AR House Awards 2021 results announced, with former car repair shop crowned winner
By Niall Patrick Walsh|
Monday, Dec 6, 2021
The Architectural Review has announced the results of the AR House Awards for 2021, recognizing six residential projects from around the world.
The winning house was chosen by a judging panel that included three previous AR House finalists: Fernanda Canales, Mexico-based architect, designer, critic, and curator; Tina Gregorič, co-founder of Dekleva Gregorič Architects; and David Leech, founder of David Leech Architects.
Winner: El Garaje in Madrid, Spain, by Nomos
The top prize this year went to El Garaje, where architects Nomos transformed a car repair shop into a home in Madrid, Spain. Responding to the complex architectural interventions required by the space’s commercial past, including an exposed street-facing entrance, Nomos capitalized on the space’s high ceilings and open plan to create a dynamic affordable home for a young couple.
Design interventions include carefully punching new windows into the concrete façade, and retaining the frame of the old garage door, allowing natural light to flood through the deep floor plan via a sequence of aligned doorframes. Judge Fernanda Canales praised the project for how it “rethinks the housing typology as an element to reactivate underused spaces in cities and transform rigid and obsolete infrastructure into lively solutions.”
Highly Commended: House Hamburgö in Bohuslän, Sweden, by Manthey Kula
Set in a rocky landscape, Manthey Kula’s House Hamburgö responds to the area’s low, fragile sunlight with a long, slim house hung from two glulam arches. Praising the highly-commended project, judge Tina Gregorič said: “The project cunningly embraces the ruin of the barn for an elevated working and living experience in a remote setting with modest yet precise intervention.”
Highly Commended: House in Kanazawa in Japan, by Shota Nakanishi Architects
Shota Nakanishi Architects’ highly commended house sees a large, single-sided, gently tilted roof hanging over a sheltered veranda on a street edge. The result is a social space on the ground floor and dynamic living areas in the upper floors. Judge David Leech noted: “The architecture is the opposite of a singular concept or diagram but instead is built up in layers of many smaller thoughts — environmental, spatial, contextual and material among many others.”
Commended: Beaconsfield House in Perth, Australia, by Simon Pendal Architect
In their commended Beaconsfield House, Simon Pendal Architect extended and renovated a 1940s suburban home to create a series of spaces transitioning in and out of a large open garden. Judge Tina Gregorič said: “Rethinking the suburban cottage as typology and culture and fragility of hyper-local, Beaconsfield house reintroduces particular indigenous awareness to create fluid, indoor-outdoor domesticity.”
Weekend House on Salamis Island, Greece, by AREA (Architecture Research Athens)
AREA’s Weekend House sees imposing walls guiding visitors to a primary patio, creating a gradual transition between the street and interior. This transition is further accentuated by interior void spaces to connect the home to the outdoors. Judge Fernanda Canales said that the project “promotes ambiguous definitions between the interiors and the exteriors and favours the use of elements that allow architecture to change.”
Hlöðuberg Artist Studio in Skarðsströnd, Iceland, by Studio Bua
Studio Bua’s studio is set within the old walls of a barn, spatially responding to the needs of its artist inhabitant. Judge Fernanda Calales described the project as “an appealing example on how to deal with obsolete structures and respect the existing landscape. The intervention portrays an understanding of architecture as an ongoing process based in reusing materials and adding space and light.”
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