Grand Designs:Edinburgh's 'Murphy House' wins coveted House of the Year 2016 award

In the fourth and final part of a special series of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud reveals how he and the judges were wowed by home that is somewhere between a James Bond lair and Wallace and Gromit gadget haven...

Click to follow
H&P

James Bond meets Wallace and Gromit inside the winner of this year's top Riba prize, House of the Year 2016.

In the fourth and final part of a special series of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud and the judges were wowed by an intricate mechanism of a home.

Revealing the Murphy House in Edinburgh as the winner of this year's coveted Riba House of the Year award, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud says "it stands like a futuristic bookend" amid the 18th-century houses that surrounded it.

"It delights and intrigues from the moment you walk in," he says of the home.

Architect Richard Murphy created the 1,800sq ft home on eight levels in a plot 36ft by 20ft, a triumph over space over size, and packed it with gadgets including automatic shutters, a bedroom with a hidden bath, walls that fold out and a bookcase with secret window panels.

Kevin was most delighted by the masonry walls that open to reveal the bath to the rest of the street.

Riba judge Charlotte Skene Catling says: "It's a completely magnificent and mad vision of what a house can be. 

"It's like opening the back of a clock and seeing the mechanism."

Kevin concurs over this cabinet of curiosities that has been called a Wallace and Gromit-style building and finds on his tour that "anything that can be made to move, will".

He says: "It's James Bond stuff, or Thunderbirds. This place, with all its fizzes and pops and excitement, celebrate what it is to be human, celebrates life - the best trick of all." 

London's Tin House was last to be placed on the shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects House of the Year prize, a horseshoe-shaped collection of red oxide coated steel sheds hidden on the site of a former breakers' yard.

It joined Hackney house with pyramid for a garden, a London mews house with dizzying glass floors, a Sixties modernist house 'brought back from the dead' in Wiltshire, a partly-subterranean concrete retreat in the Forest of Dean and a half-buried white, mirrored house in Clapham.

Grand Designs: House of the Year is on Channel 4 on Thursdays at 9pm


Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook

Comments