We have a winner: Flint House is named the 2015 RIBA House of the Year

RIBA House
RIBA House of the Year for 2015 is Flint House in Buckinghamshire by London based architecture firm Skene Catling de la Pena.
(Image credit: James Morris)

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. 

The building

The building operates as a guest house for the Waddesdon estate and is made of masonry with flint cladding . 

(Image credit: James Morris)

The spaces frame the nature

Referencing the site's flint geology, this house is strongly linked to its surroundings. Inside the spaces are carefuly planned to frame the nature. 

(Image credit: James Morris)

The house

The house, which will be used as accomodation for family and friends of the owners, as well as artists taking part in local residency programs, was created using the skills of specialist crafstmen. 

(Image credit: James Morris)

The Mill

The final nomination for the shortlist, also announced this week, is The Mill, on the Scottish Borders. 

(Image credit: Andrew Lee)

Old mill

Designed by WT Architecture, the project involved the conversation of an old mill into a modern, rural retreat. 

(Image credit: Wil Tunnell)

The structure

The structure was modernised but also maintains elements of its original character.

(Image credit: Andrew Lee)


For more information on the award visit the RIBA website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).