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Architects Journal

Manser Medal 2012
27/09/12

Over the next 20 pages we present the RIBA 2012 Manser Medal shortlist with a focus on drawings: the plans and sections of the best one-off house designs in the country. The text alongside each project, drawn from the RIBA’s citations, gives a sense why each house struck a chord with the assessors. Unusually this year, each project selected is rural: these are countryside retreats.

The shortlist has been chosen from winning schemes honoured with RIBA Awards in the UK and EU and the RIBA Regional Awards. The winner will be announced on 13 October 2012 at the RIBA Stirling Prize dinner in Manchester, with the winning architect and client receiving trophies designed by the artist Petr Weigl. Previous winners include Duggan Morris for their house in Hampstead Lane (2011 ), Acme for Hunsett Mill (2010), Pitman Tozer Architects for The Gap House (2009), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Oxley Woods (2008) and Alison Brooks Architects for the Salt House (2007). This year’s judges include architect Michael Manser, arts patron Jill Ritblat and RIBA head of awards, Tony Chapman.

We wish the shortlisted architects the very best of luck.
Citations provided by the RIBA

OLD BEARHURST by Duggan Morris Architects

'A conflict between the needs of the client and the demands of conservation officials has been resolved by breaking up and partly burying the new building'

This project aimed to create a unified series of flowing, contemporary spaces linked to the rolling landscape setting, respecting the existing oast house, and taking advantage of the views. The original building was given a thorough but sensitive makeover, removing the garage, study and kitchen wing to make way for the new annex. What remained was carefully analysed and repaired appropriately so the 200-year-old building is easily discernible against the new interventions. The annex itself is an altogether more sculptural and dynamic form of interconnecting volumes, entirely clad in a durable engineered timber boarding, orientated vertically, in contrast to the rough-sawn horizontal lapped timber cladding of the barn. The external massing expresses the internal function of each room.

A conflict between the needs of the client and the demands of conservation officials, who wanted the replication of a traditional farm building aesthetic, has been resolved by breaking up and partly burying the new building, so it appears to be a collection of cellular timber outbuildings dominated by the bulk of the two oast houses. Yet internally these ‘barns’ form a beautiful continuous flowing open plan living area, linking into bedrooms in the restored oast houses.

RIBA Regional Award, South

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