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House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects wins RIBA 2016 Stephen Lawrence Prize
United Kingdom Architecture News - Oct 07, 2016 - 14:24 17146 views
House of Trace designed by Tsuruta Architects has been awarded with the UK's low-budget project prize, produced at less than £1 million for its total construction budget. The prize RIBA 2016 Stephen Lawrence Prize is given to the best projects in UK encouraging fresh architecture with minimum budget.
The prize, set up in memory of Stephen Lawrence who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect before his tragic and untimely death in 1993, and supported by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation.
''It is always encouraging to see a vibrant young practice recognised through the Stephen Lawrence Prize and I am delighted that Tsuruta Architects is this year’s winner. House of Trace is a clever and creative response to the terraced house extension – congratulations to the architects and clients for their combined talent and ambition,'' said Marco Goldschmied, Founder of Stephen Lawrence Prize.
This pure and emblematic local house is derived from the demolition of the original extension and its replacement, called for an intervention that can be a part of the original main building without replicating classical vocabulary or gesture.
Tsuruta Architects' intention was to keep a sense of everyday memory, while simultaneously allowing the new intervention to have its own identity. The original extension had no distinct historical or architectural value, and was structurally unsound, but it had a sloop roof profile typical of those found in terrace house back gardens.
Then, architects chose to incorporate this banality in the new face of the rear garden – in a way persevering its charm to carry some sense of associated memory to those who know it or those who see it new.
One of the existing walls had been leaning at a displacement of about one brick thick towards an adjacent building. These significant old movements were registered as cracks on the leaning wall, and have now been revealed and retained within the corridor.
The structures of the new envelope have been exposed internally wherever practically possible, so that these surfaces will register the future stories of the house. The hand marks of bare plaster finish is left exposed in the bedrooms, are now recorded on the internal faces of the building’s fabric.
The slow patination of bespoke copper and brass fittings shows the passage of time as they change from their original colour. By registering these notions of memories and stories, the clutters of daily life could fully inhabit the space.
“The brief for a typical London back extension has been interpreted in an unusually inventive way. The rear return has been retained and enlarged. The architect has painstakingly preserved the very ordinary construction of stock bricks and brought it into a tense, even mannered, relationship with the new work.''
''It allows a strong charge to exist between continuity and change,'' added Stephen Lawrence Prize judge Niall McLaughlin.
“In the interior, most of the new construction is marked by the systematic use of CNC-cut plywood, bound together with simple tenon joints. This technique extends to many elements, from spatial enclosure to furniture making.''
''It allows an elaborate interplay to develop between the aged and weathered elements of the old house and the systematic, prefabricated nature of the new work. The plywood is subtly marked with routed assembly instructions and the occasional stray cartoon character.''
“This conflation of the systematic and the winsome has a peculiarly Japanese quality that playfully pulls against the stolid character of the Victorian shell. The architect has a very sure sense of situation and every room feels easy and natural. The balance between quotidian domestic life and architectural poise is highly successful. It reminds us that invention thrives in intimate contact with ordinary life.”
The judging panel included for the 2016 Stephen Lawrence Prize; Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, Doreen Lawrence CBE, the mother of Stephen Lawrence; Marco Goldschmied, RIBA Past President and Founder of the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which established the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 1998; and Niall McLaughlin, founder of Niall McLaughlin Architects, which won the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2015.
Previous winners of the Stephen Lawrence Prize include The Fishing Hut by Niall McLaughlin Architects (2015); House No 7 by Denizen Works (2014); Montpelier Community Nursery by AY Architects (2013); Kings Grove by Duggan Morris Architects (2012); and St Patrick's Primary School Library and Music Room by Coffey Architects (2011).
At a ceremony yesterday, Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery by Caruso St John Architects won the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize and Westmorland by Glenn Howells Architects and AFL Architects won 2016 RIBA Client Of The Year Award.
All images © Tim Crocker, Marie-Cecile Embleton and Tsuruta Architects.
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