After weeks of anticipation, build-up and weekly announcements that kept us at the edge of our seats, the 2015 RIBA House of the Year – formerly known as the Manser Medal – has been finally unveiled. The Flint House by London firm Skeen Catling de la Pena has been crowned this year's winner, receiving one of the UK's highest honours in residential design.
The Buckinghamshire building, a structure designed to function as a guest house for the estate it sits in, including an annex, is an ode to flint, celebrating the use of local materials and site specific design.
Made out of masonry with flint cladding, the house takes its cue from local geology. The architects cleverly shaped the house with an angled roof and placed its slanted flint form on the flat landscape, making sure the rooms inside and the openings frame the nature in the best way. Set to be used for artists for local residency programs, the house will also serve as accomodation for friends and family of the estate.
The final nominee for the shortlist was also announced tonight, it was the Mill House in the Scottish Borders by WT Architecture. The skilful transformation of an old mill into a modern holiday retreat won praises for its masterful modernisation, while keeping the existing structure's character.
It joined Flint House, Sussex House in West Sussex by Wilkinson King Architects, House at Maghera by McGonigle Mcgrath, Kew House by Piercy & Company, Levring House by Jamie Fobert and Vaulted House by vPPR Architects (all these in London) in the running for the coveted accolade.