David Kohn Architects’ Red House – a contemporary new family house, set in the rolling hills of rural Dorset – has been awarded RIBA House of the Year 2022.
The award is given annually to the best architect-designed house in the UK, and we’re thrilled to see the practice’s incredible, Arts & Crafts inspired home recognised for its innovation and bespoke style., following its appearance on Channel 4’s special Grand Designs series.
The house takes inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, reinterpreting the style in an intentionally provocative way. The house’s playful eccentricity, including oversized eaves, patterned red brickwork, and contrasting bold green details, jumps out – but this is consistently underpinned by outstanding craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The ground floor creates a light, airy atmosphere. Different ‘rooms’ are formed by walls moving in and out of alignment – offering only glimpses into the different areas, rather than a full view down the length of the house. This provides the practical and accessible ease of open-plan living, alongside the cosiness of more enclosed spaces. The staircase is a central feature of the house – a sumptuous, sculptural design sweeping up to the first floor and dropping down through a projecting bay window.
The owners wanted a home that could adapt for future accessibility needs. This thoughtful design future proofs, without comprising on the needs of the present or the style of the house.
Consideration has also been given to designing for climate change. The house has thick walls and deep eaves, serving to protect the façade from the elements and minimise overheating during summer. Deep concrete foundations have been replaced by steel piles, reducing the embodied carbon in the groundworks. Biodiversity has been woven in, with nesting sites incorporated into the brickwork and eaves to encourage wildlife.