London’s best new home extensions and interiors announced at NLA

A timber-framed extension to a 1960’s estate in Gospel Oak designed by architects Maccreanor Lavington and a light-filled home in Bloomsbury designed by Stiff + Trevillion were tonight announced as overall winners of New London Architecture’s fifth annual ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ awards to find London’s best and most innovative new home improvements.

The winners were selected from a total of 44 shortlisted schemes, all of which are now on display in a free New London Architecture (NLA) exhibition at The Building Centre, WC1 until 12 February 2015, and featured in a special Don’t Move, Improve! publication.

Supported by the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), Heal’s and RIBA London, the NLA competition sought projects that displayed innovation and creativity in the creation of new space, sustainable and cost-effective approaches to project delivery, and high-quality design that complements London’s rich mix of architectural styles. The 44 shortlisted and winning projects demonstrate a range of solutions at a variety of budgets, completed within London’s distinct typologies – from Victorian to Georgian, through to 1950’s stock and more modest industrial buildings.

Overall Winner in the Home Extension category was awarded to Maccreanor Lavington for Ravenswood, a timber-framed extension to an end-of-terrace house on a 1960’s estate in Gospel Oak. The project was championed by the jury for its sympathetic interaction with the neighbouring vernacular styles, and illustrates the scope for improving London’s 1960’s estates. Second Place was awarded to MW Architects for Cecilia Road – a refined copper, concrete and black-stained timber extension providing a home office and shower, with a strong connection to the garden; while Third Place was awarded to MUSTARD Architects, for RAW House in Peckham, opening up a dark Victorian property to create a light-filled home of industrial elegance.

In the Interior Design category, Overall Winner was unanimously awarded to House Bloomsbury by Stiff + Trevillion, a characterful mews house with a dated 90’s interior, refreshed through simple, elegant detailing and reworked layout, complete with a sculptural staircase bringing light into the centre of the home. Second Place was awarded to Rosa and John’s Home designed by Zminkowska De Boise Architects – transforming a series of ground-floor rooms and long entrance hall into one continuous split-level family space; and Third Place was awarded to Islington Penthouse in Highbury by HÛT for its wonderful creation of inside and outside spaces above the rooftops of an Italianate villa.

Four schemes were also recognised with commendations. The Slate House by Gundry & Ducker, noted for its well-executed use of simple materials and creation of pattern throughout, received Best Use of Material. Paul Archer Design was presented with Best Use of Glass for Sebastian House – a heat generating glass corridor to connect a Georgian house and a Victorian workshop in the garden. Wallace Road, designed by Appleton Weiner, was awarded Most Cost Effective for its extraordinarily modest lower-ground floor extension, which the judges described as having given the family an enormous amount of space, transforming their life for very little money. East London House by Mikhail Riches was awarded Best Historic Intervention, dividing the judges, for its grand double-height gallery extension to a Grade II listed house in Tower Hamlets.

Debbie Whitfield, chairman of the jury, commented:

The Don’t Move, Improve! competition provides inspiration for homeowners at a time when providing more usable space is a key concern for Londoners, with house prices continuing to spiral. Instead of moving on or upsizing, these projects enliven and expand the clients’ existing homes, creating spaces that better meet their needs.

On Saturday 24 January 2015, NLA will host a special free day of Don’t Move, Improve! events offering inspiration and advice to homeowners looking to extend their homes. A number of the shortlisted and winning architects will be on hand at NLA for one-to-one design consultations, Heal’s at Tottenham Court Road will offer free style consultations to create your dream home interior, and a series of talks will give practical advice on getting started, planning and budgeting.