Grand Designs: House of the Year 2019 winner revealed

This year's winner of RIBA's House of the Year has been announced - find out which creative build stole the crown

By Hugh Metcalf | 13 November 2019

The final of Grand Designs: House of the Year 2019 has now aired on Channel 4 – read on to find out which house was crowned as RIBA’s winner.

Pocket House in London shortlisted for Riba house of the year 2019

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

A modest, low-budget rural home in County Down, Northern Ireland, has been named House of the Year 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects, beating out a stellar shortlist of creative builds as featured on Grand Designs House of the Year.

The single-storey house, known as House Lessans, cost just £1,425 per square meter to build, a total of £335,000. To do this architect Kieran McGonigle of McGonigle McGrath used rough, low-cost materials such as concrete bricks, finished to a domestic standard. He also kept the floor plan simple while maximising the sense of space and light with high ceilings and huge fixed windows, a cheaper alternative to bifold doors.

grand designs winner Riba house of the year 2019 - house lessans - aiden mcgrath

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Exterior layout

House Lessans consists of two perpendicular blocks overlooking a sheltered courtyard. Built on the site of a former farmstead, it takes its cues from a neighbouring shed, using white rendered concrete walls and zinc pitched roofs.

grand designs winner Riba house of the year 2019 - house lessans - aiden mcgrath

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Open-plan design

Inside there’s an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room, as well as three bedrooms and one bathroom. A mezzanine study has been fitted in above a pantry. Pared back interiors follow a soft grey colour scheme. Grey walls follow a consistent height throughout the house, tying everything together, with roof spaces painted a reflective white.

The final of Grand Designs: House of the Year 2019 has now aired on Channel 4 – read on to find out which house was crowned as RIBA’s winner.

Pocket House in London shortlisted for Riba house of the year 2019

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

A modest, low-budget rural home in County Down, Northern Ireland, has been named House of the Year 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects, beating out a stellar shortlist of creative builds as featured on Grand Designs House of the Year.

The single-storey house, known as House Lessans, cost just £1,425 per square meter to build, a total of £335,000. To do this architect Kieran McGonigle of McGonigle McGrath used rough, low-cost materials such as concrete bricks, finished to a domestic standard. He also kept the floor plan simple while maximising the sense of space and light with high ceilings and huge fixed windows, a cheaper alternative to bifold doors.

grand designs winner Riba house of the year 2019 - house lessans - aiden mcgrath

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Exterior layout

House Lessans consists of two perpendicular blocks overlooking a sheltered courtyard. Built on the site of a former farmstead, it takes its cues from a neighbouring shed, using white rendered concrete walls and zinc pitched roofs.

grand designs winner Riba house of the year 2019 - house lessans - aiden mcgrath

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Open-plan design

Inside there’s an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room, as well as three bedrooms and one bathroom. A mezzanine study has been fitted in above a pantry. Pared back interiors follow a soft grey colour scheme. Grey walls follow a consistent height throughout the house, tying everything together, with roof spaces painted a reflective white.

Image: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Country views

Sylvia and Michael, owners of House Lessans, said: ‘We feel that the house respects and indeed enhances the landscape. It is a joy to live in – from seeing the soaring bedroom ceiling on wakening, being surrounded by the gentle landscape in the kitchen during the day, to enjoying the sunset in the top room.’

grand designs winner Riba house of the year 2019 - house lessans - aiden mcgrath

Photo: RIBA/Aidan McGrath

Affordable design

Chair of the 2019 RIBA House of the Year jury, architect John Pardey, said: ‘House Lessans … represents a paradigm in creating relevant contemporary architecture that truly reflects its local context, vernacular and culture. It has an elegant simplicity achieved within a remarkably low budget without excesses, creating delight in the subtly changing volumes as well as its relationship between the inside and outside.’

Was House Lessans your winner? Rewatch the Grand Designs: House of the Year 2019 series here on All 4
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