A barn conversion in West Sussex by Sandy Rendel Architects and a retrofitted mews house in west London have become the latest projects to reach the final stage of the RIBA House of the Year 2022 Awards.
The architects’ regional award-winning projects were longlisted for the Best Home award in July, along with 18 other contenders. They now join houses by David Kohn Architects and RX Architects on the shortlist, which will grow to seven projects over the next two weeks.
Sandy Rendel’s Dutch Barn at Morlands Farm, near Henfield, transformed a 1930s farm building into a modern family home, retaining the character of the original structure.
RIBA judges said in their citation that the architect’s careful detailing and research into materials had retained the feel of the original “black wrinkled pewter” barn, while the large, abstractly placed windows gave a modern look that reflected the way such stables “are patched” and change over time”.
The Dutch Barn is located in the 3ha Sussex Prairie Garden attraction, which was created by the project’s clients. Bedrooms and an office are on the ground floor, but rough-sawn wooden stairs lead up to a large single room with a nice arched vaulted ceiling that follows the shape of the building’s roof. The first floor windows offer views over the garden and the South Downs beyond.
A Corten steel observation tower next to the residence allows visitors to the garden to enjoy elevated views during opening hours. A short bridge connects the barn to the tower, meaning it can also function as an undisturbed private terrace after the attraction is closed.
The Mews House Deep Retrofit, by Prewett Bizley Architects, saw an existing end-terrace property transformed from a drafty and energy-hungry house into a low-energy, highly sustainable home.
The property was completely removed, allowing the thermal performance of the exterior fabric to be significantly upgraded. Walls were covered with moisture permeable insulating plaster and new casement windows were installed using efficient framing and evacuated glass.
RIBA judges said the project had extensively refurbished the house, reducing its carbon footprint and enhancing its local conservation areas, while its internal spaces were “boldly and confidently” reworked.
“The vertical circulation has been moved to the darkest corner of the plan, replaced by a beautifully conceived and detailed wooden staircase,” they said. “It connects the three levels of housing, lit from above by a new skylight that allows light to penetrate all the way to the ground floor.”
The judges said the all-electric home, which has heating provided by an air-source heat pump, showed an 82% reduction in energy use during its first year of occupation. They added that the project’s operational carbon was low enough to provide a three-year payback on the built-in carbon.
“The building’s clear and simple reconfiguration, together with its carefully specified and well-detailed fabric upgrade, delivers an exemplary family home with outstanding energy efficiency,” said the judges.
Sandy Rendell and Prewett Bizley’s addition to the shortlist was announced as part of Channel 4’s Grand Designs House of the Year 2022 program last night. Two more shortlisted projects will be confirmed next week, along with a seventh finalist on December 7 – when the winner will also be revealed.
Alison Brooks Architects won last year’s award for the practice’s House on the Hill project in rural Gloucestershire.
Full longlist: RIBA House of the Year 2022
:: Derwent Valley Villa, Derbyshire, by Blee Halligan
:: House at Lough Beg, Northern Ireland, by McGonigle McGrath
:: Leyton House, London, by McMahon architecture
:: Mere House, Cambridgeshire, of Mole Architects
:: Mews House Deep Retrofit, London, by Prewett Bizley Architects
:: Mountain View, London, by ABLE TO
:: Norfolk Barn, Norfolk, of 31/44 Architects and Taylor created space
:: Ostro passive house, Scotland, by Paper Igloo
:: Peeking house, London, at Fletcher Crane Architects
:: Ravine House, Derbyshire, by Chiles Evans & Care Architects
:: Seabreeze, East Sussex, by RX Architects
:: Suffolk Cottage, Suffolk, by Haysom Ward Miller Architects
:: Surbiton Springs, London, by Kills Weston
:: Kostalden, Dorset, by Crawshaw Architects
:: The Den, Scotland, by Engineering Architecture and Design in cooperation with Brand stables
:: The Dutch Barn, West Sussex, by Sandy Rendel Architects
:: The Garden Studio, Norfolk, by Briscoe Laurent and James Alder architectp
:: The Library House, London, by Macdonald Wright Architects
:: The Parchment Works, Northamptonshire, by Will Gamble Architects
:: The Red House, Dorset, by David Kohn Architects