Skip to main content

RIBA’s House of the Year is the Stunning Lochside House in Scotland

Richard Fraser / HaysomWardMiller Architects

The world of architecture is filled with countless (and often meaningless) awards. But there are a few that stand out, are highly coveted, and can launch a career into “Starchitect” territory. The RIBA “House of the Year” award is one such honor. Granted to one amazing home each year by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the announcement of the House of the Year award is always eagerly anticipated by designers around the globe. And 2018’s home did not disappoint.

Cambridge, England-based Haysom Ward Miller Architects were the recipients of RIBA’s prestigious award for their design of Lochside House. Beyond the beautiful design, the bespoke home is off-grid and sustainable. Throw in some of the most stunning mountain and lake views in all of Scotland and the project resulted in something truly special.

We love homes that blend in with their surroundings, keeping the natural landscape the star of the show. The folks at HWM went a step further, designing a home that both blends in through the use of natural materials and also mimics its surroundings through clever architectural shapes. Integrating the home into the landscape was an important aspect of the project for both the architects and the owner. This was achieved through material choice and by carefully situating the home on the property to limit the impact on the land.

Built in three separate, yet interconnected forms, the home was designed to be as energy efficient as possible. By building individual modular buildings, some areas can be left unheated when not in use. There is a green roof that is meant to be the connection between the three forms while also helping to re-introduce native plant species. Along with the green roof, there is also an array of solar panels that help to power the home. Rounding out the off-grid features, the home has its own water supply and sewage treatment system.

Outside, Lochside House is a blend of natural stacked stone and Scottish larch cladding. The wood planks received a slight charing using the shou sugi ban style to enhance the color. This charring also improves the durability of the wood, protecting against weather and insects. Both the stacked stone and the larch wood cladding were used to mimic the natural elements found at the site. The property is lined with trees while the nearby lake has a rocky shore. The architectural forms of the three structures, with their sharply pitched roofs, are meant to emulate the mountains that can be seen across the lake.

Inside, Lochside House is decked out in a bright and airy Scandinavian style. White birch wood was used on the ceiling of the family room and also frames the doorways. A brick wood-burning fireplace, painted in calming bluish color (a combination of blue and warm gray) is surrounded by wooden, built-in seating. This fireplace is the central spot in the home that both anchors the rooms and provides heat throughout.

The beautiful scenery didn’t just inspire material choices and the architectural shape of Lochside House. It also allowed the design team to create visual “moments” all through the home. By carefully placing windows and walls of glass, they framed outside views, turning the landscape into works of art to be admired from the cozy comfort of inside.

For other off-grid homes, check out The Space by iO House, MAPA Architects retreat in Finca Aguy, or this guest house.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelsey Machado
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kelsey is a professional interior designer with over a decade of experience in the design field. With a passion for…
The Night Agent season 2: Everything we know so far
We'll get you ready for The Night Agent season 2!
Luciane Buchanan and Gabriel Basso in The Night Agent.

The Night Agent may not be everyone's choice to be among the best shows on Netflix, but it's in the top ten for us! The Shield creator Shawn Ryan adapted Matthew Quirk's spy action thriller, The Night Agent, for Netflix in 2023, and it proved to be a hit out of the gate. By Netflix's internal metrics, it's the sixth-highest viewed series in the history of the platform.

Those kind of numbers mean that a second season was inevitable, and Netflix made it official just over a week after The Night Agent premiered. Since the series is back in production, the details about what's coming up on the show have started to trickle out. To help you stay on top of this series, here's everything we know about The Night Agent season 2.
What is The Night Agent about?

Read more
The 10 best Dominican cigars I’ve tried and tested in 2024
Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Every seasoned cigar lover has a preference for where their cigars come from. Cuban and Cuban cigars are the more obvious choices, but there is also Nicaraguan tobacco, Central African, Indonesian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Dominican. Some tobacco is even grown in the United States. Each region has a distinct flavor profile that adds a little something extra to the tobacco grown locally, as well as the cigars made there. The Dominican Republic is prized by many connoisseurs because of exactly this -- a rich, unique profile that enhances Dominican-grown cigars. That's in no small part due to the fertile soil and thriving climate of the region, which is ideal for tobacco growth and cultivation. If you've never tried a Dominican cigar, you're in for a real treat, there are some fantastic options out there.
The best Dominican cigars I've tried

Out of all the cigar guides I've put together so far, this one was one of the more interesting experiences for me. I had a great time trying out Dominican cigars, and I've definitely come away with an appreciation for blends made in the region. I'd also like to point out that Corey Suarez helped recommend some of these. If you haven't tried the JR Cigars or Cigars.com concierge service yet, you really should. Here's a little more about all of the best Dominican cigars I've tried:
Ashton Symmetry

Read more
The 12 best Connecticut cigars I’ve tried and tested in 2024
Best Connecticut cigars up close and personal

Connecticut cigars are the clear winner for smoking on a hot summer day, in the morning with some coffee, or when you just don't want a swift kick in the teeth (of pepper). There's no shortage of options, either. Connecticut shade wrappers are one of the most prevalent in the world of cigars, and it's certainly the most common natural shade. Maduro is also popular, but the two wrapper types couldn't be any more different. Connecticut wrappers, and by proxy Connecticut cigars, are typically mild to medium in strength and brimming with creamy, smooth flavors. They're composed of tobacco leaves grown in the Connecticut River Valley in the United States -- which is where the name Connecticut comes from. Consistent and flavorful, some of the best beginner-friendly cigars are Connecticut-wrapped, but you should never sell them short. A Connecticut shade cigar can be just as refined, elegant, and premium as any other. If you know where to look, you may even find some of your favorite blends in the category across a wide range of brands and cigar makers.

I'm about to take you on a magical, doughy, and delicious trek through the broad range of Connecticut cigars. In short, here are the best Connecticut cigars tried and tested by a genuine enthusiast of the craft: yours truly.
The best Connecticut cigars I've tried and tested
While the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is considered a Connecticut shade, I did my best to steer clear of recommending them for this list. They're better classified as a Maduro shade or darker cigar. That doesn't mean you should avoid them, quite the contrary. But for this list, I wanted to stick to smooth, relaxing smokes that are strong on flavor but not quite so strong on pepper and spice. I also tried not to choose a lot of repeats. If you see your favorite cigar missing, that might be because it was recommended on another list or it just didn't make the cut. If you have any recommendations of your own, I'm always available through social media or email. Without further ado, let's get this thing started.
Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut

Read more