RIBA House of the Year 2015

In the spirit of the holidays … it seemed time to make a list. I assume it has been checked more than twice.

So, here we are on an ode to the RIBA House of the Year 2015 finalists and all that they inspire. Your HOMYZE know a thing or two about building (and buildings) and applaud the creativity and ingenuity that was expressed in these manifestations des maisons.

Flint House (Winner RIBA National Award)

RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review - flint houseAnd what a winner it was. Named after the material after which it is (mostly) wrought, Flint House is an astonishing geological juncture of a house … a seemingly natural emergence from the ground. A manifestation of natural forces at work, and harnessed for domestication.

And yet, despite its monumentality, the exterior is alive with shimmering rock faces and the juxtaposition of glass, metal, wood and stone. Everywhere exciting to behold.

Sussex House

RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review - Sussex House

Sussex House gives you just what you need in terms of structure and no more. Never overbearing, but allowing life and living to occur within its confines. Sussex House is more a home than a house … lovingly laid overlooking the Downs, with all the exacting care and attention that creating bliss warrants.

Beautifully restrained in its choice of colour and materials, Sussex House is like a juice cleanse … you just feel better for it.

Kew House

Kew House RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE ReviewWhere Sussex House is the result of a calculating approach to a unified whole, Kew House is a brainstorm of a building (or should that be buildings). From materials to forms, Kew House is a crescendo of construction. Perforated, weathered steel; herringbone-laid stone; shadow gaps; panelling; glazed circulation … and a nineteenth-century stable wall.

All that, and a good degree of pre-fabrication. If drag and drop were this good for all architecture … HOMYZE really would be happening!

Vaulted House

Vaulted House RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review

You’ve just gotta love London. Glorious infill city that it is … where constraint breeds creativity like an LSD trip does to a Burner.

Approached by a covered passage, the Vaulted House may be entirely closed to the world. Except that it isn’t … indeed even the hipped roof pavilions (the vaults) provide the layout that lies beneath. And the skylight-topped roofs give you the connection to the sky that a typical townhouse just wouldn’t.

Anyway, if they wanted just a little privacy from their 24 neighbours … you could forgive them.

Levring House

RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review Levring House

A simultaneous equation of a house … where the architect has solved for space.

A small corner plot of a mews (secondary) street has afforded the volume that one would expect with only the grandest of dwellings … including the almost 15-metre marble-lined swimming pool that no self-respecting Bond villain would be without. But everywhere an interesting angle of light, and beautifully wrought with care and calculation.

House at Maghera

RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review House at Maghera

This house is kind of white. And it is modern. And has something of a barn-like feel to it. But is subtle.

And without a tremendous amount to say for the externals of the building, what can be seen is the amazing quality of construction. As if things were made to fit together in a factory in Germany, filled with Japanese, who drank only the cleanest water. And slept on stainless steel trolleys. And used a scalpel to slice their sashimi.

We like that. Quality control.

The Mill

RIBA House of the Year 2015 — HOMYZE Review The Mill

Your HOMYZE like to treat things with respect. Be they customers or the rules of construction. And respect is the very glue between the old and new in this building. This was a barn, and the feeling of good old honest work remains in the wooden boards and concrete floors of the reimagined building.

This is an old glove that holds a favourite toy .. nestled in the patina and softness that only age can provide.