This restored and built-up old mill building was voted the best architecture of the year in England in 2010.
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In the UK, the Royal British Institute of Architecture (RIBA) annually announces the new building that has shown the most innovative use of materials and building.
The price for 2010 went to an old millhouse in Norfolk.
On RIBA’s website, the president of the organization, Ruth Reed, comments on the award winner:
“Hunset Mill, like much other good architecture, is the result of a simple, strong idea. Instead of drawing an imitation of the Victorian red brick building or a self-erasing glass box, the architects’ truly inventive solution was to create a kind of triple shadow of the original, in black, soggy timber ».
In addition, the house is almost self-sufficient in terms of energy and water. It has its own well and heat pump from geothermal heat as well as passive solar heating.
It is the London-based architectural office, Acme, which has designed the new building and restoration.
Back to the past
From its origins in 1870 until the beginning of the 2000s, the old brick house was built in two rounds.
However, when the current owners needed additional space, there was no further extension.
It was decided to replicate the original building, and with only one extension on one of the pages, “the architects write in the review of the project.
Modernism in a Traditional Context
The building, located on the banks of a river, was the former mill’s house, but when the electricity came, the mill was laid down. Since then, the house has been a private residence.
When the building was to be restored, it was crucial to keep the traditional expression at the same time as the extension should be placed in a modern context.
“When you get close to the building, you will see that what is perceived as a radically modern extension is balanced by the rooftops and the dark timber-like cladding that has a historical connection”, writes the arlitects.
The building is located in a respectful way behind the original building.
Would you like to live in Hunsett Mill?
The house is rented to groups of up to nine people. Further information can be found here.
“Hunset Mill is a very specific answer to a very specific space, portrayed on puzzles, postcards and chocolate bags,” writes RIBA about the project.
The new building is thought of as a shadow on the old so it is invisible from certain angles.
“Proportion proportions are adapted so that the new building body is subordinate to the original”, the architects describe.
According to the architectural site Dezeen, Acme architects emphasize the intellectual in the work with the client.
Overall, the restoration of the old building and the design of the new, which are linked together, an intellectual and stimulating response to the rural environment. A client with a cultural focus has given us free rein to the design of the buildings, “the architects say to the site.
More art than architecture
In its grounds for giving Hunsett Mill the award for best British architecture in 2010, the jury draws attention to the artistic qualities of the project.
The architects created an extension in the form of a shadow of the original house, which the judges describe as more related to a piece of art than a piece of rural, national architecture, “Dezeen writes on his pages.
RIBA believes that this project has qualities that can be an inspiration for others.
“Hunset Mill proves that good architecture can be delivered on budget and that it can be achieved in the most restrictive frameworks because, as a planning authority, Norfolk is not known for risk taking. The resulting project balances value and quality and is something many could be inspired by, “writes the institute on its pages.
The whole project is based on strong ecological thought that built neither should be perceived as a foreign element nor be a burden on nature and the environment.
Among other things, the architects describe as sustainable materials:
“With a desire to be as ecologically responsible as possible, it focused on the carbon accounts and the total energy consumption during the project period”.
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