Maison L, the dramatic addition to an 18th century orangery creating an innovative contemporary house on the outskirts of Paris, has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Manser Medal 2012 for the best newly designed private house. The presentation of the award to the winning architects, architectures possibles, took place at a dinner in Manchester this evening, hosted by BBC Radio 4’s Mark Lawson.
An 18th Century orangery on an undulating site in Ile de France has undergone a major restoration and extension to become an exceptional new house. Interconnecting half-buried rooms arranged in an L-shaped plan incorporate five three-storey flat-roofed concrete bedroom and bathroom towers - one for each of the four children plus their parents. Architect Christian Pottgiesser (architectures possibles architects) has responded to the extremely challenging site and uncompromising brief to create a home that surprises and delights but has minimal impact on the mature landscape in which it is set.
Speaking about Maison L, RIBA President Angela Brady said:
“Maison L is a stunningly original house that creatively responds to the needs of its household – here everyone has their own private bedroom tower, but can come together in the most dramatic cave-like family rooms. The modern extension is sensitive to the 18th Century orangery it extends and to the mature French landscape in which it sits. The courage of the family and the ingenuity of the architect combine to create the most exceptional project. This is no ordinary home.”
The four other houses that were shortlisted for the 2012 RIBA Manser Medal are:
The Dune House in Thorpeness, Suffolk by Jarmund Vigsnaes Architects & Mole Architects
Private house in Gloucestershire by Found Associates
Private house in East Sussex by Duggan Morris Architects
Two Passive Solar Gain Houses, Porthadown, Cornwall by Simon Conder Associates
Previous winners of the RIBA Manser Medal include Duggan Morris Architects with a modern conversion of a brutalist house in Hampstead (2011), Acme for Hunsett Mill (2010), Pitman Tozer Architects for The Gap House (2009), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Oxley Woods (2008) and Alison Brooks Architects for the Salt House (2007).
This year’s judges were: Michael Manser CBE RA PPRIBA Chairman of The Manser Practice, architect; Stuart Piercy, architect; client Lady Ritblat; David Scott, National Trust Councillor and Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards.
The Architects’ Journal is media partner for the RIBA Awards and special awards and trade media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize. The Observer is national media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.