New London Architecture presents the eight Don't Move, Improve! 2023 winners
By Josh Niland|
Thursday, May 25, 2023
The results of this year’s Don’t Move, Improve! competition were just announced by New London Architecture (NLA) this morning.
Nic Howett Architect’s Southwark renovation project titled The Secret Garden Flat emerged as the overall Home of the Year winner, followed by seven other category winners selected from the 15-project shortlist that was announced last month.
NLA organized this year’s award program around the theme of ‘Green Ambitions.’ A four-person panel that includes Buro Happold Associate Anna Beckett, architect Phil Coffey, Hilson Moran’s Marie-Louise Schembri, and Wallpaper* magazine Editor Ellie Stathaki were responsible for judging entries for what is now the competition’s 13th overall edition.
They describe the winning home: “The Secret Garden Flat was self-built by the architect and his partner to extend their home on a limited budget. Located behind a shop in a Victorian terrace on Camberwell Road, they have remodeled a small awkward flat, moving the emphasis of living away from a busy main road to the garden behind. Self building with a palette of simple and modest materials that could be crafted with their own hands, they have added a new bedroom and a secluded garden studio where both can work from home. These new additions now sit comfortably amongst the palimpsest of alterations and development to neighboring buildings. The end result is a flexible home that the whole family can enjoy for years to come.”
Howett added: “We have cultivated it over the decade we have lived here and created an oasis from the busy urban thoroughfare our home is located on; we grow flowers for pollinators (and pleasure) and food for ourselves. Before the build, our garden and basement flat were disconnected, now indoors and outdoors interact in a way that makes them inseparable, providing outdoor family living space in the summer, a quiet and serene work space sheltered by neighboring trees, and immersion in the changing seasons from the comfort and warmth of our bed.”
The other winners of this year’s contest include A Small Studio, who won the Urban Oasis Prize for their Kitchen in the Woods design; Unknown Works, whose CLT House won the Unique Character Prize; R2 Studio Architects whose Craftsmanship Prize-winning Brückenhaus was inspired by the influential 20th-century artists group Die Brücke; Trewhela Williams, which took home the Transformations Prize for their Elizabeth Mews project in Camden; Studio naama, which won the Compact Design Prize for their transformation of an apartment in Berthold Lubetkin’s Grade II-listed Sivill House in Tower Hamlets; and District. Architects’ Colour Casing project, which finally won the Under £100k Prize, also in Southwark.
More information about each winning project can be found here and in the image gallery below. Don't miss the video overview of the Home of the Year winner.
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