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North London extensions shortlisted for top design award

PUBLISHED: 12:58 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:32 07 December 2017

The Reading Room in Belsize Park, designed by Studio Carver

The Reading Room in Belsize Park, designed by Studio Carver

Richard Chivers

Two north London extensions have been shortlisted as among London's best and most innovative home improvements.

The Reading Room in Belsize Park, designed by Studio CarverThe Reading Room in Belsize Park, designed by Studio Carver

The prestigious New London Architecture (NLA) ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ competition, now in its ninth year, is recognised by Dezeen’s inaugural ‘Hot List’ as one of the world’s most popular design awards programmes.

The properties are among 30 shortlisted extension projects from more than 200 family home extensions, studios and garden rooms which were submitted to the competition.

The Maida Vale project was designed by architects Hayhurst and Co’s and features charred larch external timber cladding. The Belsize Park extension was completed by Studio Carver using a beautiful timber texture for a retired couple who wanted a study that maximised light.

The 30 best projects were chosen by an eminent jury including Carl Turner of Carl Turner Architects, Cany Ash of Ash Sakula, Zohra Chiheb of Levitt Bernstein, Amy Frearson of Dezeen, Philippa Stockley of the Evening Standard and Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture.

Hayhurst and Co's Maida Vale extension of charred larch external timber cladding. Picture Kilian O'Sullivan/VIEWHayhurst and Co's Maida Vale extension of charred larch external timber cladding. Picture Kilian O'Sullivan/VIEW

Apart from the prizes for overall winner, second and third place there are also special prizes for areas such as Most Sustainable, Most Cost Effective, Most Innovative, Best Interior Design, Best Historic Intervention and Best Use of Materials.

Following the winners announcement in January, NLA is launching a major three-month exhibition and the 2018 Don’t Move, Improve! magazine. The first of four public Design Surgeries will be held in February, for homeowners in London looking to extend and improve their homes featuring free consultations with architect practices.

The programme is run in conjunction with Dezeen, RIBA London, Architect’s Republic and Clippings.com.

Carl Turner of Carl Turner Architects said: “Don’t Move, Improve! is crucial to encouraging the improvement or upcycling of places and spaces; the re-use rather than replace. I’m constantly amazed at the thought, care and dedication that architects lavish on these modest projects. I think it’s among the best work they do.”

Top trends

This years entries revealed a number of home improvement trends, including the following:

•Briefs motivated by growing families - Londoners driving densification and responding to the housing crisis with their own action.

•Majority of submissions in Hackney and Islington – demonstrating a shift in the past two years of homeowners settling in East London.

•Homeowners more savvy with budget - with many projects costing below £100,000 and the most affordable longlisted project costing only £16,000.

•An increase in garden structures as an alternative office or studio, as Londoners’ bring their work and hobbies to their homes.

•A focus on recycled materials, timber and colourful interiors.

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