RIBA HOUSE OF THE YEAR 2017 WINNER

CARING WOOD NR ULCOMBE IN KENT HAS BEEN AWARDED RIBA (ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS) GRAND DESIGNS HOUSE OF THE YEAR  2017– AS THE BEST NEW HOUSE DESIGNED BY AN ARCHITECT IN THE UK

Designed by James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell, Caring Wood is inspired by the traditional Oast houses, synonymous with the landscape of Kent and formerly used as agricultural buildings for kilning of hops for the brewing of beer.

Caring Wood re-imagines the traditional English country house. It speaks of its time and place: with a contemporary design that has clear links to the rural vernacular.  Local building crafts and traditions were revived in the construction including locally sourced handmade peg clay tiles, locally quarried ragstone and coppiced chestnut cladding. The house comprises four towers, with interlinking roofs like markers in the landscape, echoing other Oast houses in the distance.

The RIBA House of the Year is awarded to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK. The shortlist and winner were announced as part of Grand Designs: House of the Year, a special four-part Channel 4 TV series presented by Kevin McCloud.

It seems though that one man's home is another man's hell, as this year’s winner is discovering after scooping the prestigious Grand Designs prize.

Viewers tuning into the House of the Year programme were quick to berate the judges for crowning 'an Oast house on steroids' the winner.

Carey Wood, which stands at 13 times the size of an average three-bedroom house, and comes with its own music hall, multi-storey courtyard and underground tunnels, was condemned as 'ugly and pretentious' by viewers.

The vast new-build impressed judges with its 'multi-generational living' space thanks to its ability to house 15 members of one extended family - but plenty of those watching felt other winners were more worthy.

You can judge for yourself by viewing the other Grand Designs shortlisted and long listed for the award on https://www.architecture.com/HouseoftheYear