The wait is finally over! Today, RIBA revealed Richard Murphy Architects' Murphy House as the 2016 RIBA House of the Year. Henning Stummel Architects' Tin House in west London was also announced as the seventh project to join the shortlist, which included notable contenders like Loyn & Co.'s Outhouse, Coffey Architects' Modern Mews, and the Covert House by DSDHA.
Architect Richard Murphy designed the Murphy House as his personal residence. The house — which sits on an awkward plot at the end of a terrace in the UNESCO site of New Town in Edinburgh — only has a floor area of 165 m2. Despite its modest size, the Murphy House comprises of five levels, with hidden spaces and a quirky “Wallace and Gromit”-like jigsaw element of moving pieces and disappearing walls that charmed the jury.
The house includes three bedrooms, a living/dining/kitchen area at varying levels, a study, basement storage, garage, utility room, and a roof terrace. In creating the scheme, Richard Murphy drew inspiration from his own design heroes like 20th-century architect Carlo Scarpa.
Jury member Philip Thorn of Hiscox Home Insurance praised the Murphy House as a delightful “box of tricks” and Richard Murphy's clever use of space in his scheme. “Every room contained a surprise and the attention to detail was exceptional,” Thorn said.
RIBA President Jane Duncan praised the Murphy House as “a worthy winner” of the House of the Year award. “Nearly a decade in the making, this house is a true labour of love for Richard,” Duncan said in a statement. “The Murphy House is this year’s best example of how to overcome challenging constraints – from planning restrictions and an awkward site in an urban location — to build a stunning house. Plus the architect overcame one of the biggest obstacles: a demanding client – himself!”
“We celebrated our 25th birthday last month and to receive this award is a wonderful present with such astonishing levels of public interest,” Richard Murphy said in a statement. “It’s been a huge pleasure to develop a lifetime’s themes and now it gives me great pleasure to live there.”
The Tin House
The Tin House was the seventh and final project added to the House of the Year shortlist. Designed by Henning Stummel Architects, the Tin House is a secluded domestic space that comprises six different pavilions clad in a utilitarian, earth-colored metal and pyramidal top-lit forms.
Learn more about the Tin House here.
You can find more photos of the Murphy House in the gallery below.
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