Large House of the Year

Large House of the Year
Folding House by AR Design Studio

Folding House is a private, bespoke newly built house located in Ringwood completed by award winning Winchester based architects AR Design Studio. Inspired by the site context and defining character, the intention of Folding House was to minimise the impact on the location and surrounding scenery by embedding the house into the hill side. 

This site is bordered by mature trees and boasts excellent views of the surrounding landscape, this is combined with a steep 18m slope down to the bank of the River Avon. The design team’s vision called upon the natural topography, echoing an existing ‘zig zagged’ path which climbed the slope. The building imitates this with a folded ribbon of concrete which connects each floor and links the entrance of the site down to the riverfront. Solid timber boxes were inserted between this ribbon creating contrasting private and public spaces. The open plan living spaces maintained a connection to the expansive views, forming large balcony spaces following the path of the ribbon.

The scheme now sits within the hillside as a playful yet site-specific response that will mature over time, enhancing the architectural distinctiveness of the area. The concept driven nature of the design creates a truly one-off house, acing to both complement the local area but also fit to the clients requirements as a lifelong home.

Judges’ comments

"Really like the zig zag, it sits comfortably in the landscaping. Perhaps concrete is a bit too harsh and needs more landscaping on the terraces.”

“Innovative design and architecture, responds to surroundings.”

“Responds well to the topography of the landscape, following the natural lines of the ground. Lovely big windows to maximise natural light.”

“Nice path winding up the hill. Great use of glass maximising views.”

“Bold architecture that works with the site topography and makes the most of each level terrace for different uses. Provides multi-gen living with independence but shared external spaces. The concept is well executed, the top level sits wider than the floors below and makes it sit more prominently within the wider landscape setting.”

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