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Off-grid 'humble' Highlands home named House of the Year

Lochside House uses 100% solar power and gets its water from a borehole.

Home of the year: Lochside House in the Highlands.
Home of the year: Lochside House in the Highlands. Richard Fraser

An off-grid "modest, sustainable home" in the Highlands has been crowned House Of The Year.

All energy used at Lochside House comes from the sun and water is pulled up from a borehole.

The "humble" piece of architecture, sitting on the edge of a lake, is described as a "perfect addition to the dream landscape".

House of the year: Awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
House of the year: Awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Richard Fraser

Designed by Haysom Ward Miller Architects and owned by an artist, the house in the west Highlands is formed of three buildings huddled together and clad in burnt Scottish larch, protected by a traditional drystone wall.

With roofs that "echo the distant mountains", judges said it is "perfectly integrated into the wild and rugged landscape".

The House Of The Year honour is awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) to the UK's best new architect-designed house.

Humble: House of the year 2018.
Humble: House of the year 2018.

Riba president Ben Derbyshire described the home as "truly breath-taking" and the "perfect addition to this dream landscape".

Architect Takero Shimazaki, chair of the 2018 jury, said there was an "overwhelming sense of comfort, warmth and homeliness" inside the house.

It was "astonishing" that the owner's vision was not scuppered by the "remoteness and challenging weather", the judge said.

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, who revealed the winner on Channel 4, said the house is "the kind of architecture we can all easily learn from and it's a way of building that we, in Britain, are getting really very good at".

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