grand designs house of the year 2021 winner: gloucestershire farm house

Gloucestershire farmhouse named House of the Year 2021

A dramatic extension earned this Georgian property one of RIBA's top accolades

By Victoria Purcell | 8 December 2021

A Georgian farmhouse in Gloucestershire, dramatically transformed with a contemporary extension, has been named the RIBA House of the Year 2021 winner.

House on the Hill, overlooking the Wye Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ prestigious annual award, which strives to find the UK’s best new architect-designed house.

Revealed in the final episode of Grand Designs: House of the Year on Channel 4, the winning home fuses a three-storey, 18th century stone farmhouse with a new two-storey wing to create a seamless new home and vast gallery space for owners David and Jenny and their art collection.

House of the Year 2021 winner: House on the Hill in a Gloucestershire AONB by Alison Brooks Architects

House on the Hill by Alison Brooks Architects. Photo: Channel 4 / Paul Riddle

Fusing old and new

The House of the Year 2021 winner saw the old farmhouse meticulously restored, while the new extension – larger than the original house – is set back and partially embedded into the hillside, clad in dark wood inspired by the nearby Forest of Dean.

Inside, on the ground floor, the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas flow into each other and onto exterior terraces. With the kitchen in the centre, overlooked by a mezzanine gallery on the floor above. The main staircase also doubles-up as a gallery, and leads up to two bedrooms, an office and a further terrace.

house of the year winner 2021, house on the hill in gloucestershire

The house also functions as a gallery space. Photo: Channel 4 / Paul Riddle

The angles throughout the house, from the skylights to the walls and steel columns, are intentionally skewed and undulating, drawing the eye to surprising focal points. Niches, benches and recesses add even more areas to display the owner’s art.

‘This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new – connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years,’ said RIBA President, Simon Allford, of the House of the Year 2021 Winner.