Thorpeness: Top design award for holiday home

A STRIKING holiday home on the Suffolk coast has won a national award for architectural excellence.

Dune House, in Aldeburgh Road, Thorpeness, is one of four projects in the East of England to be honoured with a 2012 national award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Cambridge firm Mole Architects previously won numerous accolades for its Balancing Barn holiday let – an apparently gravity-resisting cantilever design near Thorington. Dune House was designed in partnership with Norwegian architects Jarmund Vigsnaes and completed by contractors Willow Builders in December 2010 as part of Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture concept of developing ultra-modern holiday homes.

The project was hailed by judges as “conceptually bold” and an “exploration in geometry”, playing on the local gables and sheds and achieving a 20% improvement in energy efficiency over current building regulations.

Meredith Bowles, director of Mole Architects, said: “The award is excellent news. The building is designed to be slightly provocative and draw inspiration from its surroundings. Both Dune House and the Balancing Barn are quite arresting buildings.”

The other national winners from the East were Brentwood School’s sixth form centre and assembly hall, the Royal Veterinary College student village, in Hertfordshire and the Sainsbury Laboratory, in Cambridge.

Mole Architects also won a RIBA East Spirit of Ingenuity Award for another project in Cambridge. The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the RIBA award-winning Apex, in Bury St Edmunds.

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