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North Ayrshire property up for 'House of the Year' title

Posted on 24 Nov 2017
Newhouse of Auchengree.jpg

A ground-breaking architectural gem sitting in the North Ayrshire countryside is in the running to be named House of the Year.

Seven finalists from across the UK have been selected for the title as part of Channel 4’s TV show, Grand Designs.

And this includes Newhouse of Auchengree, a stunning new property created on a brownfield site between Beith and Dalry for retired couple Mike and Sally Law.

North Ayrshire Council introduced a planning policy aimed at promoting new rural houses of exceptional design quality a number of years ago. Following a successful application by Ann Nisbet Studio in 2013, planning permission was granted for Newhouse of Auchengree. 

The house was built during 2015/16 with close working and guidance from the Council's Planning Services and Building Standards teams to ensure its compliance with regulations and planning policy.

As well as winning a Scottish Quality in Planning Award, Newhouse of Auchengree has gone on to win every major architectural award in Scotland over the past year, and has now reached the shortlist of the RIBA 2017 Grand Designs: House of the Year on Channel 4. 

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “We are one of the few Councils in Scotland to have a policy on Single Houses in the Countryside as we want to attract and encourage bold and imaginative schemes like Newhouse of Auchengree.

“The outcome was even better than envisioned and the fact it has received national recognition shows what can be achieved with a forward-thinking, partnership approach.

“We are delighted to have supported the project from the outset.”

The zinc-clad property comprises a cluster of linked buildings that form a windbreak against the elements, while providing a versatile space for the retired couple and their family to visit.

The judges admired how the architect Ann Nisbet was not only inspired by the architecture of local farmsteads but how she made a home that met the couple’s needs.

The RIBA House of the Year is awarded to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 28 November on Grand Designs.

Information and guidance papers on rural housing design are available on the Council's website.