Hill+View shortlisted for the 2022 Manser Medal

It was a privilege to bring this exceptional new build to life.

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We are delighted to announce that Hill+View has been shortlisted for the prestigious Manser Medal.

The Manser Medal was established in 2001 in memory of the renowned British architect, RIBA President and Royal Academician Michael Manser.

Its aim is to inspire innovation in house design, in partnership with the AJ Architecture Awards, whose raison d’etre is to celebrate and reward design excellence across the spectrum of UK architecture. This year eleven striking and unique projects have been shortlisted – our congratulations to each of the project teams.

Hill+View is the product of our client’s aspirational vision for their forever home, an innovative, comprehensive approach to planning feasibility from JPPC Chartered Town Planners and the truly exceptional architectural interpretation of Spratley & Partners. Barr Build were privileged to be part of this fantastic team as principal contractor, bringing this exceptional residence to life.

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For several years, our clients had searched South Oxfordshire for a site on which to build their long-term home, in the knowledge that a build from scratch would allow them to achieve their desired outcome without compromise. However, a countryside plot with wonderful views and scope for an architecturally exceptional residence proved hard to come by! When they were taken to see Hill Barn – a somewhat dilapidated sprawling bungalow – it felt unexpectedly right. The plot had the potential to accommodate their ambitious plans and the view was one of which they both knew they would never tire.

In the first instance our clients turned to residential planning expert Adrian Gould of JPPC Chartered Town Planners, who used cumulative volume modelling to demonstrate the equivalent proportions of the current and proposed structures, including permitted development quotas and previously approved extensions. The planning department’s original position was that only a single-storey residence would be acceptable - but through analysis of the current property’s proximity to neighbouring residences, and the minimal extra height required to achieve a second storey, he was able to show the advantages of the proposed stacked accommodation which was to become Hill+View.

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“We were fortunate to have appointed an excellent project team,” says Michael Potter, Hill+View owner and client. “JPPC, Spratley & Partners, Barr Build and others worked closely and collaboratively, enabling us to fulfil our ambitions for our new home with the least possible compromise.”

Our clients conveyed their requirements to architects Spratley & Partners by painting a picture of themselves, their lifestyle and the architectural styles which have inspired them. They also provided a comprehensive list of their specific likes and dislikes – based on their previous homes and requirements for their new residence.

Hill+View project architect Holly Gare cleverly drew on all these influences and requirements, working closely with Adrian Gould of JPPC to strike the perfect note. “Replacing a sprawling bungalow, this playful one-off contemporary house uses bold colour and linear form to create an exciting yet rationalised family home,” she says. “Spacious open-plan living, with floor-to-ceiling glazing maximises views out over the dramatic undulating landscape and beyond. Natural light washes through the building via several strategically placed rooflights highlighting key features such as the cantilevered stair and central light well.”

Each element of Hill+View’s striking fabric palette draws on contextual materials, referencing the local landscape and vernacular. The solid walls, which form the base of the house, are a light stone brick, which reflect the chalky hues found within the Chiltern soil of the fields surrounding the property. The brick and flint formation, used to form the northern boundary wall, is widely used throughout the Chilterns. The turquoise patina copper accents are a nod to the copper spire of Turners Court clocktower across the valley in Wallingford. Interspersed are smaller sections of perforated metal cladding, a lighter, modern take on the many sheet metal barns and agricultural buildings dotted throughout the surrounding countryside.


The property was built to a highly sustainable specification. Bespoke solar shading coupled with environmental technologies, including air source heat pumps, mechanical ventilation heat recovery units, photovoltaics and Tesla batteries, enhance its environmental credentials and improve the quality of living for its occupants. As expected from Barr Build, the latest in sustainable build technologies are combined with belts and braces insulation, reusing and recycling waste materials wherever possible.

Throughout this year long project, Barr Build worked alongside some fantastic specialist fabricators, suppliers, and subcontractors. We thank our clients, and the wider project team, for helping us create something truly exceptional!

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