Architecture

From a beach house to a luxury treehouse: Britain's best new homes

From a beach house to a luxury...
The Quest, by Strom Architects, is one of the 20 impressive new British homes highlighted by RIBA's House of the Year competition
The Quest, by Strom Architects, is one of the 20 impressive new British homes highlighted by RIBA's House of the Year competition
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6 Wood Lane was designed by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
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6 Wood Lane was designed by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
6 Wood Lane was completed in 2015 
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6 Wood Lane was completed in 2015 
"6 Wood Lane is an exuberant and well-loved home, carefully crafted by its owners as a self-build project over more than 7 years," says RIBA's judges. "Its idiosyncratic style connects each design aspect; from its curving form hovering above the street, to the detail of a chain operated roof light."
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"6 Wood Lane is an exuberant and well-loved home, carefully crafted by its owners as a self-build project over more than 7 years," says RIBA's judges. "Its idiosyncratic style connects each design aspect; from its curving form hovering above the street, to the detail of a chain operated roof light."
Caring Wood was designed by Macdonald Wright Architects
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Caring Wood was designed by Macdonald Wright Architects
Caring Wood was completed in October 2016
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Caring Wood was completed in October 2016
"This scheme [Caring Wood] is an ambitious project which seeks to re-envisage the “English country house” in the 21st century to meet the needs of three generations of the same family," says RIBA's judges. 
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"This scheme [Caring Wood] is an ambitious project which seeks to re-envisage the “English country house” in the 21st century to meet the needs of three generations of the same family," says RIBA's judges. 
"The jury was impressed with how Macdonald Wright Architects had manipulated space and scale to balance the need for grandeur with intimacy – from the soaring spaces of the piano nobile to the living spaces partially embedded in the hillside below," continue RIBA's judges
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"The jury was impressed with how Macdonald Wright Architects had manipulated space and scale to balance the need for grandeur with intimacy – from the soaring spaces of the piano nobile to the living spaces partially embedded in the hillside below," continue RIBA's judges
The design of Caring Wood is modern but references Kentish building traditions
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The design of Caring Wood is modern but references Kentish building traditions
Cob Corner was designed by David Sheppard Architects
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Cob Corner was designed by David Sheppard Architects
Cob Corner was completed in November, 2014
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Cob Corner was completed in November, 2014
Cob Corner's brief was to make a home but to retain the qualities of a traditional barn 
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Cob Corner's brief was to make a home but to retain the qualities of a traditional barn 
Cob Corner features one large wall made from cobs (a natural building material often made from soil, water straw and lime)
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Cob Corner features one large wall made from cobs (a natural building material often made from soil, water straw and lime)
The interior of Cob Corner is beautifully finished (the cob wall is visible to the left of this shot) 
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The interior of Cob Corner is beautifully finished (the cob wall is visible to the left of this shot) 
Edinburgh Road was designed by A449 
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Edinburgh Road was designed by A449 
Edinburgh Road involved the refurbishment and extension of a historic steading conversion at astunning coastal location on the west edge of Musselburgh, East Lothian 
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Edinburgh Road involved the refurbishment and extension of a historic steading conversion at astunning coastal location on the west edge of Musselburgh, East Lothian 
From the road to the south and east Edinburgh Road's gable is pronounced, while from the beach to the north it blends in somewhat
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From the road to the south and east Edinburgh Road's gable is pronounced, while from the beach to the north it blends in somewhat
Inside Edinburgh Road
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Inside Edinburgh Road
Edinburgh Road is a stunning blend of old and new
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Edinburgh Road is a stunning blend of old and new
Fernaig Cottage was designed by Scampton and Barnett Architects
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Fernaig Cottage was designed by Scampton and Barnett Architects
Fernaig Cottage consisted of the renovation, adaption, and extension of a former shepherd’s cottage in the north-west Highlands, Scotland
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Fernaig Cottage consisted of the renovation, adaption, and extension of a former shepherd’s cottage in the north-west Highlands, Scotland
Fernaig Cottage was in a state of dilapidation, almost beyond repair 
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Fernaig Cottage was in a state of dilapidation, almost beyond repair 
Fernaig Cottage boasts some green cred: it's well insulated, sports an air source heat pump and MVHR system, and involved the re-use of stone
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Fernaig Cottage boasts some green cred: it's well insulated, sports an air source heat pump and MVHR system, and involved the re-use of stone
Fernaig Cottage was designed by Scampton and Barnett Architects
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Fernaig Cottage was designed by Scampton and Barnett Architects
Hidden House was designed by Coffey Architects
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Hidden House was designed by Coffey Architects
Hidden House was completed in December, 2016
