The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winner of its prestigious House of the Year award. Formerly known as the Manser Medal, the award shines a light on the best of British housing design.
Rising out of the plowed fields like some kind of ancient sacrificial altar, Skene Catling De La Peña's Flint House was commissioned by Lord Rothschild and completed earlier this year. It is located in the Rothschild family's princely Waddesdon Estate in Buckinghamshire, which also features Waddesdon Manor.
Flint House serves as accommodation for members of the famous banking family and visiting artists. It's split into two buildings: the large main home and a smaller annex, which combine to a total floorspace of 580 sq m (6,243 sq ft).
Both structures are built from masonry and clad in local flint, which is dark and rough nearest the ground, then refines in texture and lightens in color as it rises. The interior features a mixture of stone and smooth pale walls, and a water vein runs beneath the home, reflected by a black glass ceiling.
Given its neutral interior color scheme, you'd imagine such a home proving frigid and unlivable but judging from the photos at least, a rug here, an ornament there, and a painting elsewhere go some way to softening the hard stone and glazing.
"The photographs of the building had a painterly, almost ethereal quality," said RIBA's judges. "Expectations were therefore high when the judges visited the building but remarkably that poetic quality was evident in the flesh. Of all the projects visited it had the strongest narrative, passionately explained by the architect, and evident in the end result. This is a beautiful addition to a beautiful landscape."
Check out the gallery to see more of the stunning Flint House, plus the six runners-up to the award.