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‘True London oasis’ wins House of the Year 2023

The House of the Year 2023 has been named as the Green House – hailed as a “true oasis” in London.

Described by judges as a “domestic greenhouse” and an “extraordinary ordinary house”, the revamped terraced home was given the annual award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba).

The five-bedroom property, tucked away down an alleyway in Tottenham and delivered by Hayhurst & Co, features polycarbonate panels and is screened with dense planting.

Green House, a revamped terraced house, was given the annual award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Kilian O’Sullivan/Riba/PA)
Green House, a revamped terraced house, was given the annual award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Kilian O’Sullivan/Riba/PA)

Chairwoman of the jury, Dido Milne, a director at CSK Architects, said: “Green House, affectionately known as the Tottenham Riad, is a true oasis within the city. It is both airy and cosy, bold yet respectful of its neighbours.

“Your eye is simultaneously drawn upwards to open sky and down and out across the living room to verdant greenery.

“The close architect and client relationship, with a joint desire to deliver a truly sustainable home, is evident in all of the design decisions and detailing.

“On a confined urban site, the house was delivered to a tight budget with an economy of means – and it remains richer for it.

“Nowhere do you feel the site or budget was restricted. It feels both luxurious, homely, deeply private and relaxing. It’s an extraordinary ordinary house and a remarkable collaboration.”

Located in the Clyde Circus Conservation Area, the house also has a roof terrace and surrounding greenery, as well as roof-lights in the atrium, and was “built on a very tight budget”.

Photographer Tom van Schelven, who owns the house with Amandine Neyses, uses the space and ceiling height to host picture shoots and as a stage for children’s drama performances, according to Riba.

The outside view of Green House.
The outside of Green House (Kilian O’Sullivan/Riba/PA)

The materials used include cross-laminated timber walls, which Hayhurst and Co said holds 39 tonnes of sequestered carbon, reclaimed concrete blocks and recycled cork rubber flooring that Riba says is energy efficient.

Air-source heat pumps and solar panels are also used to boost the property’s green credentials.

The house was highly commended at the 2022 British Homes Awards and won a 2021 Haringey Design Award.

The home beat a Riba shortlist which included a renovated Devonshire cow shed, from David Kohn Architects, which featured lights once used to warm calves, and a fortress-like home on the banks of Loch Awe in Scotland from architects Denizen Works.

Also among the jury was Bev Dockray, co-founder of Coppin Dockray Architects, Jessam Al-Jawad, director and co-founder of architecture studio Al-Jawad Pike and Albert Hill, co-founder of The Modern House and Inigo.

The award, established in 2013, is presented to the best new architect-designed house or extension in the UK.

Last year’s winner was the Red House in Dorset.