Check out 2016's RIBA House of the Year - Sunsquare
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Check out 2016's RIBA House of the Year

Overview

If you’re a homeowner looking for home improvement inspiration for 2017, you’ll no doubt be interested in the winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) 2016 House of the Year.

The winning property is located in Edinburgh and is owned by architect, Richard Murphy, who, according to the RIBA judges, delivered a “surprising addition to an otherwise conservative sandstone terraced street” in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

The project, labelled a “box of tricks” features secret hatches, moving walls and a sliding ladder within the five-storey home. Murphy House beat off 19 other projects to secure the top prize which recognises innovation in the home across the UK.

The development is the culmination of almost a decade’s work by Richard Murphy, who described the building himself as “a quarter Soane, a quarter Scarpa, a quarter eco-house and a quarter Wallace and Gromit”.

Jane Duncan, president, RIBA, said: “The Murphy House is 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.

“Plus, the architect overcame one of the biggest obstacles: a demanding client – himself!

“Nearly a decade in the making, this house is a true labour of love for Richard. Part jigsaw puzzle, with its hidden and unexpected spaces, and part Wallace and Gromit with its moving pieces and disappearing walls, this is a model house of pure perfection and a worthy winner of the RIBA House of the Year 2016.”

The judges for the competition included Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects, Charlotte Skene Catling of Skene Catling de la Pena and Jonathan Dallas of Dallas Pierce Quintero.

The judges said of Murphy House: “Built on an awkward plot at the end of a terrace, Richard Murphy has designed for himself a deeply personal space filled with tricks, surprises and references to his own design heroes.

“From a hidden bath in the master bedroom and a folding corner wall, to sliding bookshelf ladders that glide around the subterranean library, this house is filled with a unique and spirited charm.

“Murphy, inspired by the work of the late Carlo Scarpa, a 20th Century Italian architect, has created a house full of pure, beautiful craftsmanship.”

In case Murphy House doesn’t do enough to inspire you into improving your home in 2017, make sure you check out our latest case studies, featuring a host of spectacular projects from London and Surrey to Warwickshire and North Norfolk. Whether it’s a stunning new roof terrace, revamping a previously unused basement or breathing new life and light into living areas, Sunsquare’s high-specification flat roof skylights offer the best combination of sophistication, performance and safety.

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