Farmhouse which took 10 years to restore named House of the Year

It was revealed as the winner of the Channel 4 series Grand Designs: House of the Year

Furvah Shah
Wednesday 08 December 2021 22:54
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A Georgian farmhouse that took 10 years to restore has been named House of the Year.

The house in Gloucestershire, dubbed ‘House on the Hill’, was revealed as the winner of Channel 4 series Grand Designs: House of the Year.

The three-storey stone farmhouse was converted into a gallery for art-collector owners David and Jenny by architect Alison Brooks, while the new two-storey wing occupies the country hillside.

The annual award - established in 2013 - is presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to the UK’s best new architect-designed house.

RIBA’s president, Simon Allford, said: “Intriguing and distinguished, House on the Hill is the impressive result of a 10-year collaboration between the homeowners and their architect. This is an extraordinary labour of love in architectural form.

He added: “This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new - connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years.

“Every detail has been meticulously considered and exquisitely finished, resulting in a truly remarkable home that enhances its unique setting.”

The restored 18th-century farmhouse overlooks the Wye Valley on the English-Welsh border, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

David and Jenny, the owners of House on the Hill said: “The house is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the house and the landscape complement each other. To return to the house after a spell away is to renew our admiration of the scheme."

One of the RIBA House of the Year 2021 judges, architect Amin Tahahair, said: “The jury felt Alison Brooks Architects had applied their long-researched process of subtly breaking down the rigid and spatially predictable grid with gentle inflexion.”

Architect Brooks said: “It’s a real honour to win Riba House of the Year amongst an accomplished shortlist of beautiful projects.”

Brooks, who designed the house to compliment the surrounding nature, added: “I see private house commissions as a rare opportunity to test new ideas in a concentrated form - they are the built equivalent of writing an essay.

“So, this accolade is a testament to my client’s belief in the value of architecture and their willingness to embrace the new.”

This series of Grand Designs: House of the Year featured seven shortlisted properties, including a 1950s steel water tower which had been converted into a home in Norfolk.

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