RIBA House of the Year 2022
Grand Designs House of the Year 2022: Red Brick House

Red House wins RIBA House of the Year

The playful red brick build in Dorset wins the coveted architecture award

By Jason Podesta |

The Red House beat stiff competition from a shortlist full of innovative builds to be declared the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) House of the Year 2022.

With bright red bricks and bold green eaves, this home by David Kohn Architects makes no attempt to blend into its surroundings.

‘The Red House winning the RIBA House of the Year Award is a validation of the ambition and unerring support of our clients and the dedication of the whole project team,’ said David.

‘Furthermore, the jury have chosen to support architecture that is intimate, playful, colourful, and engages both with its context and history. I could not be more delighted.’

The Red House, David Kohn Architects

The Red House by David Kohn Architects. Photo: Will Pryce

The spacious interior offers wide corridors for ease of access, as well as intimate nooks for moments of sanctuary, playing with the idea of what open-plan living should be. There’s also a lift, a distinct lack of doors and mid-level plug sockets, to help cater for any future mobility issues. The curved ash staircase – the most complex the joiner has ever built – is reassuringly solid, with two handrails for ease of use.

Climate change has also been taken into consideration, with thick walls and deep eaves providing shelter from the elements and minimising the potential for overheating during the summer. The concrete has been left exposed to maximise the thermal stability of the interiors. To reduce the embodied carbon of the groundworks, steel piles were used in place of deep concrete foundations.

While the house is a bold addition to the countryside, care has been taken to accommodate wildlife. The slate roof is a safe haven for the local bat population, and nesting for birds has been integrated into the brickwork.

The Red House Dorset, RIBA House of the Year 2022

Photo: Will Pryce

‘We never expected to win the award, so are beyond thrilled that the quality of design was recognised,’ said the owner of The Red House.

‘It is hard as novices to design a new house in a sensitive rural location, but if we’d built an invisible house or a pastiche design it would have been a cop-out. We love the house and its happy eccentricity.’

The Red House Dorset, RIBA House of the Year 2022

Photo: Will Pryce

Taro Tsuruta, Chair of the jury for the House of the Year 2022 and founder Tsuruta Architects, called the build ‘ordinary yet quirky’. He also noted that it ‘draws on architectural references from Morris to Stirling’.

The jury panel included Alison Brooks, founder and creative director of Alison Brooks Architects and winner of House of the Year 2021; Yinka Ilori, founder of Yinka Ilori Studio; Ben Ridley, founder and director at Architecture for London; and Nicola Tikari, co-founder and director of Tikari Works.