“To sustain the Manser Medal’s reputation and to retain the interest of architects, the public and the press, the Medal needs something to distinguish it from the many other housing awards. The buildings we consider are a cut above the rest, in that each has won a design award for housing. But the Manser judges are looking for extra qualities that match the architects’ intellectual aspirations.
Historically, architecture has always responded to society’s needs, coming up with new methods and materials that exploit the latest technical developments, all within the compass of reasonable expenditure. The judges are looking for an inspirational step forward, perhaps an experimental approach, certainly an unequivocal 21st-century solution for 21st-century occupants.
Our aim is to influence both the house-building companies and the general public in the direction of better design. There is huge public interest in houses; the amount of media coverage is evidence of that. The Manser Medal could potentially have as big as following as the Stirling Prize and so expose the talent of younger practitioners, whose abilities are grossly under-used. Many successful architects begin their careers with domestic projects.”
Michael Manser CBE, PPRIBA – 2001