Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Built in Pursuit of Excellence; Four Innovative London Homes Are in the Running for the Prestigious Manser Medal, Celebrating the Very Best in New British Housing Design, Reports Philippa Stockley

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Built in Pursuit of Excellence; Four Innovative London Homes Are in the Running for the Prestigious Manser Medal, Celebrating the Very Best in New British Housing Design, Reports Philippa Stockley

Article excerpt

Byline: Philippa Stockley

FOUR superb new London private houses have made the Manser Medal long list. The Manser, with which the Royal Institute of British Architects celebrates excellence in housing design, is a category of the prestigious annual Stirling Prize for architecture. This year's 23 Manser entrants, from across the UK, are so strong that the Stirling Prize itself could easily go to one of them when winners are announced in October.

Two of London's four outstanding houses are made of timber, the third is a big remodelled Victorian property, and the fourth is a paean to brick, concrete and light. Elsewhere, castles, cliff tops, treetops, flood plains, farflung beaches, as well as more downto-earth back gardens are all enhanced with brilliant new houses.

glass with class In Canonbury, architect Alison Brooks reworked a derelict, detached, fourstorey house into a family home with office space over six years. The design had to take into account an old walnut tree in the garden with a preservation order on it.

Inside, spaces have been opened up, making an exciting, modern home, but the most striking part is a new section of faceted glass at the rear. This gem-like structure inspired the name, Lens House, and is wrapped in Corian, a durable, shiny surface material that contrasts with the soft, old Victorian brick of the main house.

wood's good Artist Richard Woods, the client at WoodBlock House in Bethnal Green, worked with architects dRMM on an innovative design with wooden floors, walls and ceilings. The modern, boxy house, smelling of fresh timber, incorporates an artist's studio at ground level, where it gets the north light and looks on to a yard, while the family lives above. Made of crosslaminated panels, the house was built swiftly, is very sustainable, and has a back elevation of painted plywood.

tree's company Timber features strongly again in Tree House, by 6a Architects for architecture critic Rowan Moore, whose Grade II-listed home in E1 was created when two 1830s weavers cottages were connected in the Seventies. …

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