Some houses have separate spaces such as snugs and TV rooms, where family members can escape to watch their favourite programmes alone.

London - Open plan homes were once the height of sophistication, with the layout creating the illusion of more space.

But according to a top architect, the rise of technology means walls are coming back into fashion.

Mary Duggan, a judge for the RIBA House of the Year award, said the increasing use of iPads and other mobile devices has changed the way we want to live – with families now hankering after a “broken plan” layout instead.

This means a house which has separate spaces such as snugs and TV rooms, where family members can escape to watch their favourite programmes alone.

Duggan said: “The world of the open-plan family room has changed quite significantly. We’re getting asked more for snugs, rooms with TVs or a space where people can go and watch something on their iPad independently.”

However, she said there was still demand for open plan kitchen and living areas, which remain popular for entertaining guests.