London’s best home extensions and improvements revealed

Friday 27 January 2017

The Sunken Bath Project by Studio 304 Architecture was crowned overall winner at New London Architecture’s (NLA) ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ 2017 awards ceremony last night.

NLA’s annual ‘Don't Move, Improve!’ competition – organised in association with, Dezeen, and RIBA London – celebrates London’s best designed and most innovative home extension projects, promoting the value of good design to householders and the work of emerging architectural practices. The competition received a record number of entries in this – its seventh – year, and has recently been recognised by Dezeen’s inaugural Hot List as one of the world’s most popular design awards programmes.

The winning project in Clapton, east London, was praised by the jury for its compelling design, creating a new feature bathroom that cleverly extended from a terraced house. Creating a copper-lined kitchen and dining area in addition, the scheme’s design centres on a bespoke standalone bathing room – separated from the shower and toilet and sunk below ground level to maintain light and views from the flat’s bedroom window. Inspired by the client’s broad fascination of early 20th century concrete installations and Japanese theories on aesthetics, the new spaces have garden views and benefit from natural lighting whilst being shielded from neighbourhood windows by larch slats. Judges praised the project as an innovative, unique and personal solution to London living.

View this year’s winning projects

Second Prize was awarded to Patrick Lewis Architects for Molyneux Street in Marylebone, a highly crafted design which took inspiration from a crow’s nest to create a unique lookout post that evolves into a bespoke piece of furniture. Third Prize went to The Rug Room in Oval, an angled garden workspace by Nic Howett Architects costing just £25,000. A special commendation was presented to Kirkwood McCarthy for Pages Lane – a sensitive transformation of an historic property in Muswell Hill. 

Clay House in Tufnell Park by Simon Astridge Architecture Workshop won the Best Interior Design award for its soft and subtle design. Best Use of Materials was awarded to Erbar Mattes for Harvey Road in Hornsey, in praise of its minimal yet assured aesthetic and the Best Value award was given to The Study House, which transformed a four-storey townhouse in New Cross by the live-in architects Studio 30 Architects.

Delawyk Modular House, R2 Studio Architects’ liveable and modest porch insertion to reinvigorate a 1960’s end-of-terrace house in Herne Hill, won the Best Historic Intervention award whilst Studio McLeod’s Home/Studio on Kilburn Lane won Most Innovative for a project which included a large new workspace, floating garden and secret sliding staircase.  

The winning projects will now be featured in a dedicated magazine and a two-month exhibition alongside the complete longlist of 120 projects that made up the first stage of the awards. The exhibition will be shown at NLA’s Galleries at The Building Centre, from 27 January to 29 March 2017.

NLA will also be holding a series of free Design Surgeries offering advice and inspiration to Londoners looking to extend and improve their homes. The first Design Surgery of the year, taking place on Saturday 25 February at NLA in The Building Centre, Fitzrovia, London, will feature talks, one-to-one consultation sessions with architects and other consultants, family activities and walking tours. 

Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture said: “As London grapples with a housing crisis and a shortage of land, more efficient use of existing homes is a key part of densifying the capital. This year’s awards attracted a record number of entries from across the city, with smaller, focused improvement projects going head-to-head with complex largescale extensions, demonstrating the breadth of ambition of Londoners to enhance and improve their homes. The results show that good design can greatly improve the quality of living conditions.” 

The competition’s esteemed jury comprised industry leaders, experts and journalists from London’s built environment, including Carl Turner of Carl Turner Architects, Cany Ash of Ash Sakula, Russ Edwards of Pocket, Jo McCafferty of Levitt Bernstein, Amy Frearson of Dezeen and Philippa Stockley of the London Evening Standard.

In addition to the competition, New London Architecture has partnered with to create the Don't Move Improve - Shop the Look website. The website enables anyone inspired by the Don't Move Improve projects to discover and buy the furniture and lighting featured in each home, connecting to the enormous catalogue products listed on

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Don’t Move, Improve! 2017 Winners


The Sunken Bath Project by Studio 304 Architecture has been crowned overall winner of the ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ 2017 awards, praised for its compelling design that created a new feature bathroom that cleverly extends from a terraced house - producing a unique and personal solution to London living.