London's starring role in the first RIBA House of the Year awards

Of the 20 finalists in the running for this year's Royal Institute of British Architects House of the Year award, five are in the capital. 

As Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud returns to our screens with a special four-part Channel 4 series exploring the projects in the running, we take a tour of the striking homes across London that are strong contenders, including Kew House - a stunning family home tucked behind a 19th-century stable wall in south-west London, its two wings linked by glass - and a four-bedroom home embedded into a hillside, complete with a cascading stream in the garden, at the edge of Hampstead Heath in Highgate, north London.

This new award, replacing the RIBA Manser Medal, is a sign of how huge interest in house design has become. “Domestic” architecture used to be talked about in a tone otherwise reserved for “crafts”. Today, developers realise Londoners insist on genuinely good-looking, imaginative property design. Whether homes are one-offs or produced in high volumes, mediocre design no longer cuts it. 

No matter which one of the final 20 homes takes the prestigious RIBA prize, all five London candidates are sure-fire winners - each offering clever ideas for developers to profit from, no matter the budget size.

Visit architecture.com for more details and read Philippa Stockley's full report here.

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