An 'urban sanctuary' in Brixton wins 2013 RIBA Manser Medal for best newly designed private house

Slip House, a remarkable translucent glass house on a terraced street in Brixton, has won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Manser Medal 2013 for the best newly designed private house. The presentation of the award to the winning architects, Carl Turner Architects, took place at a special event at Central Saint Martins in London.

Built on a small patch of land in Brixton, the architects have made a simple and sculptural addition to a street of Victorian terraced houses. Slip House is made up of three ‘boxes’ which sit on top of one another, creating a studio work space downstairs, with living quarters above, above which is a walled roof garden covering the entire footprint of the building. The boxes are carefully placed to maximise light and outlook from inside while not intruding on its neighbour’s outlook.

Speaking about Slip House, the RIBA Manser Medal judges said:

"Slip House demonstrates an admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplary low-energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design. However, at no point do the sustainable ambitions of the project crowd out or dominate the refined quality of the spaces that are created. Little wonder then the project was one of Kevin McCloud’s favourite ‘Grand Designs’, one he described as an ‘urban sanctuary’."

The four other houses shortlisted for the 2013 RIBA Manser Medal were:


  • Astley Castle, Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann Architects


  • Crowbrook, Hertfordshire by Knox Bhavan Architects
  • Downley House, Petersfield by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
  • Rockmount, The Wirral by Shed KM

The 2013 Manser Medal judges were: Michael Manser CBE; Hugh Broughton, architect; Joe Morris, architect; Caroline Cole, architect and Tony Chapman, Hon FRIBA, RIBA Head of Awards.

Previous winners of the RIBA Manser Medal include architecturepossibles for Maison L, France (2012); Duggan Morris Architects for 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).

The Architects’ Journal is media partner for the RIBA Awards and special awards and trade media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.


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