Brixton property wins prestigious award after being declared the country’s best designed house


Architect Carl Turner built the house for himself.


By Douglas Patient

An innovative Brixton property is officially the best designed private house in the country after winning a prestigious architecture prize last week.

Slip House, located on a Victorian terraced street in Brixton, was built by Carl Turner Architects last year. They beat four other shortlisted properties to the Royal Institute of British Architects Manser Medal for best newly designed private house.

The property consists of three ‘boxes’ which sit on top of one another, creating a studio work space downstairs, with living quarters above, and a walled roof garden.

“I am in a state of shock, it is slowly dawning on me what a huge honour this is,” said Carl Turner.

“We have received a massive response through Twitter. I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.”

The RIBA Manser Medal was presented at a ceremony in Central Saint Martins. RIBA were founded in 1837, and the Manser Medal first started in 2007 with prestigious past winners including Duggan Morris and Pitman Tozer.

Mr Turner lives with his wife in the house. He took the summer off last year to work on the property, and insisted he did not set out to design a radically different house.

“We sometimes feel like we are living in a show house,” he said.

“There always seems to be someone at the gates stood staring or taking a picture. People have mostly been supportive, especially young people. I think we only had one objection to the project.”

The property beat off opposition from buildings such as Astley Castle in Warwickshire, and Crowbrook in Hertfordshire.

It uses readily available, cheap materials such as sandblasted glass panels, pre-cast floor concrete blocks, and cheap plywood for the joinery. It also uses new environmental technology and is built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and Passivhaus standards.

One of the five judges was former President of RIBA Michael Manser CBE.

In a released statement the judges said: “On a tiny fragment of Brixton Carl Turner has made an elegant and confident prototypical house. Inside and out this house is immaculate in its detail, coordination and execution.”

The project is reportedly one of TV personality Kevin McCloud’s favourite ‘Grand Designs’, which he described as an ‘urban sanctuary’.

Photo courtesy of A.Salisz, with thanks.

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