Alison Brooks Architects win RIBA House of the Year 2021

14 December 2021
  • Paul Riddle
  • Paul Riddle
  • Paul Riddle
  • Paul Riddle

Alison Brooks Architect



United Kingdom

Georgian farmhouse conversion reveals new way to live in the landscape

House on the Hill, designed by Tenderstream member Alison Brooks Architects, has been named Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) House of the Year 2021. The strikingly contemporary extension to a Georgian farmhouse in Gloucestershire was revealed as the winner on UK television in the final episode of the Channel 4 series Grand Designs: House of the Year.

Larger than the original house, the new two-storey wing is set back, partially embedded into the hillside, with its dark tones and cladding pattern inspired by the nearby Forest of Dean. To complement its new wing, the 18th century stone farmhouse has also been meticulously restored. Together, the farmhouse and extension create a new home for the owners and their art collection, with the three-storey farmhouse converted into one vast gallery space.

RIBA President, Simon Allford stated: “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.”

On the ground floor, the kitchen, living and dining areas flow into each other and onto exterior terraces. With the kitchen in the centre, overlooked by a gallery on the floor above, the space is flooded with natural light, and offers up panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including into a new, bespoke dry-stone-walled garden. The home's main staircase doubles-up as a gallery and leads up to two bedrooms, an office and a further terrace. Ground and air source heat pumps and solar panels work together to reduce the building’s overall energy consumption, and the new wing has an extensive green roof planted with native wildflowers to reduce rainwater loss. 

Alison Brooks said: “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 of builders and gardeners whose skilful contributions produced this remarkable house and gardens, that together reveal a new way of living in the landscape."

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

Explore the Tenderstream archive here

Start your free trial here or email our team directly at

Subscribe Now