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Hidden House was completed in December, 2016
Hidden House is situated on a small plot of land, on the site of a former caretaker’s shed in the Clerkenwell Conservation Area in London
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Hidden House is situated on a small plot of land, on the site of a former caretaker’s shed in the Clerkenwell Conservation Area in London
Hidden House sits above former prison vaults
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Hidden House sits above former prison vaults
Hidden House was completed in December, 2016
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Hidden House was completed in December, 2016
Highgate House was designed by Carmody Groarke
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Highgate House was designed by Carmody Groarke
Highgate House was completed in April, 2016
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Highgate House was completed in April, 2016
Highgate House replaced a large, detached Edwardian house, in a residential street on the edge of Highgate Woods, London
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Highgate House replaced a large, detached Edwardian house, in a residential street on the edge of Highgate Woods, London
Highgate House meets the client’s ambition of a contemporary family home
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Highgate House meets the client’s ambition of a contemporary family home
Highgate House boasts excellent use of brick, inside and out
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Highgate House boasts excellent use of brick, inside and out
Hill House was designed by Mike Keys and Anne Claxton
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Hill House was designed by Mike Keys and Anne Claxton
Hill House was completed in December, 2015
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Hill House was completed in December, 2015
Hill House is in a conservation area on the northern slopes of Bath
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Hill House is in a conservation area on the northern slopes of Bath
Hill House is a family home for architects and their children and replaces a 1960s bungalow
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Hill House is a family home for architects and their children and replaces a 1960s bungalow
Ness Point was designed by Tonkin Liu
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Ness Point was designed by Tonkin Liu
Ness Point was completed in August, 2016
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Ness Point was completed in August, 2016
"Ness Point has been designed as if it had grown out of the land in which it is embedded," says RIBA. "With undulating thick walls along its length, it hunkers into the hill and is at one with the dramatic landscape of the White Cliffs of Dover.  It goes further than respecting its setting, to really speaking of ‘place’."
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"Ness Point has been designed as if it had grown out of the land in which it is embedded," says RIBA. "With undulating thick walls along its length, it hunkers into the hill and is at one with the dramatic landscape of the White Cliffs of Dover.  It goes further than respecting its setting, to really speaking of ‘place’."
Inside Ness Point
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Inside Ness Point
Newhouse of Auchengee is located in North Ayrshire
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Newhouse of Auchengee is located in North Ayrshire
Newhouse of Auchengee was designed by Ann Nisbet Studio
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Newhouse of Auchengee was designed by Ann Nisbet Studio
Newhouse of Auchengee is a contemporary farmhouse in North Ayrshire
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Newhouse of Auchengee is a contemporary farmhouse in North Ayrshire
Newhouse of Auchengee's zinc external cladding reflects the light
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Newhouse of Auchengee's zinc external cladding reflects the light
No 49 was designed by 31/44 Architects
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No 49 was designed by 31/44 Architects
No 49 was completed in June, 2016
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No 49 was completed in June, 2016
No 49 is located on a small street in Hither Green, London
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No 49 is located on a small street in Hither Green, London
No 49 is a self-build project for the owner/architect
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No 49 is a self-build project for the owner/architect
No 49 is designed to be suitable for a small family 
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No 49 is designed to be suitable for a small family 
Oxfordshire Residence was designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP
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Oxfordshire Residence was designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP
The brief for the Oxfordshire Residence was to create an ambitious modern home, based on the idea of the reinvention of the country house 
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The brief for the Oxfordshire Residence was to create an ambitious modern home, based on the idea of the reinvention of the country house 
 Oxfordshire Residence is described as a house of exceptional, enduring quality and detail
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 Oxfordshire Residence is described as a house of exceptional, enduring quality and detail
Oxfordshire Residence's interior is beautiful, clean, and light
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Oxfordshire Residence's interior is beautiful, clean, and light
The brief for the Oxfordshire Residence was to create an ambitious modern home, based on the idea of the reinvention of the country house
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The brief for the Oxfordshire Residence was to create an ambitious modern home, based on the idea of the reinvention of the country house
Peacock House was completed in December, 2016
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Peacock House was completed in December, 2016
Peacock House was designed by BHSF Architekten with Studio-P
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Peacock House was designed by BHSF Architekten with Studio-P
Peacock House was completed in December, 2016
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Peacock House was completed in December, 2016
