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Shortlist for the 2013 RIBA Manser Medal highlights the UK’s best new homes
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 |

The Royal Institute of British Architects has revealed its shortlist for the 2013 RIBA Manser Medal - Best New Home -- the UK's most distinguished private home design award. The annual competition has set the standard for producing great architecture across the country since 1966. Locally presented and judged, the RIBA Awards are specifically for structures in the UK by RIBA Chartered Architects and RIBA International Fellows. Winners are also considered for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Selected by past RIBA National and RIBA regional winners, the 2013 Manser Medal shortlist comprise of the following projects:

  • Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects
  • Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM
  • Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
  • Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects
  • Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Previous winners in recent years include Maison L by architecturepossibles; Hampstead Lane by Duggan Morris (2011), Acme for Hunsett Mill (2010), 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).

This year's judges included: Michael Manser CBE; Hugh Broughton, architect; Joe Morris, architect; Caroline Cole, architect and Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards.

The Manser Medal winner will be announced on Sept. 26 at the RIBA Stirling Prize party in London. The winning architects will receive a trophy designed by artist Petr Weigl.

Scroll down further to see project images and the judges' citations.

Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

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Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

Slip House

Location: London
Architect: Carl Turner Architects
Client: Private
Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop 
Contractor: Carl Turner Architects
Contract Value: £450,000
Date of completion: September 2012
Gross internal area: 195 sq m

"This elegant and confident project is a prototype house composed of multiple standard elements. Yet the executed design is a highly personal solution, which results in a humane interior environment. A standardized and semi-industrial material palette is employed throughout. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution.

The project demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low-energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design.

Solar thermal panels are linked to the ground source heat pump to increase efficiency, utilizing multiple piled foundations. But at no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created."

Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

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Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

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Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

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Slip House, London by Carl Turner Architects. Photo: Tim Crocker.

Rockmount

Location: The Wirral
Architect: ShedKM
Client: confidential
Contractor: Paragon Construction Group
Structural Engineer: Joule Consulting Engineers
Services Engineer: Progressive Services Design
Contract Value: confidential  
Date of completion: January 2011
Gross internal area: 450 sq m

"The site is an extraordinary elevated mound with views towards the setting sun across the River Dee to the North Wales coast. Shed KM’s ingenious response is a new take on a classic modern linear house plan.

Two linear blocks rotated at 90° to each other divide the house efficiently and cleverly into four zones: children’s rooms, pool, master suite and study and fully-glazed living area.

The impact of the house is disguised with a sandstone semi-buried ground floor plinth allowing the upper accommodation to float over the garden and surrounding landscape. With a few nods in the direction of America’s west coast mid-century modern homes, this is an original and inspiring new composition that matches the quality of its setting in every way."

Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

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Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

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Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

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Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

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Rockmount, The Wirral by ShedKM. Photo: ShedKM.

Downley House

Location: Ditcham, Petersfield
Architect: Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
Client: Private
Consultants: Techniker, MottMacdonald-FulcrumProjec-Techniques, Farrer Huxley Associates
Contractor: Downley Inspiring Construction
Contract Value: confidential
Date of completion: December 2011
Gross internal area: 650 sq m

"This large private house is a tour de force in a technicolor architectural style that derives from that of James Stirling, from whose practice these architects emerged. This means that it is an assemblage of strong primary forms, mostly cylinders and cubes.  The entire structure, including the curved elements, is of cross-laminated timber.

The procurement process was unusual.  The client acted as his own contractor and project manager, and employed sub-contractors directly. The architect's working drawings are in the form of meticulous hand-drawn, colored and mostly three dimensional details.

Such architecture will not be to everyone's taste, but this is a private house and the client loves it. It is sustainable, exceeding Passivhaus standards, entirely coherent, beautifully realized and, in its own terms, near perfect."

Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

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Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

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Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

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Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

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Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects. Photo: Nick Kane.

Crowbrook

Location: Ware, Hertfordshire
Architect: Knox Bhavan Architects
Client: Mark & Bee de Rivaz
Contractor: Philiam Construction & Developments
Structural Engineer: Fluid Structures
Services Engineer: Paul Bastick Associates
Contract Value: confidential
Date of completion: December 2011
Gross internal area: 200 sq m

"Crowbrook is a house with a mid-20th century feel, in a conservation area in a Hertfordshire village, created for a couple as a place to live and work. The husband has limited mobility therefore the brief demanded maximum accessibility throughout.

This functional requirement has led to a design that considers the house and garden as a world of its own: a place in which it is easy to spend time without feeling the need to escape.

The house is single story throughout but at its center, in the living room, the roof pops up to form a tower allowing high-level windows to bring daylight into the heart of the house. The H-shaped plan means the rest of the house also brims with natural light."

Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

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Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

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Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

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Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

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Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects. Photo: Dennis Gilbert.

Astley Castle

Location: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10
Architect: Witherford Watson Mann Architects
Client: The Landmark Trust
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers
Services Engineer: Building Design Partnership
Contractor: William Anelay
Contract Value: £1,350,000
Date of completion: July 2012
Gross internal area: 285 sq m

"The brief from Landmark Trust was to provide a contemporary house within the footprint of the ruins of a 12th century fortified manor destroyed by a fire in 1978.

The decision to put the bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor and the communal spaces above makes the experience of the house very special. The sculptural central staircase is the pivot around which the bedrooms are organized and leads to an open-plan living space with views over the ancient ruins and the moated gardens.

Perhaps most impressive spaces are outdoors: the ruins of the Tudor and Jacobean wings. The experience and reading of the remains is enhanced by the new interventions.  The architects have developed a set of carefully considered rules and methodology for new construction against the existing structure."

Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Philip Vile.

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Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Philip Vile.

Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Philip Vile.

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Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Philip Vile.

Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: J. Miller.

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Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: J. Miller.

Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Helene Binet.

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Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. Photo: Helene Binet.

For more information, click here.

All images courtesy of RIBA.



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