Announcing the 2018  Manser Medal

Expanded to recognise the best one-off houses across Europe


Four designs compete for the 2018 Medal and the £5000 prize fund. The winner will be presented with the Medal at the Sunday Times British Homes Awards in London on September 20th.

House in Coombe Park wins 2017 Manser Medal

The Medal was conceived in 2001 to inspire innovation in house design, to show how social and technological aspirations can be met by intelligent design. The Medal winning designs over the years presented within the archive are exemplars to inspire the wider house-building industry.

“To sustain the Manser Medal’s reputation and to retain the interest of architects, the public and the press, the Medal needs something to distinguish it from the many other housing awards. The buildings we consider are a cut above the rest, in that each has won a design award for housing. But the Manser judges are looking for extra qualities that match the architects’ intellectual aspirations.

Historically, architecture has always responded to society’s needs, coming up with new methods and materials that exploit the latest technical developments, all within the compass of reasonable expenditure. The judges are looking for an inspirational step forward, perhaps an experimental approach, certainly an unequivocal 21st-century solution for 21st-century occupants.

Our aim is to influence both the house-building companies and the general public in the direction of better design. There is huge public interest in houses; the amount of media coverage is evidence of that. The Manser Medal could potentially have as big as following as the Stirling Prize and so expose the talent of younger practitioners, whose abilities are grossly under-used. Many successful architects begin their careers with domestic projects.”

Michael Manser CBE, PPRIBA - 2001


House in Coombe Park – Eldridge London
View Project
This is a house that can’t be ignored, has many stunning and surprising elements and whilst unlikely to be copied will give Architects and house builders much to think about. A fantastically brave and well executed ‘grand project’ of domestic architecture!

The Manser Medal 2017

Those nominated to the short-list were:

Silver House: Hyde + Hyde Architects

This is an elegant rational and stylish modern house, responsive to its’ site and using local and natural materials to give a warmth and richness both outside and particularly inside. The plan establishes a clear hierarchy of spaces and externally the form of the building gives a sometimes disconcertingly sculptural feeling. This building has no false pretensions’ a really well thought out piece of work.


Fernaig Cottage: Scampton and Barnett Architects

Duplicating one existing ‘shed’ with a matching form in different materials alongside it may seem an obvious solution to enlargement of a property but to do it as elegantly and sensibly as this has been done takes skill and confidence. The two buildings, one carefully restored sit together to make a ‘whole’ where each benefits from the other. Proof that a simple idea beautifully executed is never going to be anything but successful.


The Quest: Strom Architects

This design of this house is a classic and timeless piece of modernism. Concrete, local purbeck stone, glass and larch cladding combine into a really satisfying arrangement of elegant planes and proportions.A beautifully simple plan, a commitment to an apparently simple exposed structural concrete form which keeps a gravity defying 6m cantilever off the ground and sustainable environmental solution all contribute to a beautiful home. The house sits in its hillside, a slender box framed by trees and looking out over the Dorset countryside. For the delighted clients it is effortlessly easy to live in but the work by the architects to achieve this simple result should not be underestimated.


Makers House: Liddicoat & Goldhill LLP

Designed, financed and virtually self built by the architects this is the house that they ‘made’ thinking long and hard over every part of it. The house looks and feels ‘hand crafted’. Externally hand made Belgian bricks combine comfortably with more industrial metal cladding whilst inside the interlocking spaces are defined by en expressed steel frame and visible timber floor joists. The materials inside are tactical, deliberately, and the arrangement of windows has been carefully considered to bring daylight and sunlight deep into the house. This house ‘gives’ and the more you look and examine the more it gives.


Heath House: Patalab Architecture

This unusual and quite subdued arts and crafts house has been lovingly restored and extended resulting in a series of linked space at ground floor that contribute to make an elegant and comfortable house for a young family. The house wraps round the terraced garden at the back of the house and the bedroom floors , including new rooms in the old attic, look down on the garden.