Dezeen Magazine

Exterior of Redhill Barn by TYPE

RIBA reveals top 20 British homes in House of the Year 2021 longlist

A skinny home in an alley, a low-rise brick Passivhaus and a converted stone barn are among the varied projects on this year's longlist for the RIBA House of the Year Award.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has longlisted a total of 20 homes for the prize, which is awarded annually to the best one-off house designed by an architect in the UK.

Bumpers Oast house by ACME exterior
Bumpers Oast (above) and Redhill Barn (top image) are among the rural homes longlisted for the RIBA House of the Year Award

Other projects on this year's longlist are Corner House by 31/44 Architects and Grain House by Hayhurst & Co Architects – two Victorian dwellings that have been remodelled in London.

Among the most unusual one-off homes vying for the prize are Bumpers Oast, which is designed by ACME to evoke a hop-drying kiln in rural Kent, and The Narula House in Berkshire that is perched on skinny stilts over a flood plain.

Corner House by 31/44 Architects exterior
A remodelled Victorian dwelling called Corner House also made the list

The Narula House, which was designed by John Pardey Architects, is among the longlisted projects to have also won a RIBA National Award this year.

Other houses that made it onto both lists are the rural Redhill Barn by TYPE and Alison Brooks Architects' art-filled extension to a Georgian farmhouse, alongside Tonkin Liu's residential conversion of an old water tower and Alma-nac's House-within-a-House.

The Water Tower in Norfolk by Tonkin Liu
The Water Tower house in Norfolk is also vying for the prize

The RIBA House of the Year Award, originally called the Manser Medal, was set up in 2001.

This year's winner will be announced later this year as part of the sixth series of Channel 4's Grand Designs: House of the Year programme.

The jury is set to be chaired by Amin Taha of Groupwork and will also include the co-founder of Ash Sakula Architects, Cany Ash, and the co-founder of McGonigle McGrath, Kieran McGonigle.

McGonigle McGrath was the winner of RIBA House of the Year Award for 2019 with House Lessans in rural Northern Ireland. The project was hailed as a "dream home" built on the "tightest of budgets".

Narula House by John Pardey Architects
The stilted Narula House is one of the more unusual projects on the longlist

Last year, the competition was among the RIBA Awards programmes to be cancelled due to the coronavirus and "ongoing public health concerns" over in-person judging.

Past winners of the award include an off-grid dwelling in the Scottish Highlands built for a ceramicist and a house in Edinburgh filled with secret hatches and moving walls.

Scroll down to see the full longlist for 2021:

Inside the Devon Passivhaus by McLean Quinlan
McLean Quinlan's low-lying Devon Passivhaus is on the longlist

Bumpers Oast, Kent, by ACME
Corner House, London, by 31/44 Architects
Devon Passivhaus, Devon, by McLean Quinlan
Grain House, London, by Hayhurst & Co Architects
› Harbour House, Hampshire, by John Pardey Architect
› House for Theo and Oskar, Surrey, by Tigg + Coll Architects
› House in Assynt, Sutherland, Scotland, by Mary Arnold-Forster Architects
House-within-a-House, London, by Alma-nac
› Hove House, Brighton, by Turner Works
Kyle House, Sutherland, Scotland, by Groves-Raines Architects

Grain House in London by Hayhurst & Co Architects
Grain House is another remodelled Victorian dwelling to make the list

› Pele Tower House, Cumbria, by Woollacott Gilmartin Architects
Redhill Barn, Devon, by TYPE Studio
› Simple House, Cambridge, by Haysom Ward Miller Architects
The Narula House, Berkshire, by John Pardey Architects
› The Old School, Yorkshire, by ArkleBoyce Architects
The Slot House, London, by Sandy Rendel Architects with Sally Rendel
The Water Tower, Norfolk, by Tonkin Liu
› Weybridge House, Surrey, by Wilkinson King Architects
Windward House, Gloucestershire, by Alison Brooks Architects
› Wolds Barn, Yorkshire, by ID Architecture