The residence was selected from a six-entry shortlist by jurors Dido Milne, Director of CSK Architects; Bev Dockray, the co-founder of Coppin Dockray Architects; Jessam Al-Jawad, Director and co-founder of multi-disciplinary architecture studio Al-Jawad Pike; and Albert Hill of The Modern House and Inigo.
The single-family residence drew its inspiration from Moroccan riads and presents itself as a “domestic greenhouse” at once concealed from street-level viewers and beset by an influx of natural light. It comes shrouded in a veil of native fauna and slidable translucent polycarbonate facade panels. Inside, the home’s five bedrooms are arranged around a central skylit atrium. The project was completed with only a modest budget and incorporates a host of sustainable materials such as CLT and recycled cork.
The ground-floor kitchen, living room, and dining areas of the home can all be subdivided thanks to an installed floor-to-ceiling curtain apparatus. A painted green central steel staircase connects to the bedrooms on the upper level, where double-aspect views in each room combine with an accessible roof terrace to offer a vital connection to the home’s gardens and street below.
A materials palette that includes CLT walls, reclaimed concrete breeze blocks, and rubber flooring made from recycled cork maximizes the energy efficiency of the home, aided by air-source heat pumps and PV paneling that further reduce the cost of its operation for clients Tom and Amandine.
The jury’s Chair, Dido Milne, said finally: “Green House, affectionately known as the ‘Tottenham Riad,’ is a true oasis within the city. It is both airy and cosy, bold yet respectful of its neighbors. Your eye is simultaneously drawn upwards to open sky and down and out across the living room to verdant greenery.”
“The close architect and client relationship, with a joint desire to deliver a truly sustainable home, is evident in all of the design decisions and detailing,” Milne continued. “On a confined urban site, the house was delivered to a tight budget with an economy of means — and it remains richer for it. Nowhere do you feel the site or budget was restricted. It feels both luxurious, homely, deeply private and relaxing. It’s an extraordinary ordinary house and a remarkable collaboration.”
The RIBA House of the Year award was established in 2013 and is awarded to the best new house or house extension designed by an architect in the UK. Previous winners include David Kohn Architects for The Red House (2022), Alison Brooks Architects for House on the Hill (2021), McGonigle McGrath for House Lessans (2019), HaysomWard Miller for Lochside House (2018), Richard Murphy Architects for Murphy House (2016), Skene Catling de la Peña for Flint House (2015), Loyn & Co for Stormy Castle (2014), and Carl Turner Architects for Slip House (2013).
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