Two more architects named in RIBA/Channel 4 contest

Jamie Fobert Architects and Belfast practice McGonigle McGrath are the latest names to be shortlisted for the RIBA’s new House of the Year award.

The pair were featured as part of the special four-part series of Grand Designs on Channel 4, the third of which aired last night.

Seven houses will be shortlisted over the course of the series with the winner revealed by Kevin McCloud in the final episode next Wednesday.

Jamie Fobert has been shortlisted for Levring House, a contemporary house on a tight corner site in a central London mews while McGonigle McGrath has been shortlisted for House at Maghera, a family house in County Down, Northern Ireland.

The pair join Piercy & Company, which has been shortlisted for Kew House in London, while vPPR Architects has also been shortlisted for Vaulted House in west London. The first two finalists named were Skene Catling De La Pena for Flint House in Buckinghamshire and Wilkinson King Architects for Sussex House in West Sussex.

The judges for the 2015 RIBA House of the Year award, which replaced the Manser Medal, include architects Mary Duggan, Chris Loyn – winner of last year’s award – and Jonathan Manser.


The latest finalists

Levring House, London

Jamie Fobert Architects

A combination of alignments, setbacks and a sunken basement belie the true volume of this house, which includes a garage, extensive plant rooms housing the machinery for deep bore ground source heat pumps and a 14-m long marble-lined lap pool in the basement.

Externally the building is finished with an elegant palette of Danish hand-made bricks, bronze panels and plenty of glazing to draw natural light into the heart of the house.


House at Maghera, County Down

McGonigle McGrath

This family house is on the edge of a clachan, a small grouping of farmsteads, on the leeward side of the Mourne Mountains in County Down and is composed of two linear traditional building forms that continue the existing settlement pattern; each discrete form being displaced and slightly rotated in relation to its neighbour. The two forms are welded together by the extension of roof slopes. The resulting silhouette anchors the house to the ground and fixes it in the landscape.