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Hunsett Mill Extension by Acme Wins RIBA Manser Medal for Best New House in the UK
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2010 |

Hunsett Mill on the Norfolk Broads by London-based Acme architects has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Manser Medal 2010 for the best new house or major extension in the UK in association with HSBC Private Bank. The presentation of the award took place at a ceremony at the RIBA, at which the winner received an increased prize of £10,000 ($16,000) and a new specially commissioned trophy designed by artist Petr Wiegl.

Winner of the Manser Medal 2010 for the best new house or major extension in the UK: Hunsett Mill by Acme architects (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Click above image to view slideshow
Winner of the Manser Medal 2010 for the best new house or major extension in the UK: Hunsett Mill by Acme architects (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Acme architects has won the award for its arresting extension to Hunsett Mill, a nineteenth century Grade 2 listed mill keepers house on the Norfolk Broads at England's far east coast. Building a major extension that more than doubled the size of the original house on a uniquely picturesque site was challenging. Acme created an extension in the form of a shadow of the original house, which the judges describe as 'more akin to a piece of art than a piece of rural, domestic architecture.'

Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Click above image to view slideshow
Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Speaking about the winning building Ruth Reed, President of the RIBA said: 'Hunsett Mill, like a lot of really good architecture, results from one simple, strong idea. Instead of creating either a pastiche of the Victorian red-brick cottage, or a self-effacing glass box, the architects’ truly inventive solution was to create a kind of triple-shadow of the original, in black charred timber, crossed by the shadow of the neighbouring windmill’s arms.

Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Click above image to view slideshow
Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

A private house commission gives the architect an opportunity to get inside the ambitions of the client and produce a shared personal statement. It is a building type in which every detail matters and in which they matter to client and architect in equal measure. Houses like Hunsett Mill do not get built without the extraordinary faith in and commitment to the architects by their clients. The RIBA is grateful to HSBC Private Bank for its strong support of this award.'

Hunsett Mill (Photo: Friedrich Ludewig)

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Hunsett Mill (Photo: Friedrich Ludewig)

Declan Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Private Bank, said: 'Private homebuilding and redevelopment is becoming increasingly popular with owners expecting more from their homes. Developing your own property means that particular expectations and potentially more difficult requirements can be met, as Hunsett Mill brilliantly demonstrates. As a bank that offers unrivalled property expertise for private clients, we are delighted to support an award that recognises superb design and innovation.'

Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Click above image to view slideshow
Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

The five other shortlisted houses were:

  • Bateman’s Row, London by Theis and Khan
  • Furzey Hall Farm, Gloucestershire by Waugh Thisleton Architects
  • Leaf House, London by James Gorst Architects
  • Martello Tower Y, Suffolk by Piercy Conner Architects with Billings Jackson Industrial Design
  • Zero Carbon House, Birmingham by John Christophers

Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Click above image to view slideshow
Hunsett Mill (Photo: Cristobal Palma)

Previous winners of the RIBA Manser Medal include Pitman Tozer Architects for The Gap House (2009), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Oxley Woods (2008) and Alison Brooks Architects for the Salt House (2007).

Judges for this year’s award were: past RIBA President Michael Manser CBE; HSBC Private Bank’s property expert Peter Mackie, Managing Director of its Property Vision subsidiary; architects Luke Tozer from Pitman Tozer and Deborah Saunt from DSDHA; and the RIBA’s Head of Awards, Tony Chapman.



Comments:
Richard Baguley
Dilham, Norfolk
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Your ridiculous and egregious article starts with a picture of a ruined building giving the impression that this was the status quo ante. You know full well that this is not so thus your article includes a blatant lie.

It is typical of your ilk that you barge in without a thought or understanding of local vernacular and wreck a Broadland icon.

Award for excellence? My foot! More likely an award for how NOT to renovate an iconic and historic building. There is so much wrong with this appalling edifice to banality that (a) I can't list them all and (b) you idiots wouldn't understand anyway.

You should know the horror that this desecration has caused locally and that the architect, owner and award giver are all held in the utmost contempt here.

The Emperor has no new clothes. That such desecration should be awarded is a solecism and a travesty of all that is good for local heritage: may you live to profoundly regret the foolishness of your asinine and execrable actions.

Kimberleigh Harcourt
Norwich, Norfolk
Monday, December 06, 2010
I must agree with Richard.

Norfolk Architects
Gorleston, Norfolk
Monday, February 25, 2013
I agree with the judges comments that it is more like a piece of art than an extension. However, this raises the issue that internally the house looks like a show room. Do not mistake my comment, the extension is very beautiful, however it is not a space that I perceive as liveable. There is no 'home feel' to the interior design and gives the feeling of coldness and isolation. Overall I am not a fan of the design, however I can see it's appeal.

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