The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the 2014 RIBA Manser Medal, and the 2014 Stephen Lawrence Prize, the UK’s most prestigious housing design award. Both honors recognize fresh architectural talent and smaller construction budgets, respectively.
The Stormy Castle by Loyn & Co, a contemporary private house in an area of outstanding natural beauty atop a hillside on the Gower peninsula in Wales, has been named Britain's best new home with the Manser Medal; and the undeniably playful House No 7 on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides has earned the Stephen Lawrence Prize.
“The aim of the Manser Medal has always been to influence the public to demand, and the mass house builders to supply, better designed homes,” said RIBA Manser Medal Chair Michael Manser. “I believe by highlighting brave architecture like this year’s winner, Stormy Castle, we can showcase what can be achieved.”
House No 7
“House No 7 hails from a rich British tradition of buildings which are defined by the location of site and the traditional methods of vernacular construction,” said Stephen Lawrence Prize founder Marco Goldschmied. “The rebuilt cottage and new living spaces cleverly wrap to create an intimate daylight space at its core. The result is an inventive play on typology; the small cluster of different components creates a new identity while sitting comfortably in the landscape amongst other small traditional buildings. It’s an intelligent and witty response to the functional and logistical challenges of location, orientation and isolation and worthy of the 2014 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize.”
The judges for the Manser Medal were Michael Manser CBE (chair), Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox, Lady Patty Hopkins, Carl Turner (winner of the 2013 Manser Medal) and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards.
Despite its remote and unforgiving local environment, the architects for the Stormy Castle created a three-story home that pulls a remarkable amount of natural light deep into its interior. Complementing this are polished concrete floors flowing throughout and crystalline white ceilings, which help create a contemporary feel in such a rural setting. Rusted steel on the external doors, cladding and roof of the retained barn evoke a raw, honest aesthetic and sit well with materials used locally in agriculture buildings.
The judges for the Stephen Lawrence Prize were Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon; Doreen Lawrence CBE, the mother of Stephen Lawrence; Marco Goldschmied, RIBA Past President and Founder of the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which established the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize in 1998; Anthony Boulanger, Partner at AY Architects, winners of the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize; and Joe Morris, Director at Duggan Morris Architects, winners of the Prize in 2012.
House No 7
House No 7 was created from the restoration and extension of a B-listed Tiree black-house crofter’s cottage that was in a state of disrepair. The site was transformed into a contemporary family home and guesthouse united by a central glass atrium.
Each of the firms will be honored during ceremonies later this year.