RIBA names first two of seven finalists for 2019 award ahead of November result

A contemporary farmhouse described as having influences ranging from Vanbrugh to Tarkovsky and a three-storey family home tucked on to a site once occupied by a double garage are the first two projects shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year 2019 award.

Adam Richards Architects’ Nithurst Farm in West Sussex is a 397sq m family home that brings a slice of Italian influence to a South Downs valley – and was said to have a “complex geometry” by the RIBA, which has already given it two South East Regional Awards and one National Award this year.

“You are never sure whether you are within, or looking at, a glorious rebuild, ruined folly, or a concrete villa that over time acquired an overcoat of rural respectability,” judges said. “It is this intriguing, but enjoyable dichotomy that successfully challenged our perceptions of both modern and vernacular architecture.”

At 105sq m, Tikari Works’ Pocket House project in East Dulwich, south London, is a fraction of the size of Nithurst. However, RIBA said the 2019 London RIBA Regional Award winner and Stephen Lawrence Prize shortlister had turned floorspace and height constraints to its advantage by part sinking the development and making best use of space with built-in storage that was an “architectural feature in itself”.

RIBA said the home boasted “carefully curated” views and excellent circulation that made it seem much larger than was really the case, while its palette of brick, timber and concrete was described as “well finished and left exposed”.

The next two House of the Year 2019 shortlisted projects are set to be revealed on Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year show on October 30, with further candidates announced weekly until the winner is unveiled on November 13.

Last year’s RIBA House of the Year award was won by Haysom Ward Miller for its Lochside House in the West Highlands.

Lochside 5 Haysom Ward Miller Architects  (C) Richard Fraser

Source: Richard Fraser

Lochside House, by Haysom Ward Miller Architects, winner of the RIBA House of the Year Award 2018