THE Royal Institute of British Architects has given its prestigious House of the Year 2017 award to a contemporary country home inspired by Kentish oast houses.

Caring Wood, by James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell, has been judged the best new house designed by an architect in the UK.

The distinctive property, in Kent, revives building crafts and traditions, such as locally sourced, handmade peg clay tiles, locally quarried ragstone, and coppiced chestnut cladding.

The design features four towers with roofs that interlink "like markers in the landscape" to echo other oast houses in the distance - Kent's traditional agricultural buildings for kilning hops.

Judges agreed that Caring Wood "re-imagines" the English country house and "speaks of its time and place" with a contemporary design that echoes the "rural vernacular".

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: "I am delighted Caring Wood has been named RIBA House of the Year 2017. It’s a house built for multiple generations of a growing family and allows the owner’s daughters, their husbands and their children to reside under one roof – cleverly accommodating their desire to be together and their desire to be apart.

"This ambitious house explores new architectural methods, materials and crafts and allows us to question the future of housing and the concept of multi-generational living. I’ve no doubt many of the ideas displayed at Caring Wood will influence UK housing for many years to come."

RIBA House of the Year 2017 jury chair Deborah Saunt added: "Beyond the impression of sublime craftsmanship and spatial grandeur this house offers, Caring Wood leads us to fundamentally question how we might live together in the future."

She said: "Here we find a family enjoying each other’s time and company, but also enabling timeless layers of support to emerge between generations. Grandparents and grandchildren exchanging experiences and enlivening each other’s sense of self, parents finding a place to catch up alone as children play. Siblings together with cousins, building the foundation for mutual support for years to come, the network that builds a strong society of mutual respect."