Manhattan-inspired farmstead wins Dales ‘home of the future’ contest

The winning design
The winning design
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The prototype of a rural “home of the future”, inspired by the loft living spaces of Manhattan, will be built in a North Yorkshire village after being named winner of a national competition among architects.

The “Flexstead”, conceived by London designer Andrew McMullan, is an open-plan house, partly built off-site and clad in stone or metal to blend in with its surroundings.

Mr McMullan’s entry said that although New York’s city lofts “symbolised the modern work-live ethos”, the farmsteads of the Yorkshire Dales had served the same purpose 200 years ago – with interiors adaptable to suit the owner, “from home, farm shop and office to cattle shed, hayloft and community centre”.

The contest was organised by Great Place Lakes and Dales, a three-year project to encourage younger generations to live and work in rural communities.

A triangular plot at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and another in the Lake District which had already been earmarked for housing, were chosen for the test builds.

Richard Dowson, a consultant to the organisers, said the affordability, environmentally-friendly construction and flexibility for living and working of the winning design, had most impressed the judges.

“We asked for cutting edge designs for flexible, affordable housing which would appeal to the under 35s, and that is exactly what we got,” he said.

David Smurthwaite, of Craven Council said the contest had “aimed to see how architects, when given the time and space, can address the issue of providing housing for young people that is exciting, flexible and carbon efficient”.