Richard Murphy's own home wins House of the Year

Elizabeth Hopkirk

Richard Murphy Architects - Murphy House in Edinburgh - RIBA House of the Year

Source: Keith Hunter

Final shortlist includes Henning Stummel’s Tin House

Richard Murphy’s own house in Edinburgh has been crowned the 2016 RIBA House of the Year.

The five-level Murphy House was described by the judges as a “surprising addition to an otherwise conservative sandstone terraced street” in Edinburgh’s Unesco-listed New Town.

RIBA president Jane Duncan said: “The Murphy House is this year’s best example of how to overcome challenging constraints – from planning restrictions and an awkward site in an urban location - to build a stunning house. Plus the architect overcame one of the biggest obstacles: a demanding client – himself!

“Nearly a decade in the making, this house is a true labour of love for Richard. Part jigsaw puzzle, with its hidden and unexpected spaces, and part Wallace and Gromit with its moving pieces and disappearing walls, this is a model house of pure perfection and a worthy winner of the RIBA House of the Year 2016.”

Richard Murphy said: “We celebrated our 25th birthday last month and to receive this award is a wonderful present with such astonishing levels of public interest. It’s our 21st RIBA award, and takes its place in a long line of awards for buildings small and large and for whole variety of types including domestic, educational, health, arts and a new British Embassy. It emphasises yet again that the practice demonstrates both great versatility and consistently high quality in all its work current and past. It’s been a huge pleasure to develop a lifetime’s themes and now it gives me great pleasure to live there.”

The judges said: “Built on an awkward plot at the end of a terrace, Richard Murphy has designed for himself a deeply personal space filled with tricks, surprises and references to his own design heroes. From a hidden bath in the master bedroom and a folding corner wall, to sliding bookshelf ladders that glide around the subterranean library, this house is filled with a unique and spirited charm. Murphy, inspired by the work of the late Carlo Scarpa, a 20th-century Italian architect has created a house full of pure, beautiful craftsmanship.”

The judges included Meredith Bowles from Mole Architects, Charlotte Skene Catling from Skene Catling de la Pena, and Jonathan Dallas from Dallas Pierce Quintero.  

Full shortlist for the 2016 RIBA House of the Year

 

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