Viewers have mocked a three bedroom property in Co Down, Northern Ireland after it was named Grand Designs House of the Year, with some comparing it to a 1970s prison.
House Lessans in Saintfield, Co Down, is a one-level property which boasts high ceilings, has white rendered, concrete walls and cost £335,000 to build.
It was built to compliment the functional barn it sits next to and beat four other finalists to be named Grand Designs House of the Year on Channel 4 last night.
Kevin McCloud and his co-presenters, architect Damion Burrows, and design expert Michelle Ogundehin, visited the final five homes on the shortlist before awarding House Lessans the prize.
While the ceilings are towering, the property is understated, with the bedrooms modest and only one bathroom inside.
When the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) judges visited the property they said it was ‘unfussy but sophisticated’.
However, watchers were less than impressed with the winner, with several taking to social media to mock its victory.
Some compared it to a shed, as well as a prison, while others criticised the all grey colour scheme.
One person wrote: ‘Sure the winner was well made and all that but it doesn’t half remind me of a 1970s prison in places.’
A three bed-roomed property with white rendered, concrete walls in Co Down, Northern Ireland, which cost £335,000 to build has been named Grand Designs House of the Year
Tonight’s Grand Designs: House of the Year, which aired tonight on Channel 4, saw Kevin McCloud and his co-presenters, architect Damion Burrows, and design expert Michelle Ogundehin, visit the final five homes on the shortlist and also reveal the winner. House Lessans in Saintfield from the outside
In Northern Ireland, House Lessans in Saintfield, was built to complement the functional barn it sits next to. The one-level property boasts huge ceiling height inside and has separate sleeping and living zones
While the ceilings are towering, the property is understated, with the bedrooms modest and only one bathroom in the property, something the owners say they asked for to ‘save on cleaning’
Kevin McCloud called the property a masterclass in ‘grey minimalism’ with the colour used on both the inside and out
The home which took the title, House Lessans in Saintfield, Co Down, is a one-level property and was hailed by the judges
The property in Co Down, Northern Ireland cost £335,000 to build and was part of the shortlist dubbed ‘down to Earth homes’
When the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) judges visited the property they said it was ‘unfussy but sophisticated’
It’s grey colour scheme was also hailed by the judges, who revealed it as Grand Designs House of the Year on Channel 4 tonight
It’s minimalist design earned rave reviews by the judges, who included Kevin McCloud and his co-presenters, architect Damion Burrows, and design expert Michelle Ogundehin
Kevin McCloud was a big fan when he visited the property on the show and he called it a masterclass in ‘grey minimalism’
Tonight’s show saw the judges visit the final five homes on the shortlist, before they awarded the prize to the Co Down house
The owners of the Co Down, Northern Ireland property specified they didn’t want en-suites because ‘it adds to the cleaning’
A second added: ‘Eh? The barn conversion prison rec room won? K.’
While a third said: ‘Sorry but the wrong house was chosen. Several of the others were far superior.’
Another critic compared the house to a shed and commented: ‘My bad, I thought I was tuning into house design of the year not shed of the year.’
The winning design has separate sleeping and living zones, modest-sized bedrooms and only one bathroom; with the owners specifying they didn’t want en-suites because ‘it adds to the cleaning’.
Though viewers were less than impressed, presenter Kevin McCloud was effusive in his praise.
When he visited the property on the show he called it a masterclass in ‘grey minimalism’ – with the colour used on both the inside and out.
The shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’ House of the Year prize were billed as a collection of the most ‘down to earth’ homes.
However, they included a 21st century manor house, with a Y-shaped lay-out and free-flight ‘Harry Potter’ stairs, as well as a ‘Ghost house’, a property with several storeys below ground level and a concrete garden space, which features pools of dyed black water.
The winner beat other properties on the shortlist which included Hannington Farm in Northamptonshire – a 21st century manor house created from rubblestone – and the Restorative Rural Retreat in the Isle of Man, which is cleverly built into the landscape with a huge horizontal window, giving it the illusion of being a bird watcher’s hide.
