What it means to win a British Homes Award… by a previous winner
15 Jun 2021
As we count down to this year’s awards deadline, recent British Homes Award winners Foster Lomas discuss the impact of their win – from BBC2 appearances to carving a strong reputation in a specific architectural niche – and share what’s happened since…
First published on Planning Resource, June 2021.
Why we entered the British Homes Awards in 2019… Our Cliff House in Kent was commended back in 2013 by another publication so we thought we had a good chance of winning this time. The industry recognises the awards so it’s an honour to be associated. And their wide reach means we may get to meet and work with clients from all backgrounds.
How it felt to win a British Homes Award… Our project Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell on the Isle of Man won two categories in 2019: ‘Home of the Year’ and ‘Large House of the Year’. Projects like this are a labour of love so to have such prestigious awards recognise our hard work is a real boost for our morale.
Our Sartfell project was also a turning point; we became known for our sensitive approach to architecture within an area of outstanding natural beauty. We have similar projects in the pipeline and hope to win more awards in the near future. Through our work, we aim to restore both people’s and nature’s wellbeing.
We’ve had much to celebrate since winning… The Visitors’ Centre at Sartfell is due to start construction this year. This means the project will have a public element, showcasing what the clients are doing to care for their land vulnerable to climate change. We are very excited about that.
We have also won planning permission for a new project called ‘Long View’ in Morvah, Cornwall (CGI below). As architects, we see the responsibility of building within an expansive time span. The use of granite is common in West Penwith and will be sourced locally. Someday the house’s granite roof and pillars will return back to the earth.
The ancient standing stones locally known as ‘Quoits’ inspired the composition of the house. This project is similar to our Sartfell project in that it uses locally-sourced materials while tapping local history and crafts for inspiration.
Our winning rural retreat is as beautiful as ever… Our clients’ dogs (below, right) featured alongside their home in a book called Resident Dog (Volume 2) Incredible Dogs and the International Homes They Live In by Nicole England – published in November last year.
The Financial Times also mentioned the project in a recent article about the role windows play in contemporary architecture. We reiterated how important windows were for framing views and that every window should tell a different story.
Foster Lomas is reaching new heights… Our Long View in Morvah is due to go on site shortly. It is expected to complete in about a year and a half. We are also working on another restorative retreat in Epping Forest. This project relocates a river course back to its original position and creates an environmentally sensitive home around it. Like our Sartfell project, it will have an educational centre open to the public.
Finally, my partner Will Foster will be featuring in the Season 3 of Your Home Made Perfect on BBC2. So please tune in!