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AR House 2019 winners revealed

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General Design Co’s house in Kamitomii, Kurashiki, Japan, has been announced as the winner of the AR House awards 2019, alongside two Highly Commended and three Commended house projects

General Design Co have transformed an old house in Kamitomii, paring back an assemblage of additions built over generations to restore it to its original dimensions and create a space defined by openness and simplicity. In contrast to the general trend in Japan to demolish old houses and build afresh, the original roof was carefully preserved, a new structure of slender timber columns constructed beneath.

The winning house design was chosen by a judging panel including London-based Japanese architect Takeshi Hayatsu, co-founder of Norwegian practice Manthey Kula, Beate Hølmebakk, and British architect Stephen Taylor. Over 200 entries were received from around the globe and considered by the judges, who were looking for ingenious and pioneering houses that seek to push the type forward.

House in kamitomii image

House in kamitomii image

Source: Daici Ano

AR House 2019 Winner – House in Kamitomii, Kurashiki, Japan by General Design Co

AR House 2019 results

Winner: House in Kamitomii, Kurashiki, Japan by General Design Co
Highly Commended: Hamra studio residence in Gotland, Sweden by Collectif Encore
Highly Commended: 81 Hollybrook Grove in Dublin, Republic of Ireland by David Leech Architects
Commended:  Cloister House in Perth, Australia by MORQ
Commended: Song House in Shanghai, China by AZL Architects
Commended: Strip House in Aichi, Japan by Kochi Architect’s Studio

Takeshi Hayatsu said of the winning project that ‘the renovation of the house in Kamitomii addresses a pressing housing market issue in Japan, where the value of houses reduces as they get older, and quietly suggests a different form of living, which allows for co-existence with history and surrounding context.’

Beate Hølmebakk described the project’s ‘responsible attitude and able approach towards history, memory, conservation, community and sustainability’. Stephen Taylor also commented: ‘The house in Kamitomii is a very beautiful construction whose new elements entangle themselves intelligently and poetically with the old’.

Collectif encore hamra

Collectif encore hamra

Source: Michel Bonvin

Highly commended – Hamra studio residence in Gotland, Sweden by Collectif Encore

The winner is joined by two Highly Commended projects; Hamra studio residence in Gotland, Sweden by Collectif Encore – a bold concrete house in the Gotland landscape which blurs the boundary between inside and out. Takeshi Hayatsu: ‘The project in Hamra in Sweden offers delightful moments to its inhabitants, creating an enigmatic form with a playful attitude towards details.’ Beate Hølmebakk: ‘The project promotes a collaborative process and a humble attitude to the role of the architect.’

Also Highly Commended is 81 Hollybrook Grove in Dublin, Republic of Ireland by David Leech Architects – a suburban house with a twist, open to the garden on the ground floor with an enclosed nest of bedrooms above. Stephen Taylor: ‘Hollybrook Grove is modest, made of simple materials, belying the wealth of ideas that combine to create a very good work of architecture.’ Beate Hølmebakk: ‘Hollybrook Grove is an undogmatic and eclectic approach to an everyday challenge, revealing architectural potential in pragmatic tasks.’

A house in a garden 81 hollybrook grove 002 lo res

A house in a garden 81 hollybrook grove 002 lo res

Source: David Grandorge

Highly Commended – 81 Hollybrook Grove in Dublin, Republic of Ireland by David Leech Architects

Three additional projects were also commended by the jury, including Cloister House in Perth, Australia by MORQ – an enclosed house in a suburb of Perth with a lush courtyard at its heart. Beate Hølmebakk said ‘The Cloister House displays the result of a close collaboration between client and architect, offering plenty of space and material qualities, which successfully fulfils the client’s wishes.’

Cloister house 01 cgivlio aristide

Cloister house 01 cgivlio aristide

Source: Givlio Aristide

Commended – Cloister House in Perth, Australia by MORQ

Also Commended is Song House in Shanghai, China by AZL Architects – a house for three generations in the shifting fringes of Shanghai. Stephen Taylor said ‘The plan of the Song House offers an interesting typology for multi-occupancy living, suggesting possibilities for collective habitation. The arrangement of spaces is loose yet specific and they come together to present an intriguing composition within the neighbourhood.’

01feng xian song zhai feng mian she ying yao li  0

01feng xian song zhai feng mian she ying yao li 0

Source: Yao Li

Commended – Song House in Shanghai, China by AZL Architects

The third project Commended in the AR House awards 2019 is Strip House in Aichi, Japan by Kochi Architect’s Studio – a house of interlocking planes rather than traditional walls. Takeshi Hayatsu said ‘I love the playful nature of this house. The simple spatial arrangement logic led to a super complex interior. The exterior treatment and positioning of windows is very skilful, and the slight offset of the geometry creates functional corners and useful surfaces.’

Striphouse

Striphouse

Source: Kazuyasu Kochi

Commended – Strip House in Aichi, Japan by Kochi Architect’s Studio

All the projects are featured in the AR’s July/August 2019 edition – you can buy single issues of the Architectural Review on our online shop here – while the full shortlist, comprising of a further 14 projects, is available here.