News / Architecture

RIBA House of the Year goes to Richard Murphy’s house “filled with tricks and surprises”

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

Murphy House in Edinburgh has been announced as the RIBA House of the Year 2016, awarded to the best new house by an architect in the UK. Designed by architect Richard Murphy for himself over the course of ten years, the house features hidden hatches, moving walls, and a sliding bookshelf ladder in a basement library among its unusual details.

Richard has described the house as “a quarter Soane, a quarter Scarpa, a quarter eco-house and a quarter Wallace and Gromit,” the last reference alluding to the unusual architectural inventions around the house.

RIBA describes the five-level house as a “surprising addition to an otherwise conservative sandstone terraced street in Edinburgh’s Unesco-listed New Town. Built on an awkward plot at the end of a terrace, Richard Murphy has designed for himself a deeply personal space filled with tricks, surprises and references to his own design heroes.”

“Sliding doors pull out of walls and roof shutters drop into place transforming the house from a light-filled space open to the exterior terrace, to an enclosed room, where candlelight wouldn’t seem out of place. It does all this with wit and style, in an architecture that Murphy has honed over the years to make distinct and personal. It feels an intense and personal space, playful and inventive, each corner revealing something new.”

The house was one of seven shortlisted for the award, four of which are in London.

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter

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Richard Murphy Architects: Murphy House
Photo: Keith Hunter