RIBA House of the Year 2022

House of the Year

RIBA House of the Year

The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) House of the Year 2022 award process is underway and currently being televised in partnership with Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

House of the Year
Kevin McCloud hosts the RIBA House of the Year on Channel 4

Architectural Awards

The TV series showcases of the best one-off houses designed by architects in the UK, celebrating excellence and innovation in home design.

Across the episodes, the judges’ visit the featured longlist and select two houses every week for the shortlist. The eventual winner will be announced in the final episode on the 7th of December.

New-build houses make up half of the list with the remainder comprising conversions, renovations, or extensions to existing buildings.

House of the Year
The Red House as featured in Episode 1

Architectural Lessons

There are a couple of divisive projects (internally The Red House has the office split) whilst a couple of projects are very popular (Layton House & Seabreze beach house). Some of the sites and budgets may feel unrelatable but there are small, inexpensive architectural devices that can be borrowed to elevate the most modest project. Think rotating your timber cladding through 45 degrees, considered placement of windows to frame views or vaulted ceilings.

House of the Year
The Ravine House is an incredible transformation of a 60’s bungalow

It is highly recommended viewing for anyone with an interest in architecture or considering their own Grand Designs’ project. It displays the impressive breadth and creativity of architectural solutions that can be realised from the brief, context, and client–architect relationship.

House of the Year
Seabreeze made the Short list and is a practice favourite


Obviously this is a series for TV and doesn’t go into any of the difficult stages of the process such as Planning Permission or Construction but it does show what can be achieved on small sites at a domestic scale.

The program also demonstrate the striking result which can be achieved when an ambitious client works alongside a talented architectural team.

Next Steps

If you feel inspired to pursue your own Grand Design, call Walters Architects on 0116 254 1830 to discuss your project further. We are always happy to talk through your ideas and our initial consultation if free.

Episode 2

Update (30.11.22)…

Episode 2 of the RIBA House of the Year was aired last week (23.11.22) and saw an extension and refurbishment special where the houses were not necessarily new build properties but existing houses reimagined for a new era and/or purpose.

Walters Architects had three favourites, of which two made the shortlist. A couple of guys in the office really liked the Parchment Works which incorporated old ruins into the scheme, whilst we all agreed the sustainable refurbishment of the Mews House and the conversion of the Dutch Barn were exceptional.

We feel this programme is so important for those potential clients hoping to express their individual ideas within their specific building projects. It gives a great explanation of what can be achieved by an adventurous client and gifted design team. This program is certainly aimed at Architecture and not simply building design.

The Parchment Works really demonstrates how best to incorporate the old with the new. A really sensitive way of reminding people of the buildings original purpose whilst making it fit for a modern family use. The interiors are particularly attractive, marrying the exiting details and new construction beautifully.

House of the Year
The Mews Deep Retrofit – a sustainable approach

We just loved the staircase and detailing of the Mews House Retrofit which readdressed a cold and drafty Victorian coach house into a supper sustainable light and contemporary family home. The craftmanship was exceptional and the use of light absolutely transformed the interior.

House of the Year
The stunning staircase changed the circulation and light forever within the Mews House

The Dutch Barn project just looked so at ease in its setting and its new viewing tower climbs gently vertically and looked every bit the part next to the low horizontal contracting roof of the barn. The use of stark materials were striking against the soft and gentle landscaping surrounding the building. All very deliberate and very clever.

House of the Year
The hard steel of the Dutch Barn really compliments it’s soft and considered surroundings.

We look forward to this weeks episode and continuing this post with further observations and stimulating conversation with in the office and with new clients.