RIBA House of the Year 2022 revealed | An eccentric Dorset home

Winner of the RIBA House of the Year 2022, The Red House. Photo by Will Pryce

A quirky two-storey family home in rural Dorest, known as The Red House by David Kohn Architects, has scooped the coveted RIBA House of the Year 2022 award.

Built for an art collector and family, the new-build house is characterised by its patterned red brickwork and painted green detailing on its exterior façade. The Red House was recognised by the jury as the winner of the UK’s best new architect-designed home for the way it “confronts our expectations of a house in a beautiful setting”. 

Chair of the RIBA House of the Year 2022 jury, architect Taro Tsuruta described the building as “ordinary yet quirky, extravagant although utilitarian. An aesthetic and sustainable building with future-proof functionality, it draws on architectural references from Morris to Stirling – with many surprises throughout which were applauded by all the jury members.”

Patterned red brickwork and contrasting green details make the house stand out in its idyllic countryside setting. Photo by Will Pryce

London-based architect and founder of his namesake studio, David Kohn has reinterpreted and drawn inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement for the Red House. “The jury have chosen to support architecture that is intimate, playful, colourful, and engages both with its context and history. I could not be more delighted.” 

While craftsmanship and attention to detail are at the forefront the design, so to is the consideration for future-proofing and designing for climate change. For example, the house has thick walls and deep eaves, serving to protect the façade from the elements and minimise overheating during summer months – crucial considerations as the climate progressively changes. 

According to the architects, the concrete has been left exposed to maximise the thermal stability of the interiors and the deep concrete foundations have been replaced by steel piles, reducing the embodied carbon in the groundworks. Biodiversity has been woven in, with the slate roof discretely offering a home for the local bat population. Further nesting sites have also been incorporated into the brickwork and eaves to encourage wildlife.  

The house takes inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, and features a light and airy, open-plan ground floor. Photo by Will Pryce

The jury for the House of the Year 2022 included: Taro Tsuruta, chair of the jury and founder of Tsuruta Architects; Alison Brooks, founder and creative director of Alison Brooks Architects; Yinka Ilori, founder of Yinka Ilori Studio; Ben Ridley, founder and director at Architecture for London; Nicola Tikari, co-founder and director of Tikari Works. 

The shortlist for RIBA House of the Year 2022:

Alongside The Red House by David Kohn Architects were six other shortlisted projects for RIBA House of the Year 2022:

  • Seabreeze by RX Architects
  • The Dutch Barn by Sandy Rendel Architects Ltd
  • Mews House Deep Retrofit by Prewett Bizley Architects
  • Surbiton Springs by Surman Weston 
  • Suffolk Cottage by Hayson Ward Miller 
  • The Library House by Macdonald Wright Architects

You can read more about the RIBA House of the Year 2022 longlist here on enki, and discover the outstanding library building that was announced as the RIBA Stirling Prize 2022 winner too.

Learn more about London-based practice David Kohn Architects and their work on arts, education, and residential projects.

Never miss an issue of enki magazine (filled with all the latest dreamy architecture and design inspiration) – simply order a subscription and you can get it delivered straight to your door!

Looking for Something?