The extraordinary Flint House by Skene Catling de la Peña has just been named Britain's House of the Year by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and it's hard to imagine a construction more worthy of the honor. Commissioned by Lord Rothschild and located on the expansive grounds of a Buckinghamshire estate, it effortlessly adapts to the distinctive surrounding landscape, both in terms of its stepped profile and rugged material composition. Stone, water, fire, and earth all come together to breathe life into the pristine interior volumes - enjoy this intriguing and otherworldly home (inside and out) through the photo tour below.
Natural cladding reflects the minerals buried in the earth below. A gradient of stone begins with large flint nodules becoming smaller and more orderly as the wall ascends, terminating in a peak of smooth chalk slabs at the apex of the triangular structure.
A smaller reflection of the home houses a private studio and archive for the occupants.
Where each structure stops, a small crop of existing trees continues the angular trajectory. Public spaces occupy the ground floor of the home with private areas above, allowing for a gorgeous view of the timber from the master bedroom.
Flat surfaces are clad with a composite called terrazzo, carefully formulated to match the gradient of the flint and chalk exterior - this effect makes it looks the building itself has been carved out from the surrounding earth.
Garden terraces fill the voids left by the windows, allowing sunlight to flood the interior.
The gardens are the result of collaboration between celebrated author and landscape architect Mary Keen, and the quietly prestigious garden designer Pip Morrison. Natural grasses echo the views on the horizon, and seem like a low-maintenance choice ideal for a property that is only used occasionally such as this one.
Parallel windows contribute to the weightless aesthetic and allow a transformative lighting experience as the sun crosses overhead.
In contrast to the dark and mysterious walls outside, the interior abounds with clean white surfaces radiant with sunlight. Renowned interior designer David Mlinaric oversaw this portion of the project, filling the home with classic furniture and gorgeous artwork in contrast to the ultra-contemporary setting in which they reside.
Living spaces are marked by comfortable low ceilings to create a sense of intimacy, whereas major transit paths enjoy double-height ceilings.
Full-height glass walls reveal portions of the flint cladding and the interior water features they surround. Here, it's possible to see through the fireplace into the living room on the other side of the structural wall.
The staircase is smartly aligned with the window downstairs allowing for a bright and spacious atmosphere despite the narrow walls.
Bold contrasting colors lend the bedroom a distinctive aesthetic. A round mirror above the bed offers a convex reflection of the landscape outside.
Water flows through a secluded interior grotto, reflected by the mirrored black ceiling above. The fireplace - when lit - would create a powerfully stunning effect as the flames danced across the water and illuminated the stones with dancing waves orange and yellow.
It's all about perspective. This view demonstrates the perfect alignment of the far roof with the treetops in the distance. This home is absolutely gorgeous from any angle.