Richard Murphy’s ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Home Named RIBA UK House of the Year 2016
RIBA has announced its House of the Year 2016 in Richard Murphy’s ‘Wallace and Gromit’ home in Edinburgh. Thanks to its abundance of secret hatches, moving walls and a sliding ladder, the five storey abode has also been referred to as the ‘Box of Tricks’ home.
Officially called Murphy House, the Edinburgh home beat 19 other projects to win the RIBA prize, which recognises the best new houses in the UK each year. The announcement was made during the final episode of Grand Designs: House of the Year on Channel 4 late last week.
Taking nearly a decade to complete, the Murphy House was designed and built by the Richard Murphy Architects founder, with the house inspired by the work of 20th century Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, as well as John Soane. As such, it features an assortment of secret rooms, gadgets and folding walls.
Located in an end-of-terrace plot in Edinburgh’s New Town, the exterior boasts sandstone walls as well as louvre-fronted windows and a 45-degree roof covered in solar panels to provide the home with its energy.
Inside, occupants can vary the degree of light and privacy by folding panels in the walls. Other features include a bedroom with a concealed bath, sliding bookshelf ladders in a subterranean library, and a kitchen which can be raised up so guests can’t see the mess. There’s also a courtyard and roof terrace.
The award was given to the Murphy House after the initial list of 20 was whittled down to a shortlist of 7 to be featured on the House of the Year TV series. According to RIBA President Jane Duncan, Murphy House was this year’s best example of “how to overcome challenging constraints – from planning restrictions and an awkward site in an urban location – to build a stunning house.”
Photography is by Keith Hunter.