Richard Fraser

The Royal Institute of British Architects has named the Lochside House as its House of the Year 2018 winner. Located in the Scottish Highlands, the 2,098-square-foot, off-grid house was designed for a ceramic artist by Cambridge, England–based architecture firm Haysom Ward Miller.

Richard Fraser

Constructed with local timber and stone, and clad in charred Scottish larch, the Lochside House is made up of three pitched-roof volumes and a detached studio. Inside, white plastered walls, light-hued timber, and large windows emphasize views of the surrounding landscape. "[The] spaces merge with the ... owner's art collection, and there is an overwhelming sense of comfort, warmth, and homeliness," Takero Shimazaki, this year's jury chair and director of London-based Takero Shimazaki Architects, said in a statement. "It's an example of humble, grounded, contextual yet powerful architecture that people can aspire to and be inspired by.”

Adam Bennett

But the Lochside House is not just a beautiful single-family residence. It is designed to rely entirely on its own electrical system, water supply, and sewage treatment. "To build a good, energy-efficient house here wasn’t straightforward," the project's architect Tom Miller said in a press release. "It was only possible because we had a client with the uncompromising determination and vision to keep pushing us to achieve our best, and a contractor’s team for whom we have enormous respect—they seemed to thrive on the unique challenges posed by building on such an exposed and inaccessible site."

The Lochside House was selected from a shortlist of seven projects, including the Red House by 31/44 Architects, Pheasants by Sarah Griffiths of Williams Griffiths Architects and Amin Taha of Groupwork + Amin Taha Architects, Coastal House by 6a Architects, Old Shed New House by Tonkin Liu, Vex by Chance de Silva & Scanner, and the Makers House by Liddicoat & Goldhill.

Chaired by Shimazaki, this year's jury comprised Niall Maxwell, principal of Llandysul, Wales–based Rural Office for Architecture, Chantal Wilkinson, principal at London-based Wilkinson King Architects, architecture critic Laura Mark, and Paul Rogatzki, technical consultant at British building products manufacturer Forterra.

Last year, Caring Wood—designed by James Macdonald Wright of London-based Macdonald Wright Architects and Niall Maxwell—won the House of the Year 2017 award.