One of the most distinctive homes we’ve ever seen has just been crowned UK’s best new house. Flint House, a rugged ziggurat-like building covered in flint stone, won the prestigious 2015 RIBA House of the Year. Designed by architects Skene Catling De La Pena for one of the world’s richest families, the sculptural Flint House and its annex were praised by judges as “a marvel of geological evolution and construction.”
Located on Lord Rothschild’s Waddeson Manor estate in Buckinghamshire, the 465-square-meter Flint House and 115-square-meter annex rise from the ground like geological extrusions with sharply sloped roofs covered in a series of steps. Inspired by the local flint-rich landscape, the architects clad the sculptural buildings in 80 tons of flint handpicked from English quarries and graded into eight color tones. The facade slowly gradates from the darker and rougher flint at the base to refined white chalk blocks at the top.
Designed to reflect the passage of time, the Flint House and annex will gradually blend in with the landscape as lichens and moss begin growing on the rocky facade. The stepped terrazzo roofs feature viewing platforms and sunken rooftop gardens. The thoughtfully crafted interiors also evoke the raw landscape, incorporating walls of flint nodules and windows that frame the outdoors. A small rivulet of water snakes under part of the two-story main home, which includes a dining room, kitchen, library and study, and three bedrooms. The annex, built for a visiting art curator, comprises a two-level studio apartment.
“The building is an example of an innovative piece of architecture that suggests a typology for the one-off house that is not an object in the landscape but is of the landscape; yet is not so deferential to nature, that it isn’t challenging, dramatic, and most of all poetic,” explain the judges. “This is a beautiful addition to a beautiful landscape.”
Images via RIBA