A minimalist glass family home built into a hillside overlooking a Cornish creek has been named one of the best designed properties in the South West by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The property – Creek House – is now being considered for a coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of its architectural excellence.
Futuristic family home in Feock, near Truro, was designed by Seth Stein Architects and completed by Symons Construction Ltd in September 2020. completed. It is one of six projects to win the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) South West Awards. Others include a library in a converted cowshed in Dorset, the UWE Bristol School of Engineering and Winsford Cottage Hospital, Devon.
Regional Jury Chair Fergus Feilden said of this year’s award winners, who were selected by a panel of experts who visited all 12 shortlisted projects: “The panel admired how this year’s projects have contributed through improved environmental performance, conservation and enhancement of the environment Existing, forward-looking building stock seeks opportunities and future-proof buildings to meet the changing demands of an aging population and a developing society. The size and diversity of the region was reflected in the selection of the winners, whose designs responded to challenging specifications and locations with great skill and inventiveness. Smaller projects drew on existing typologies and rural slang, often combining high-tech modern prefabrication with beautiful handcrafted details, while the larger projects balanced community and educational demands through openness and flexibility.”
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Creek House is described by the judges as a “simple, elegant and carefully furnished family home facing west of Feock overlooking the creek. The house intelligently hides the hard working demands of a family home while providing residents and visitors with a tranquil environment. The expansive footprint allows the scale to blend into the landscape, aided by the scale of the trees, the natural tones of Cornish slate and the cladding made of western red cedar and by positioning the main volumes in the bench.
“The location of the building is such that the bulk and volume is largely hidden from the approach, with only a modest pebbled roof visible from above. A deliberate separation of the parking lot from the building and landscape has brought much of the property back into the green landscaping. The orientation and positioning preserves the mature, sheltered trees and strikes a balance between wide and framed views of the creek and into the surrounding gardens.
“With the more modest and horizontally emphasized accommodation wing, a balance is achieved between the verticality and the volume of the living/dining area. Natural light is played with throughout, including the top-lit bathrooms, frosted-glazed corridors with only the shadows of the bamboo dancing against the glazing, and the dappled light filtering through the trees and reflecting off the water. Inside, the limited palette leads of materials, mainly oak, plaster and glass, to calm, well-proportioned rooms with minimalist details. The quality of the finishes and details is excellent. Overall, this is a sophisticated, minimalist home that optimizes the waterfront location, views and light that has been meticulously detailed and delivered.”
The shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for Best Building of the Year is drawn from RIBA National Award-winning projects throughout the year.
A similar modern development near Creek House is currently on the market for £1,650,000. Pill Creek is an award-winning five bedroom home by KAST Architects, designed “in response to the Sylvan character of its idyllic riverside location on the outskirts of the village of Feock”. The online description states, “The striking architectural profile rises dramatically from the hillside, with glass walls sensitively positioned to optimize the exceptional view over the Fal River. Trebar was constructed from a palette of materials including Siberian silver larch, Trebar natural Cornish stone and steel, the interiors span two stories over 2,050 square feet; extensive private landscaped gardens and terraces surround the house on all sides. The house is for sale through London based estate agents The Modern House.