The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett alumni win Building of the Year award

1 January 2018

Bartlett School of Architecture alumni's project Caring Wood has won the RIBA House of the Year Award 2017.

Grand Designs House of the Year: Caring Wood

Caring Wood by James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell has been named RIBA House of the Year 2017, an accolade awarded to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK.

Inspired by Kent's traditional oasthouses – the agricultural buildings for kilning hops – Caring Wood revives local building crafts and traditions, including locally sourced handmade peg clay tiles, locally quarried ragstone and coppiced chestnut cladding. The house comprises four towers, with interlinking roofs like markers in the landscape, echoing other oasthouses in the distance.

James Macdonald Wright said:

Sustainability in architectural practice is expected, but I believe regionalism, craft and the interpretation of the vernacular are also important. I’m delighted that in Caring Wood they are being recognised. This project proves that, by joining together, small practices can do big things. It was made possible by the combination of an incredibly dedicated team and a uniquely supportive client.”

James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell studied for their Part 2 and Part 3 Architecture qualifications at The Bartlett in 1998 and 1999. Macdonald Wright founded Macdonald Wright Architects and Maxwell founded Rural Office for Architecture.  

The award was announced as part of Grand Designs: House of the Year, a four-part Channel 4 TV series presented by Kevin McCloud, Damion Burrows and Michelle Ogundehin, who is also a Bartlett alumna.

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