The prize celebrates the life of the aspiring architect, who was tragically murdered in 1993. Each entry has a budget under £1 million ($1.4 million).
Tonkin Liu’s project worked to refurbish a disused water facility within the Castle Acre Priory west of Norfolk. What was once a forgotten public utility is now a remade private residence, accessed by a cantilevered CLT spiral staircase that stabilizes the adapted structure.
Bridges link the central staircase to the stacked sleeping chambers that surround it. An overhead skylight works alongside strategically placed mirrors to flood the shaft with soft natural light. At the top, the converted steel water tank offers horizon-line views of the surrounding treetops and waving barley fields below.
“With nowhere to hide in this amazing setting, the structure is both brave and frugal, a gentle giant,” a RIBA description reads. “Not only is the architectural salvage an excellent example of a new emerging construction methodology, the design also intelligently fuses both low carbon measures and structural engineering.”
“The overriding feeling is one with a very happy ending,” it concludes, “a fairy tale in which the Tower magically re-builds itself.”
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