Every year the Royal Institute of British Architects holds a competition to find the best new home in Britain, and, due to the success of last year’s televised event Grand Designs is back to cover this prestigious prize. Presented by Kevin McCloud, this four-part series explores some of Britain’s most contemporary and cutting edge homes, all of them in the running for the coveted RIBA House of the Year Award 2016.

Find out which of the five make it through to the final shortlist of seven – and discover what it takes to be crowned RIBA: House of The Year 2016.


The Country Villa

first aired: 24th Nov 

In this first episode, Kevin McCloud, joined by Zac Monro and Damion Burrows, profiles five homes built for country living. All stunning examples of fine architecture they include: a large house which is half home, half artist’s studio camouflaged into a hill, a loving restoration of a prototype mid-Century Modern retreat in Wiltshire, a large Scottish home seeking to seeking to blend a cunning agricultural exterior with a sleek modern interior, and a slice of spectacular California modernism in Cornwall.

Architectural Testbeds

first aired: 1st December

This week, Kevin, Zac and Damion, visit five homes which are all testbeds for architectural ideas. These houses all push the boundaries for residential design and include: a cool concealed house built from glass and concrete which buries underground to hide from its neighbours, an uber-creative Wallace and Gromit style house in Edinburgh squeezed onto a disused plot, a gorgeous, low-slung modern home in Cumbria camouflaged with stone to blend in with the traditional architecture, an experimental extension in London with a distinctly Japanese flavour and an elegant house in Buckinghamshire which combines sustainability with glamour.

Small is Beautiful

airing: 8th December

Five more extraordinary new homes vying to be crowned House of the Year 2016. Hoping to be chosen this time are houses which all prove that the illusion of space can be conjured up out of the smallest sites. These homes include: an ultra-stylish one bedroom live / work space for two costume designers topped off with an experimental garden roof, the transformation of a dark bachelor mews into a light and airy family home, a beautiful blend of beach living and high architecture in Dungeness, a clever extension in Harrogate with a stealthily clad exterior, and a narrow beachfront garage that has been transformed into a stunning home that is packed with a large art collection

Best Use of Site

airing: 15th December

In this final episode it’s the moment when Kevin reveals the winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects House of the Year 2016. There are four extraordinary houses still to see which all offer a creative response to a tricky site: a house stitched into a wall that sits between a Zen courtyard and an English walled garden, a clever, open plan family home built in the parent’s former allotment, a house made of a group of red tin pods that maximises living space on a piece of urban wasteland, and a large, glamorous home in Northumberland that creatively pulls Northern light through the house.