Peacock House is arranged around an internal courtyard 
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Peacock House is arranged around an internal courtyard 
Peacock House was designed by BHSF Architekten with Studio-P
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Peacock House was designed by BHSF Architekten with Studio-P
Redshank was designed by Lisa Shell Architects Ltd with Marcus Taylor
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Redshank was designed by Lisa Shell Architects Ltd with Marcus Taylor
Redshank was completed in August, 2016
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Redshank was completed in August, 2016
Redshank is an extraordinary dwelling that is raised over the Essex marshlands on steel stilts
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Redshank is an extraordinary dwelling that is raised over the Essex marshlands on steel stilts
Redshank's steel tripod structure holds the house in the air while concealing the power, water and sewage connections
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Redshank's steel tripod structure holds the house in the air while concealing the power, water and sewage connections
Redshank was completed in August, 2016
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Redshank was completed in August, 2016
Shawm House was designed by MawsonKerr Architects 
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Shawm House was designed by MawsonKerr Architects 
Shawm House was completed in January, 2017
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Shawm House was completed in January, 2017
"Shawm house is quite simply special," say RIBA's judges. "It isn’t often that you visit a self-build or professionally procured house that is immaculately constructed, sensitively conceived and has heart and soul with which it impossible not to make an emotional connection."
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"Shawm house is quite simply special," say RIBA's judges. "It isn’t often that you visit a self-build or professionally procured house that is immaculately constructed, sensitively conceived and has heart and soul with which it impossible not to make an emotional connection."
Shawm House's team used its  knowledge of Passivhaus construction to create a sustainable, low energy and low impact dwelling
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Shawm House's team used its  knowledge of Passivhaus construction to create a sustainable, low energy and low impact dwelling
Inside Shawm House
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Inside Shawm House
The Cooperage was designed by Chris Dyson Architects
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The Cooperage was designed by Chris Dyson Architects
The Cooperage was completed in March, 2016
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The Cooperage was completed in March, 2016
The Cooperage is a former industrial building constructed in the early 1900s, now turned into a stunning family home
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The Cooperage is a former industrial building constructed in the early 1900s, now turned into a stunning family home
Inside one of the Cooperage's bedrooms
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Inside one of the Cooperage's bedrooms
The Quest was designed by Strom Architects
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The Quest was designed by Strom Architects
The Quest was completed in December, 2015
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The Quest was completed in December, 2015
The Quest is a single-story dwelling for octogenarian clients and their handicapped daughter
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The Quest is a single-story dwelling for octogenarian clients and their handicapped daughter
The Quest, by Strom Architects, is one of the 20 impressive new British homes highlighted by RIBA's House of the Year competition
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The Quest, by Strom Architects, is one of the 20 impressive new British homes highlighted by RIBA's House of the Year competition
Accessibility was a key concern with The Quest
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Accessibility was a key concern with The Quest
Whole House was designed by  Hayhurst and Co.
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Whole House was designed by  Hayhurst and Co.
Whole House was completed in June, 2016
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Whole House was completed in June, 2016
Whole House was a very challenging project due to the cramped site 
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Whole House was a very challenging project due to the cramped site 
Whole House was designed by  Hayhurst and Co.
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Whole House was designed by  Hayhurst and Co.
Woodsman's Treehouse was designed by Brownlie Ernst and Marks Limited
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Woodsman's Treehouse was designed by Brownlie Ernst and Marks Limited
Woodsman's Treehouse was completed in July, 2016
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Woodsman's Treehouse was completed in July, 2016
Woodsman's Treehouse features its own suspension bridge and slide
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Woodsman's Treehouse features its own suspension bridge and slide
Woodsman's Treehouse is accessed by suspension bridge
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Woodsman's Treehouse is accessed by suspension bridge
Woodsman's Treehouse was designed by Brownlie Ernst and Marks Limited
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Woodsman's Treehouse was designed by Brownlie Ernst and Marks Limited
South Street was designed by  Sandy Rendel Architects Ltd.
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South Street was designed by  Sandy Rendel Architects Ltd.
South Street was completed in October, 2015
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South Street was completed in October, 2015
Inside South Street
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Inside South Street
South Street is a beautiful luxury house built on a constrained site 
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South Street is a beautiful luxury house built on a constrained site 
South Street was completed in October, 2015
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South Street was completed in October, 2015

