Following on from his experience as head of the jury for the 2019 RIBA House of the Year, John's thoughts on this year's competition and winner are below:
"Visiting these houses was a joy, no two were the same, but all showed the strength of a one-off house as a testbed for exploring ideas about how we live.
House Lessans in the rolling countryside of County Down was chosen as the winner as it represents a paradigm in creating a 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 inside and outside. The house takes the daily business of life and with the architects skills in making a house from simple materials, carefully detailed and with precise alignments, succeeds in becoming not just a house, but more importantly, a home."
Thanks to all the architects, clients and contractors involved for what was an exemplary selection of houses this year, and a huge congratulations to Kieran and the team at McGonigle McGrath for winning the 2019 RIBA House of the Year competition.
Further articles on the competition can be found here: