RIBA House of the Year 2019 – House Lessans

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The team shared their thoughts on the houses on the longlist, shortlist and ultimately the winning project.

Everyone shared their enthusiasm on the variety of projects on the longlist, ranging from high end projects in suburban contexts to very constrained and cost effective solutions in urban sites. The winning house, House Lessans, proved that great architecture does not have to cost a fortune and is not only available to the wealthy. The house has elegant and clear plan and uses materiality cleverly, creating a delightful and refined living spaces.

Another favourite amongst the team was the Pocket House which used smart solutions to occupy such a constrained inner city site with a stylish and warm material palette.

As a practice we often deal with restrictive sites and its always interesting to see different approaches to tackling the issues common to plots like these.

RIBA House of the Year 2019

© Aidan McGrath

Throughout the discussions about the projects we also noted the sustainability considerations for the buildings and how these have been achieved at smaller or larger scale, especially Max Fordham House, for which environmental innovation was at the heart of the design and Cork House that was also nominated for RIBA Stirling Prize earlier this year, acknowledging we should all be thinking about whole life cycle of a building.

It is fair to conclude that good architecture is all about creating a simple and elegantly crafted solution that has a sense of belonging to a place and you do not need millions to do it. Good design is central at Noviun, and we believe discussing analysing and appraising recent buildings helps to enhance our own design values and architectural aspirations within the practice.

For more opinion pieces like this and updates from our Designers’ Forum discussions, check back at our News page.