RIBA House of the Year

John Hill
20. December 2016
Photo: Keith Hunter

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named architect Richard Murphy’s own house in Edinburgh, Scotland, as its 2016 House of the Year.

Described by RIBA as "a delightful essay in architecture," Murphy's house "speaks to its context with direct references to the Georgian terraces, and with a clever change of scale that is at once deferential and powerfully striking in the street."

The RIBA House of the Year is given to "the best new house designed by an architect in the UK." Sponsored by Hiscox Home Insurance and Paint & Paper Library, the award replaces the RIBA Manser Medal, which was created in 2001 to celebrate excellence in housing design.

Photo: Keith Hunter

Murphy's house bested six finalists: Coppin Dockray's Ansty Plum, Loyn & Co Architects' Outhouse, DSDHA's Covert House, Hayhurst and Co's Garden House, Coffey Architects' Modern Mews, and Henning Stummel Architects' Tin House.

The jury included Meredith Bowles (Mole Architects), Charlotte Skene Catling (Skene Catling de la Peña), Jonathan Dallas (Dallas Pierce Quintero), Ellie Stathaki (Wallpaper*), and Phil Thorn (Direct Home Insurance Hiscox).

Photo: Keith Hunter

Murphy is quoted at RIBA as describing the house as "a quarter Soane, a quarter Scarpa, a quarter eco-house and a quarter Wallace and Gromit, the latter referring to the various ingenious devices in the house." The Scarpa reference is most overtly visible in the courtyard, where a horizontal band of mosaics recalls the Querini Stampalia in Venice.

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