Green House crowned RIBA House of the Year 2023

RIBA House of the Year 2023 has been awarded to Green House in London by Hayhurst & Co

Green House exterior hero wins RIBA House of the Year 2023
(Image credit: Kilian O'Sullivan)

Green House by Hayhurst & Co has been crowned the RIBA House of the Year 2023 winner. The home, located in Tottenham, London, and its fun and innovative approach to the everyday, impressed the judges – who picked it among a strong shortlist of six houses, spanning from a Devonshire cow shed transformed into a creative family home, to a characterful Scottish new-build. 

Green House main space interior

(Image credit: Kilian O'Sullivan)

RIBA House of the Year 2023 winner: Green House by Hayhurst & Co

The project, a reimagined typical terraced house, works with a constrained urban plot in a small alleyway in north London. The structure’s new exterior, clad in polycarbonate panels and wrapped in dense planting, makes for a discreet, and compact family home, perfectly calibrated to its client’s needs and the site conditions. 

Green House green stairs

(Image credit: Kilian O'Sullivan)

Inside, thanks to some clever architectural sleights of hand, open spaces and large windows make for a riad-inspired green oasis of an interior. It was described by RIBA’s jury as a ‘domestic greenhouse’ and ‘extraordinary ordinary house’.  

The home's biophilic design take allows a daily life among nature, while practical solutions to spatial issues (curtains act as dividers and screens and planting ensure levels of privacy and ventilation can be easily adjusted), make for a practical family space.

Green House interior with curtains

(Image credit: Kilian O'Sullivan)

Jury chair Dido Milne said of this year’s winner: ‘Green House, affectionately known as the ”Tottenham riad” is a true oasis within the city. It is both airy and cosy, bold yet respectful of its neighbours. Your eye is simultaneously drawn upwards to open sky and down and out across the living room to  greenery.

'The close architect and client relationship, with a joint desire to deliver a truly sustainable home, is evident in all of the design decisions and details. On a confined urban site, the house was delivered to a tight budget with an economy of means – and it remains richer for it.  Nowhere do you feel the site or budget was restricted. It feels luxurious, homely, deeply private and relaxing. It’s an extraordinary ordinary house and a remarkable collaboration.’

Green House rear view

(Image credit: Kilian O'Sullivan)

RIBA House of the Year 2023: the shortlist

Cowshed (South Devon) by David Kohn Architects 

Riba House of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Max Creasy)

Last year David Kohn Architects won the 2022 RIBA House of the Year with Red House, and they have made the shortlist again with Cowshed, an unconventional family home. Nestled on an existing farmstead in Devon, the home/artists studio is a celebration of an agricultural outbuilding being repurposed into an inspiring, creative space. Built on the foundations of using simple honest materiality, the 1970s agricultural structure has been retained, with the home’s wooden beam skeleton proudly on show. Large arched windows reflect the owner’s artwork, and original concrete footings provide a welcomed balance of the existing and the repurposed, injecting fun colour into the stripped-back structure.

Hundred Acre Wood (Argyll and Bute, Scotland) by Denizen Works

Denizen Works - Hundred Acre Wood

(Image credit: Gilbert McCarragher)

A home that seems new, yet old, Hundred Acre Wood blends into its idyllic setting of Loch Awe. Thoughtfully constructed over an eight-year period, Denizen Works defines slow architecture. Hunkered into the banks of the Loch, the home is characterised by its sculptural exterior paying homage to baronial castles and tower houses of Scotland. An ode to the client's hatred of television, the textured walls are made from crushed TV screens, and offer a glimmer of erosion to the building, which adds to the ancient feel. Sheltered from the elements, the thick walls provide a fortress for the owner to admire the views from the large windows overlooking the Scottish wildlife. 

Made of Sand (Devon) by Studio Weave 

RIBA House of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Jim Stephenson)

Unlike the name, Made of Sand is mostly constructed of a heavy timber frame, Western Red Cedar cladding, and panels of Douglas fir, creating a space that connects with the surrounding Blackdown Hills. The two-story annexe by Studio Weave, extends a traditional Devonshire stone cottage that embraces local craftsmen and traditional methods during its construction. Although a contemporary design, the use of local natural materials exposed both internally and externally, creates a calming environment to rest and recharge. 

Middle Avenue (Farnham) by Rural Office 

RIBA House of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Rory Gaylor)

Nestled on a corner plot in a garden suburb of Farnham, Middle Avenue is an adaptable family home with a nod to late 19th-century architecture. The attention to detail is evident through the details in crafted red clay Keymer tiles, and a steeply pitched roof and white gables. The new building has replaced an inter-war bungalow in the Surrey village, with detailing that has earned its place on the shortlist. 

Saltmarsh House (Isle of Wight) by Niall McLaughlin Architects  

RIBA House of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Nik Eagland)

With uninterrupted views scaling the Isle of Wight, Niall McLaughlin Architects, the winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2022, have created Saltmarsh House which overlooks Bembridge Harbour. The delicate steel-framed pavilion and intricate glass details, add a sense of lightness that blends into its surroundings- as if designed to be in nature. Although the exterior is eye-catching the interior and simplistic repeated patterns give a subtle nod to minimalist architecture. The pyramidal copper roof adds to the delicacy, with large open windows taking in the cascading views. 

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).

With contributions from