Out of six shortlisted projects, the Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton has won the 2019 Stephen Lawrence Prize, RIBA announced today. Established by The Marco Goldschmied Foundation in memory of aspiring young architect Stephen Lawrence, the yearly award distinguishes notable architectural projects with a construction budget of less than £1 million. Recent prize winners include Old Shed New House, The Houseboat, and House of Trace.
The jury praised the Cork House for its “whole-life approach” to sustainability. The entire house is made from cork construction, emits next to zero carbon, and can be constructed by hand. The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL designed, tested, and developed the project in partnership with the team.
Additionally, the RIBA announced Network Rail as the 2019 Client of the Year. The award distinguishes notable clients and their role in promoting high-quality architecture and the positive impact they can help create for their local communities.
Read more about the winners below. And in case you missed it, the 2019 Stirling Prize winner was also announced today.
2019 Stephen Lawrence Prize winner: Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
“Sited within the area of a Grade II Listed mill house dating back to the early nineteenth century, the Cork House beautifully reflects and respects the natural surroundings in form and construction,” the jury writes in their report on the Cork House.
“The biogenic construction of prefabricated cork blocks and engineered timber is carbon negative at completion and has remarkably low whole life carbon. All the components can be reused or recycled, and the expanded cork blocks have been made using by-product and waste from cork forestry and the cork stopper industry.”
“Internally, the biophilic elements such as the exposed cork and oak flooring captures the light and creates a wonderfully tranquil sensory experience. In summer the skylights open to bring a sense of lightness to the space and in winter the snug interiors emanate a sense of warmth and protection. As sustainability becomes integral to all construction, this development pushes us further to look beyond the requirements and aspire to really integrate ourselves with nature.”
“The inventiveness lies within the structure’s ease of assembly. The whole house is ‘designed for disassembly’ and can be constructed by hand. An incredible feat by the architects to achieve such a delicately intriguing home that sits humbly amongst its surroundings, is sustainably sound and can be easily assembled. As the first of its type, it is truly exciting to think what this project could inspire within the architectural world.”
“Form, function and footprint are all equally considered and respected. This is a truly well thought through, carefully researched project that has created a home that inspires those that are lucky enough to visit. A noble, momentous model to aspire to.”
Along with the designers and The Bartlett School of Architecture, the collaborative team also includes The University of Bath, Amorim UK, Ty-Mawr the BRE and consultants Arup and BRE.
2019 RIBA Client of the Year: Network Rail
Network Rail was recognized for their significant investments in transformative railway infrastructure projects in Manchester and London.
Some of Network Rail's projects include the Manchester Piccadilly Station by BDP (2003), St. Pancras International by Foster + Partners (2008), King’s Cross Station by John McAslan + Partners (2014), and King’s Cross Square by Stanton Williams (2015). Their notable projects in 2019 include the Hackney Wick Station, with London Legacy Development Corporation, by Landolt + Brown; London Bridge Station by Grimshaw; and Ordsall Chord in Manchester by BDP.
“With their incredible record of commissioning RIBA chartered architects and their commitment to the creation of high-quality civic spaces, Network Rail is a worthy winner of the 2019 RIBA Client of the Year,” said Jo Bacon, Chair of the 2019 RIBA Client of the Year jury, in a statement.
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