House No 7 in Scotland wins the 2014 Stephen Lawrence Prize


The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has this evening (Thursday 16 October) awarded House No 7 by Denizen Works the 2014 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize. The annual award recognises fresh architectural talent and smaller construction budgets.

The considerately playful House No 7 on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides is the restoration and extension of a B-listed Tiree black-house crofter’s cottage in a state of disrepair, into a contemporary family home and guest house united by a central glass atrium.  

Speaking about House No 7, Stephen Lawrence Prize founder Marco Goldschmied said:

‘House No 7 hails from a rich British tradition of buildings which are defined by the location of site and the traditional methods of vernacular construction. The rebuilt cottage and new living spaces cleverly wrap to create an intimate daylight space at its core. The result is an inventive play on typology; the small cluster of different components creates a new identity while sitting comfortably in the landscape amongst other small traditional buildings. It’s an intelligent and witty response to the functional and logistical challenges of location, orientation and isolation and worthy of the 2014 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize.’

The judges for the 2014 Stephen Lawrence Prize were Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, Doreen Lawrence CBE the mother of Stephen Lawrence, Marco Goldschmied, RIBA Past President and Founder of the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which established the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize in 1998, Anthony Boulanger, Partner at AY Architects, winners of the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize and Joe Morris, Director at Duggan Morris Architects, winners of the Prize in 2012. 

The RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize sponsored by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million. The prize, set up in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993, is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets.

The Architects’ Journal is media partner for the RIBA awards, including the Stephen Lawrence Prize, and professional media partner for the RIBA Stirling Prize.


Notes to editors

  1. For further press information please contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office or 020 7307 3761
  2. View and download images of House No 7 here:
  3. Previous winners of the Stephen Lawrence Prize include Slip House Brixton by Carl Turner Architects (2013), Kings Grove by Duggan Morris Architects (2012); St Patrick’s Primary School Library and Music Room by Coffey Architects (2011); Artist’s House by Gumuchdjian Architects (2010); El Ray by Simon Conder Associates (2009); Sackler Crossing by John Pawson (2008); Wooda by David Sheppard Architects (2007) and Wrap House by Alison Brooks Architects (2006).
  4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit and follow us on Twitter.
  5. For more information on The Architects’ Journal visit
  6. The judges citations and image links for House No 7 follows:

House no 7, Isle of Tiree, Denizen Works


This restoration and extension of a ruined, B-listed, Tiree black-house effectively provides two houses within a single curtilage. The extensions follow the spirit of local agricultural buildings in their materials, roof forms and particularly in the use of corrugated cladding. The tradition of reconstructing Hebridean black-houses with black tarred roofing, rather than their original thatched roofs (held down by stone weighted netting), is sufficiently long established to have become an alternative local vernacular. This approach, allied to the utilitarian agricultural appearance of the extensions, creates an external form that is both contextual and appropriate.

 Set in the southern coat of the island, House no. 7 enjoys views of Duin Bay to the south, set within a typical Tiree undulating machair, punctuated by other traditional housing. Without any natural shelter from the wind, the house hunkers down within its exposed setting. However, the interior is designed to be light, bright, welcoming and cosy, in contrast with the robust forms of the exterior. Extensive use of timber, alongside the exposed natural stone, enhances the perceived warmth of the interior while heating is provided through an air-source heat pump.

Internal circulation and the connection between the two discreet living spaces is provided by a glass-roofed corridor which again enhances light to the interior, contributing to the dual character of this extraordinary development as a clever play on the traditional in the exterior and a dwelling full of delight within.  The quality of this internal space is such that it is difficult to express in words, or indeed, show in photographs, its impact in three dimensions.  It is truly inspiring, with the quality of the detailing adding to the sense of pleasure it creates, and indeed inspiring a reassessment of the quality of thought behind the design.

What is particularly noteworthy about this entry is the quality of the detailing; the way in which materials have been selected and their relationship to each other.  This house is notable for the tactile pleasure which is invoked by every simple activity, even just opening a door.  It is full of thoughtful playfulness.


Posted on Thursday 16th October 2014

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