Hannington Farm, Northamptonshire
Hannington Farm, Northamptonshire: This 21st century manor house is created from rubblestone, a material that has been used in this rural portion of England for centuries. The understated exterior belies a sophisticated interior that has seen the home listed as one of the properties vying to win the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’ House of the Year
The home, owned by couple Giles and Polly is set in acres of green Northamptonshire countryside and takes a Y-shaped form
Presenter Kevin McCloud loved the ‘free-flight’ stairs likening them to something ‘from a Harry Potter movie’ Right: The living quarters of the property, which boasts a ‘fun-block’ that includes a gym as well as an ‘apartment-style’ master bedroom with mezzanine
The Secular Retreat in South Devon
Down in South Devon, the Secular Retreat, designed by world-renowned architect Peter Zumthor rises ‘like a pre-historic stone dwelling from the landscape’
The property, which lies between Salcombe and Hallsands, has a private hilltop location with vast gardens and sea views
Hill House Passivhaus, East Sussex
The family home was constructed on the site of a former dilapidated chicken shed in the east Sussex countryside
Hill House Passivhaus on the South Downs near Lewes was applauded by RIBA for creating a self-build eco-home on a modest budget of just £250,000
Camden mews property
Congruous to its setting, this Camden home, which was designed by its resident, engineer Max Fordham, is a perfect example of how homes should function, with many suggesting the eco-friendly property should be a blueprint for future houses
All of the windows in Max Fordham’s Camden mews property feature automated insulated shutters to keep heat in
Ghost house, Warwickshire
The concrete ‘Ghost House’ was one of the homes which which is shortlisted on Grand Designs: House of the Year
The home features several storeys below ground level, including this stunning concrete garden space, which features several pools of dyed black water
The Greenhouse, Devon
The Greenhouse, in Devon, was build into the landscape on a site gifted to homeowner Jessica by her late father shortly before he passed away
The house features an enormous window running through the centre, creating a kind of ‘glass jam’ to the house, and giving the home the sense of ‘being in the treetops’
The Silverhow House
The Silverhow house is comprised of an ancient coach house and a modern barn-like structure which are interconnected with a glass bridgeway (pictured, owners Emma and David with their stunning home)
Kenwood Lee in London
Kenwood Lee, in London, may appear relatively normal from the outside, but it features a stunning glass back and incredible subterranean basement
The couple’s home manages to reflect the proportions of double fronted neighbours, but with added modern features including huge glass windows and dormers
Restorative Rural Retreat, Isle of Man
The stunning kitchen living area in the Restorative Rural Retreat features a huge horizontal window running around the property from which the nature-loving owners watch the birds
The Restorative Rural Retreat in the Isle of Man is cleverly built into the landscape with a huge horizontal window, giving it the illusion of being a bird watcher’s hide
Minimalist concrete home in Earls Court
Meanwhile Earl’s Court House was strangely inspired by Fred Flintstone, with it’s ‘very heavy’ concrete structure, and stunning glass walls
Meanwhile the bedrooms have a similarly chic and modernist style, with few decorations, painted white walls and concrete columns dominating the space
The Timber house in London
The Timber house in London was inspired by homes which may have sat on the sight in the 17th and 18th century, and is built around a stunning courtyard on the site
Kevin McCloud compared the home to a ‘little Eden’, although the couple said they had faced their fair share of headaches around the project
Flint family house, Hampshire
The Hampshire House was created out of a natural palette of materials, with large windows maximising the stunning views of the local scenery
The double height kitchen in the centre of the home was compared to a ‘chapel’, with an enormous vaulted ceiling and stunning oak finish
Black rock home, Isle of Sky
The Black Rock home on the Isle of Skye is built into a hollow of rock by the side of a lake, and sits perfectly into the landscape
The main living area looks out over a stunning lake, with homeowner Julian admitting the view was ‘the focus point of the house’
Cork House, Berkshire
The Cork House, in Berkshire, is made entirely from cork blocks stacked upon one another, with huge sky lights acting like ‘paper weights’ to keep the property from blowing away
Meanwhile the interiors of the home are simplistic and chic, with large windows allowing light to flood into the space
Microhome Pocket House, in South London
Microhome Pocket House, in South London, was built within the confines of an old garage, and sees almost 50 per cent of it’s living space in the basement floor, which is below the ground
Every element of the home has been designed in order to maximise space and light, with the main living area on the first floor of the two-bedroom house
Nithurst Farm in Sussex
Meanwhile Nithurst Farm in Sussex is another of the experimental homes on the long list for the award, with the architect Adam Richards admitting he wanted to create a ‘modern house wrapped in a roman ruin’
The main room in the house is a huge ‘great hall’ inspired living space, which features smaller practical areas, such as utility room and a study, coming off it
Lark Rise, in Chiltern Hills
Half home and half power station, Lark Rise, in Chiltern Hills, is also featured on the longlist for the award
Stack Yard, in Derbyshire
Contemporary cottage Stack Yard, in Derbyshire, was the fifth home featured on the programme, and was praised for it’s innovative design while blending into a small country village
The home features a small courtyard space, which also contains a miniature vegetable patch and green house