A three-bedroomed house built on a former farmstead in Northern Ireland, has been named House of the Year.
House Lessans cost £335,000 to build - £1,425 a square metre - and was described by judges as “a remarkable achievement for a newly built home of this scale”.
The L-shaped property with white rendered, concrete walls, built in the rolling countryside in County Down, was declared RIBA House of the Year 2019 in the final episode of a special Channel 4 series, Grand Designs: House Of The Year.
Alan Jones, president of RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects), said: “House Lessans demonstrates that life-enhancing architecture does not have to cost the earth…
“Even with the tightest of budgets, House Lessans shows that a dream home, designed by a talented architect, can be a reality.”
Owners Sylvia and Michael said despite people’s recommendations to have more than one bathroom, they stuck to their guns because they didn’t fancy the cleaning.
They said: “It is a joy to live in – from seeing the soaring bedroom ceiling on wakening, being surrounded by the gentle landscape in the kitchen during the day, to enjoying the sunset in the top room.”
Architect Kieran McGonigle, of the firm McGonigle McGrath, said the house “we hope, extends our understanding of how to make buildings in our countryside”.
The RIBA House of the Year award is presented to the UK’s best new architect-designed house.
But some people have disagreed with judges, saying they don’t think much to the appearance of House Lessans.
One Twitter user wrote: “Did you have the winners list upside down? Wouldn’t have been my choice. #HouseLessans #lookslikeabarn.”
Another suggested it was picked purely for its price tag, writing: “Seriously? That was not the best house on the list. Smacks of trying to address anti-money criticism by picking the cheapest...”