History and memory take centre stage as London’s best extensions are awarded

The overall winner of the New London Architecture (NLA) Don’t Move Improve! 2016 awards – London’s premier celebration of best new home extensions – is the House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects. This Lewisham house, which also received the Most Innovative Award, was praised by the judges for exhibiting a true understanding of the building’s individual history whilst also creating a beautiful new series of spaces for the owners. The innovative use of materials demonstrates how design on a budget can look luxurious – and how a considered use of space and light can “make the heart race” even in a domestic interior. Taking its cues from the existing sloped profile of the building, Tsuruta Architects intelligently reworked the design of the house to create a standalone piece of contemporary architecture.
In second place, the Sanderson House by David Kohn Architects was selected for its playful approach to the client’s brief of extending and reorienting their home. Colourful bricks and witty details meant that this project stood out from the competition as an exemplar piece of design. The third place winner of the awards was the Shepherd’s Bush Extension by Studio 30 Architects, which was chosen for its modest yet refined attitude. The project’s large and continuously folding doors and windows allow the garden and dining areas to blur into one.
The awards, now in their sixth year, also selected a series of special prizes, in recognition of certain project’s achievements. The Facet House by Platform 5 Architects won the Best Interior award for its elegant shifting internal walls that completely transform rooms. Best Use of Materials was awarded to The Gables by Patalab Architecure, with its generous spaces defined by a continuous polished concrete floor and subtle timber screens. The Fitzrovia House by West Architecture scooped the Best Historic Intervention prize, which sensitively inserted an entirely new structure within a bomb-damaged Georgian house dating back to 1766. The Most Cost Effective award was split between three exemplary projects: College Road by Russian For Fish, Extension One by Denizen Works and Nook House by Mustard Architects – each proving just how much quality can be achieved with a small budget.
Other highly commended projects include Folds by Bureau de Change Architects, Shoreditch Loft by Levitate, London Fields by Scenario Architecture, Clock House by Archmongers and Kenworthy Road by Chris Dyson Architects.
NLA Chairman Peter Murray said: “The standard of Don’t Move Improve! continues to rise each year. Architects and clients are meeting the challenges presented by London’s heritage with stylish and complementary designs. Land is London’s most valuable resource and we must use it efficiently;  modification through innovative design can deliver better and more sustainable living space.”
Organised in association with Dezeen, Dezeen Jobs, Heal’s and RIBA London, and sponsored by Axor Hansgrohe and Schueco, the awards continue to seek out architectural innovation, from extensions on top of, underneath, on the side or back of buildings, to interior insertions, conversions, and garden studios.
The winning projects will now be featured in a three-month exhibition alongside the complete longlist of 84 projects that made up the first stage of the awards at NLA’s central London galleries at The Building Centre, from 22 January to March 2016. A public day on Saturday 27 February will give Londoners wanting to extend their homes the chance of free one-to-one advice sessions with shortlisted and winning architects.

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