Earlier this week, Bustler published the winners of two major architectural prizes the Royal Institute of British Architects announced at a festive event in Manchester last weekend: the 2012 Stirling Prize (awarded to Sainsbury Laboratory designed by Stanton Williams) and the 2012 Lubetkin Prize (awarded to Guangzhou International Finance Center designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects). Two more outstanding projects received national RIBA honors that night: the 2012 Manser Medal for the best newly designed private house went to Maison L by Christian Pottgiesser - architecturespossibles, and the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2012 in recognition of fresh talent and smaller construction budgets went to a private house in Kings Grove, London by Duggan Morris Architects.
Winner of the 2012 Manser Medal: Maison L
Location: Île-de-France, France
Structural Engineer: Joel Betito
Contractor: Les Constructeurs de Suresnes
Contract Value: confidential
Date of completion: August 2011
Gross internal area: 616 sq m
An 18th Century orangery on an undulating site in Île-de-France has undergone a major restoration and extension to become an exceptional new house. Interconnecting half-buried rooms arranged in an L-shaped plan incorporate five three-story flat-roofed concrete bedroom and bathroom towers - one for each of the four children plus their parents. Architect Christian Pottgiesser (architectures possibles architects) has responded to the extremely challenging site and uncompromising brief to create a home that surprises and delights but has minimal impact on the mature landscape in which it is set.
Speaking about Maison L, RIBA President Angela Brady said: “Maison L is a stunningly original house that creatively responds to the needs of its household – here everyone has their own private bedroom tower, but can come together in the most dramatic cave-like family rooms. The modern extension is sensitive to the 18th Century orangery it extends and to the mature French landscape in which it sits. The courage of the family and the ingenuity of the architect combine to create the most exceptional project. This is no ordinary home.”
The four other houses that were shortlisted (previously on Bustler) for the 2012 RIBA Manser Medal are:
Previous winners of the RIBA Manser Medal include Duggan Morris Architects with a modern conversion of a brutalist house in Hampstead (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 were: Michael Manser CBE RA PPRIBA Chairman of The Manser Practice, architect; Stuart Piercy, architect; client Lady Ritblat; David Scott, National Trust Councillor and Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards.
Winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2012: Kings Grove
Location: 16A Kings Grove, London SE15, UK
Architect: Duggan Morris Architects
Contractor: ME Construction
Structural Engineer: Lyons O'Neil
Gross Internal Area: 140 sq m
Contract Value: confidential
Cost per Sq m: £2,285 (US$3,710)
Occupation Date: July 2010
This is a taut, exemplary response to the development of a landlocked site: an intelligent house built by an architect couple for themselves.The site, reached by a narrow lane, is contained by back gardens.
The house demonstrates a highly disciplined attention to detail in the design and the immaculate quality of the construction. All fitting-out responds absolutely to the brick module of the enclosure. A simple palette of materials is employed - exposed brickwork, oak storage wall panels, stairs and flooring and dark stained timber framed bespoke glazing. There is a playful use of brass in the glazing trim and the taps, and more play in the pink flesh colored shower interiors.
Speaking about King’s Grove, the judges said: “We were entranced by the demure entrance to this new-build all-brick house in the back lands of two Victorian terraces in Peckham. The architects had to deal with local residents, party wall agreements and the local planning department to come up with a home that, inside and out, is practical, simple, subtle, timeless and elegant.
The house is arranged with ground floor living spaces connected to the two bedrooms by means of a simple stair and a central light-well. The maturity in layout and detailing is evident throughout, not least in the striking bespoke brass window frames recessed into the front and rear facades. Despite this being a home for architects, there is little sign of the architect...but plenty of architecture.”
The four other projects that were shortlisted (previously on Bustler) for the 2012 Stephen Lawrence Prize are:
The judges were: Marco Goldschmied, Doreen Lawrence OBE and the 2011 winner of the prize, architect Phil Coffey.
Previous winners of the Stephen Lawrence Prize include St Patrick's Primary School Library and Music Room by Coffey Architects (2011), Artists House by Gumuchdjian Architects (2010), El Ray by Simon Conder Associates (2009), Sackler Crossing by John Pawson (2008), Wooda by David Sheppard Architects (2007) and Wrap House by Alison Brooks Architects (2006).