Highgate and Camden homes shortlisted for best renovation award

Camden apartment arranged around a translucent sleeping pod inspired by Japanese Shoji screens.

A prototype for micro-living: this Camden apartment is arranged around a translucent sleeping pod inspired by Japanese Shoji screens. - Credit: Ståle Eriksen

Two renovation projects in Highgate and Camden have been shortlisted for a competition celebrating the most innovative home improvements across London.

Church Road in the Highgate Conservation Area and Shoji Apartment in Camden will compete against 13 other renovation projects in the 2022 edition of New London Architecture’s (NLA) annual competition Don’t Move, Improve!.

Across the nominees, style trends include interconnected indoor-outdoor spaces, use of wood and natural materials, natural tones and pastel colours are dominant alongside bold shapes, including curves and circles, often inspired by art-deco. Also noticeably visible were statement ceilings and colourful structures. 

The shortlist features other properties in Lewisham, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hackney. The most common types of extension are rear and side, with interior refits.

Church Road, Highgate

Garden view of Church Road by RUFFARCHITECTS.

Garden view of Church Road by RUFFARCHITECTS. - Credit: Tim Soar

Designed by Ruffarchitects, the home is set amongst the only remaining ancient oaks outside Highgate Wood.

The design team has created an "innovative playful design" and "constant landscape interaction", which "establishes this family home within the close-knit neighbourhood through shared benefits of flood protection, passive supervision, and public realm improvements". 

The living room of Church Road in Highgate

The living room. - Credit: Tim Soar

Nestled in Highgate Conservation Area, Church Road is set amongst the only remaining ancient oaks outside Highgate Wood.

Nestled in Highgate Conservation Area in Haringey, Church Road by RUFFARCHITECTS, is set amongst the only remaining ancient oaks outside Highgate Wood. - Credit: Tim Soar

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Shoji Apartment, Camden

translucent sleep pod in the apartment

The translucent sleep pod. - Credit: Ståle Eriksen

Proctor and Shaw's renovation project is conceived as a prototype for micro-living: small and uncomfortable rooms have been replaced by a multi-functional living space arranged around a translucent sleeping pod inspired by Japanese Shoji screens.

Accommodation is stacked in a single height volume to create an additional floor area in under 30 square metres. 

Kitchen area in Shoji Aparment

The kitchen area. - Credit: Ståle Eriksen

Shoji Apartment in Camden by Proctor and Shaw

Living area. - Credit: Ståle Eriksen

More than 200 family home extensions were submitted to the Don’t Move, Improve! 2022 competition.

The final 15 best projects were chosen by a judging panel chaired by NLA’s director, Amy Chadwick Till.

Amy Chadwick Till, programme director at NLA and chair of the judging panel, said: “This year’s submissions delighted our jury with innovative approaches to structure, layout, materials and colour.

"We were looking for creativity, originality, liveability, and cost-effectiveness, as well as consideration of the environmental impact and local context

"Don’t Move, Improve! aims to encourage great domestic-scale design across the city, so we are really pleased to have another shortlist that showcases a wide range of budgets, building styles, locations and home-owner needs.”

Winners will be announced in May.