Two projects have been named to RIBA’s influential House of the Year award shortlist.
Tonkin Liu’s amazing conversion of a decades-old water tower in the Grade-I Listed Castle Acre complex north of Norfolk was the first project to be named. The careful intervention left intact the structure’s rusted exterior while inside, a reconfiguration of the existing materials was arranged using the original exterior bracing structure as support.
The water tank was cut vertically to afford a 360-view of the surrounding fields and castle area. The tower was later infilled with CLT floors and a spiral staircase that stabilizes the structure as it provides passive ventilation for the interior residential space.
The team at Allison Brooks did an equally worthy job transforming a farmhouse structure in the middle of Gloucestershire in four phases in order to house an extensive collection of Indian and African diaspora sculptures.
The house was given a three-story extension on one of its sides that opens up much of the existing interior to allow for a commercial gallery quality display of its art. The extension features a layout of deliberately skewed geometries which create a series of shifting planes while the extant farmhouse’s upstairs was made into a more comfortable and light-filled space as complemented by the reworked kitchen and resolved staircase structure embedded with smaller sculptures.
The subsequent shortlisted projects will be announced on November 24th, December 1st, and December 8th respectively. This year’s list is being featured on the BBC’s Grand Design Series. A winner will be announced in early 2022.
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