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has unveiled its longlist for 2017's House of the Year competition. The selection highlights the cream of British residential design and includes stunning luxury pads, sustainable renovations, a beach house raised on stilts, and a treehouse for two accessed by suspension bridge.

Though a UK-wide competition, 2017's House of the Year is dominated by English submissions, mostly in the south. Just three of the homes are located across the border in Scotland, while Wales and Northern Ireland didn't field a single entry between them. Still, it's an excellent selection and includes some real variety this year.

We've highlighted our favorites below, but head to the gallery to see each one in full.

Redshank - Lisa Shell Architects with Marcus Taylor

Redshank was completed in August, 2016
Redshank was completed in August, 2016

This little beach house in Essex by Lisa Shell Architects has been showered with praise from critics since it was completed in August last year.

Having a total floorspace of 49 sq m (527 sq ft), Redshank is supported on a steel tripod structure that cleverly hides the necessary service connections for power, water and sewage. Accessed is gained by a galvanized steel staircase and the home sports a small balcony with built-in seating.

The interior is quite simple and split between just three rooms: living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Generous glazing offers views over the local marshland and towards the sea.

The Quest - Strom Architects

The Quest is a single-story dwelling for octogenarian clients and their handicapped daughter
The Quest is a single-story dwelling for octogenarian clients and their handicapped daughter

Strom Architects was commissioned to build this stunning luxury home called the Quest by a pair of elderly clients and their disabled daughter. Located in Dorset, the single-story dwelling takes its place discreetly on a hillside and cantilevers impressively over a stone wall.

Inside the 235 sq m (2,529 sq ft) home, the layout is accessible, flexible and open, with a large living room, dining area and kitchen encouraging family bonding. The glazing is significant and offers excellent views over the countryside.

Solar panels are placed discreetly on the roof to reduce grid-based electricity needs. The house is heated by an open log fire, in addition to underfloor heating.

Woodsman's Treehouse - Brownlie Ernst and Marks

Woodsman's Treehouse is accessed by suspension bridge
Woodsman's Treehouse is accessed by suspension bridge

Regular readers may remember this luxury treehouse in Dorset from our coverage last year. The Woodsman's Treehouse is a luxury dwelling for two people that boasts a sauna, hot tub, and even a slide for making a speedy exit.

Access to the treehouse is gained by crossing a small suspension bridge and the front door is made from heavy oak, with a marine porthole and submarine-style locking mechanism.

Inside, the treehouse measures 35 sq m (376 sq ft). It includes a small lobby, toilet, and a main living area. This latter space includes a king-sized bed, kitchenette, seating, and a copper bath. Heating comes from a rotating fireplace in the center.

The overall winner of 2017's RIBA House of the Year will be declared in a few months time.

Source: RIBA

1 comment
ljaques
Of all those entries, only one, Ness Point looks nice, looks comfortable, and might be nice to live in. All the others are either just hideous, unlivable, or both. If it were my judging org, I'd limit awards to buildings which had merit and actually deserved them, not just hand them out to one of the monstrosities which was built. Why are these twisted blinkin' architects encouraged? That little red metal roofed place looked nice until I looked inside and it had a gaping ceiling. Those are just too bloody uncomfortable to "be" in. I wish all architects read Sarah Susanka's book, The Not So Big House. She covers a lot of aspects of livability in it and buildings everywhere would be better as a result. Were half these houses built from napkin sketches after far too many shots and pints? And the other half built as a joke? Homes nowadays are either cookie-cutter dupes or ghastly nightmares, it seems. (Guess I needed this rant.)