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Two of the UK's Best New Homes Shortlisted for RIBA Award

November 6, 2015


Flint House, a dramatic and innovative new house on a country estate in Buckinghamshire and Sussex House an elegant villa in the Sussex countryside have been announced recently as the first two houses to be shortlisted for the coveted 2015 RIBA House of the Year award, sponsored by specialist insurer, Hiscox.

The award is run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The projects in the running for the UK’s most prestigious award for a new house are being revealed in a special four part TV series for Channel 4, Grand Designs: House of the Year. During the course of the series which began today (Wednesday 4 November 2015 at 9pm), the seven homes shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year award will be announced; the winner will be revealed on screen on Wednesday 25 November.

The first two projects shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year are:

Flint House, Buckinghamshire by Skene Catling De La Pena
Sussex House, West Sussex by Wilkinson King Architects

The RIBA House of the Year award (formerly known as the Manser Medal) is awarded every year to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK. It was created in 2001 to celebrate excellence in housing design.

The judges for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year award, sponsored by Hiscox, are Jonathan Manser, Chair of the jury; James Standen of Hiscox; award-winning architect, Mary Duggan; Chris Loyn, the recipient of the 2014 award and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards.

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting divisions in the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox Re and Hiscox Retail (which includes Hiscox UK and Europe, Hiscox Guernsey, Hiscox USA and subsidiary brand, DirectAsia). Hiscox underwrites internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance through Hiscox Re and Hiscox London Market. Through its retail businesses in the UK, Europe and the US Hiscox offers a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as homeowners. For further information visit

The Architects’ Journal is media partner for the 2015 RIBA special awards, including the RIBA House of the Year

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit and follow us on Twitter @RIBA.

Grand Designs: House of the Year is produced by Boundless, producers of Grand Designs. The RIBA judges’ full citations and image links for each building follows:

Flint House, Buckinghamshire by Skene Catling De La Pena - shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year

The house sits within the grounds of a wider estate and forms accommodation for visitors who include family members as well as artists. The building is split into two parts: the main house plus an annexe. The building is constructed of masonry with flint cladding. The project is a rare example of a poetic narrative whose realisation remains true to the original concept. The site is on a seam of flint geology and is surrounded by ploughed fields where the flint sits on the surface. The building is conceived as a piece of that geology thrusting up through the flat landscape. The innovation and beauty of the scheme is particularly evident in the detail of the cladding that starts at the base as knapped flint and slowly changes in construction and texture until it becomes chalk blocks at the highest point. This gives both a feeling of varying geological strata with the building dissolving as it reaches to the sky. The architects worked with a number of specialist and skilled craftsmen to achieve the end result. The development is part of a wider artistic project that has involved engagement with artists, photographers and musicians.

Sussex House, West Sussex by Wilkinson King Architects - shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year

This stand-alone contemporary villa set in the Sussex countryside is an exceptional retreat. Externally the house is quietly confident, with its row of low-profile roof pyramids, windows positioned to take advantage of the views and a muted colour palette of materials. A lack of decoration and ornament gives this modern house a functional feel, but one that is cleverly considered to the very last detail. Internally the double-height void and staircase orchestrate the house, effortlessly, organising a contiguous open plan and cellular spaces into a simple but elegant arrangement. The over-sailing first floor produces the feeling of a quiet monastic cloister with sun-filled spaces and carefully framed views. There is much to admire about the project, and it is clear the designers have invested a lot of energy into guiding the project to have a crafted feel through modern materials and technologies. The design fulfils the brief and provides the clients with so much more.

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