant furniture items working against the geometry of the structure. They are cleverly designed with and easily navigable by a small child.
The selection of materials was a key part of the success. The black stained Siberian larch cladding allows the nursery to sit inconspicuously in amongst the treescape and contrasts with the white-washed internal timber against which the playful objects to come to life.
The five other projects that were shortlisted for the prize (previously on Bustler) are:
- 25 Tanners Hill (private home and gallery), London by Dow Jones Architects
- The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, Edinburgh, by Simpson & Brown Architects
- Church Walk (housing), London by David Mikhail and Annalie Riches
- The Filling Station, London by Carmody Groarke
- Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects
The judges for the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize were: Baroness Lawrence; Marco Goldschmied, architect and past RIBA President; Mary Duggan, architect and winner of the 2012 Stephen Lawrence Prize; and Phil Coffey winner of the 2011 Stephen Lawrence Prize.
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