The RIBA Home of the Year was Awarded to this Modern Structure

The Royal Institute of British Architects (more commonly referred to as RIBA) is among the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. This means anytime the institution announces one of its renowned awards, many are eager for the results. This year, the 2017 RIBA House of the Year Award went to U.K.-based architects James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell for their whimsical design of a house named Caring Wood. The home, which is located in Kent, was crafted to embody the spirit of the English countryside. To that end, the structure seems to weave together the formal necessities of private spaces with the communal element of landscape architecture. And while both the concept and aesthetic is contemporary, the architects went to great lengths to ensure the design paid homage to local crafts and traditions. This authentic recognition included locally sourced, handmade peg clay tiles, and locally quarried ragstone. As Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill.” The architects involved the structure within the landscape so that, from various vantage points around the 84 acres of land, the home has an ever-changing facade. Indeed, to look at Caring Wood is to witness a home that is born of its environment, both in design and material.

The architects quarried for stone on-site and constructed a man-made lake on the property.

Perhaps the most distinct part of the house are the four towers, which have interlinking clay tile roofs. The roofing is made up of 150,000 handmade peg tiles from Sussex, a rural county in southeast England.

The home was designed to meet high levels of sustainability. The use of clean energy technology within the home, as well as the locally sourced materials, helped in achieving various eco-friendly codes.

The estate includes more than 25,000 mixed native trees, 20 acres of wildflowers, and an orchard of 500 cherry trees.

The architects used nature throughout this courtyard as the glue to bring the various parts of the home together.

There was an emphasis in the design to allow uninterrupted views of the sky overhead.

A view of one of the bedrooms within Caring Wood.

The home features a good amount of natural light due to the various light wells (seen in previous images).

The objective for the interiors was an overall sense of calm, enhanced by a free-flowing nature to the design.