RIBA South Award 2016 win

3rd May 2016

We are delighted that the new villa in Hampshire designed by George Saumarez Smith has won an RIBA South Award.


Commenting on the villa, the judges wrote, "It is challenging to produce a building that is true to Neo-Classical principles while having to deal with the constraints of current building regulations and environmental considerations. This project is rigorous and joyful, a successful interpretation of a Classical style but successfully adapted for modern living. This is far from pastiche, it has substance and demonstrates a real understanding of proportion, harmony, materiality and craft.

The house feels settled internally – it does not feel like a new build. It fulfils all key criteria set out by the client; all the building elements are extremely well crafted throughout; the indoor air quality is excellent, and the detailing is exceptional at every turn. The staircase in particular is a well-considered composition. The bathrooms are particularly well handled with the tiles and other materials being reclaimed, making the bathrooms a real feature of the house. In fact all the spaces within the building are delightful, very well considered and composed.

The house has external walls with a 215mm thick brick outer skin. This has structural benefits but more importantly improves the thermal mass and U-Value of the building’s envelope. During construction, opportunities for the reuse and recycling of waste from the construction process was maximised by the contactor. The house uses an existing underground brick chamber to store collected rainwater, it uses reclaimed Welsh slates on the roof, and features a ground source heat pump to provide heating and hot water. The house is dignified without being grand. This derives from the architect’s approach which considers elevations not as mere sides, rear and front but rather as faces, each revealing a different character of the house. Externally the building is prominent but it will weather and soften over time."

Congratulations to the whole team involved including Contractor: R. J. Smith & Co, Structural Engineers: White Royall Dixon, M&E Engineers: Qoda Consulting, Landscape Architects: Roeder Landscape Design.

Read more about the house and view gallery