E G Carter & Co’s House on the Hill wins RIBA House of the Year Award 2021

House on the Hill

A building project by Gloucester-based construction firm E G Carter & Co has been named House of the Year at the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects awards.

House on the Hill – formally known as Windward House – in the Forest of Dean was designed by Alison Brooks Architects and constructed by E G Carter & Co Ltd.

The restoration took over ten years, with the project creating a rich spatial experience while establishing a strong connection between the dwelling and the landscape.

The RIBA jury commended the house for the “amalgam of architecture, landscape, inhabitation and art” that aptly manages to create a light and calm atmosphere.

Alongside Alison Brooks Architects, E G Carter & Co Ltd restored the 18th century stone farmhouse and converted the structure into a vast gallery space.

The two-storey extension is partially embedded into the hillside and contains domestic areas. On the ground floor of the new wing, the kitchen, living room and dining area open towards exterior terraces.

A staircase that doubles as a gallery space leads to the first floor containing two bedrooms, an office and a terrace. Through the house, a series of niches, benches and recesses provide the setting for the owner’s art collection.

Mark Harries, associate director at E G Carter & Co Ltd, said: “It is a huge honour for E G Carter & Co Ltd to be associated with a project that has won the much-coveted RIBA House of the Year award.

“It was a fantastic project to be involved with and it is great to see it get the recognition that it deserves. The house really is one of a kind and it took some of our highly skilled tradespeople to achieve the very high standard of craftmanship capable of winning an award of this stature.”

Alison Brookes, architect, said: ‘It’s a real honour to win RIBA House of the Year amongst an accomplished shortlist of beautiful projects.

“I see private house commissions as a rare opportunity to test new ideas in a concentrated form – they are the built equivalent of writing an essay.

“So, this accolade is a testament to my client’s belief in the value of architecture and their willingness to embrace the new.

“I’m grateful for their trust in me and my team of talented architects, in Akera Engineers and the brilliant team at E G Carter & Co Ltd whose skilful contributions produced this remarkable house and gardens, that together reveal a new way of living in the landscape.’

Simon Allford, RIBA President, said: “This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new – connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years.

“Intriguing and distinguished, House on the Hill is the impressive result of a ten-year collaboration between the homeowners and their architect. This is an extraordinary labour of love in architectural form. Every detail has been meticulously considered and exquisitely finished, resulting in a truly remarkable home that enhances its unique setting.”