House on the Hill by Alison Brooks Architects announced as 2021 House of the Year winner
By Josh Niland|
Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021
In its final update to the House of the Year competition, the Royal Institute of British Architects has today announced Alison Brooks Architects’ House on the Hill as the winner of the organization's prestigious annual award.
The house features a bespoke contemporary extension of an 18th-century farmhouse structure in Gloucestershire.
Overlooking the Wye Valley, House on the Hill is owned by a pair of art collectors who saw the conversion as an exciting opportunity to create a gallery-like setting in their own private home. The architects were able to accomplish this transformation by opening up all three stories of the original farmhouse building before installing the two-story extension into which it seamlessly flows.
RIBA President Simon Alford called the project both “intriguing and distinguished” and commended the architectural team for their “geometric design [that] skilfully fuses together the old with the new — connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years,” adding finally that it constitutes, in his view, an “extraordinary labor of love in architectural form.”
The end result was the product of nearly a decade of collaboration between ABA and the homeowners, who happily declared their “admiration for the scheme” adding that “ours was a very protracted project, so the client and architect relationship had to be one of mutual confidence. It was always a pleasure working with Alison and her project architects, and we learned a great deal in the process.”
“It’s a real honor to win RIBA House of the Year amongst an accomplished shortlist of beautiful projects,” the firm’s founder said in a statement. “I see private house commissions as a rare opportunity to test new ideas in a concentrated form — they are the built equivalent of writing an essay. So, this accolade is a testament to my client’s belief in the value of architecture and their willingness to embrace the new.”
The award was announced live as part of BBC Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year broadcast.
citizen · Dec 09, 21 12:16 AM
Floor plan, please.
tduds · Dec 09, 21 12:57 AM
Plans, and a lot more images, on their website: https://www.alisonbrooksarchit...
citizen · Dec 09, 21 1:05 AM
Thanks, tduds. (What happened to the thumbs?)
It's not a floor plan, but I'll take what I can get.
citizen · Dec 09, 21 1:06 AM
^ I posted a site plan, but it didn't take, apparently.
What happened to the edit and thumbs functions?
Volunteer · Dec 09, 21 10:54 AM
The new addition makes no references to the original house at all. That house, to be fair, is butt-ugly itself. The main entrance of the old home seems very small and cramped and unwelcoming . The dinky lights on either side of the door are unfortunate. The original house does not seem to be anywhere near 300 years old - 1880s to 1930s maybe?. The interiors of the new portion and of the original do seem very well done.
With respect to the front door, go big or go home. Can we talk about windows?
will galloway · Dec 09, 21 4:14 PM
so fake news on the old house thing eh?
Alison Brooks makes all of her houses like that, so it fits in with her work. She is definitely a follower of the idea that new should be contrasted with the old rather than act like a bad mimic. RIBA apparently agrees. And yeah, it is not like the original building was all that stellar to begin with...
Personally I am simply happy to watch her star slowly but surely rise. Nicely done.
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