Practices compete with Adam Richards, Tikari Works and three yet-to-be-revealed names for 2019 RIBA award

Sea-facing homes on the Isle of Man and the Isle of Skye have become the latest projects shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year 2019 award.

Foster Lomas’ Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell on the Isle of Man and Dualchas Architects’ Black House on Skye will compete with five other projects for the coveted title – the final three of which are still to be revealed.

Moulded into the west-facing slope of Sartfell, Foster Lomas’ 300sq m retreat gives views of the Irish Sea through a long horizontal slot window, while thick concrete bunker walls give the interior a sheltered and embracing feel.

The practice said the £1m building, commissioned by a private client, was super-insulated and would eventually be independent of mainstream infrastructure. The practice said heating came from a lake-sourced heat pump, which had very low energy consumption, while electricity was provided by a wind turbine. The home’s drinking water comes from a borehole and waste water treatment is via a bio-digester.

RIBA North West judges said the building was an excellent response to the local landscape and climate, a classic “thick” building.

Smaller in floorspace – at 186sq m – Dualchas’ Black House is located within a dipping rocky depression, giving it a reduced profile on the local landscape and a stronger connection with the sea at the south-east of Skye.

The judges’ citation for the timber building, also shortlisted for the 2019 Doolan Prize, said the fully glazed end wall of the home’s main living space framed a spectacular view across the water to rugged hills, while reflected light provides an ever-changing pattern across the white interior.

“There is a persuasive integrity to the rigorous use of pure rectangular forms, the strictly limited palette of colour and materials and the consistent purity of minimalist detailing throughout which, enriched by the inclusion of the art and artefacts of the owners, have succeeded in creating a calm, inviting and exceptional home,” they said.

Dualchas did not name a client or give a value for the project.

Adam Richards and Tikari Works were the first two practices shortlisted for the 2019 award.

The next two shortlisted projects are set to be revealed on Channel 4’s Grand Designs: House of the Year show on November 6, with the final contender – and then the winner – 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