Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist names London’s best home refurbs
A low-energy house and a bright yellow extension are among London’s best new home renovations according to this year’s Don’t Move, Improve! shortlist.
There are 15 projects vying to win Don’t Move, Improve! 2023, the latest edition of the annual New London Architecture (NLA) competition that celebrates the capital’s residential architecture.
This year’s theme is called Green Ambitions, which prompted several entries focused on reducing their environmental impact, said NLA.
Among them is Low Energy House by Architecture for London, an Edwardian home that has been retrofitted to improve its energy efficiency for the studio’s founder Ben Ridley.
Meanwhile, Mike Tuck Studio has been shortlisted for its transformation of a Victorian terrace, named Breathable House, using natural materials such as cork and timber.
Another stand-out theme in this year’s shortlist is the use of bright colours, as seen in the Graphic House renovation by Office S&M that draws on the owner’s penchant for graphic design and art deco forms.
Other colourful renovations include Colour Casing, an extension to a one-bed flat designed by District Architects, and the CLT House by Unknown Works, which has a bright yellow exterior to help distinguish between its old and new elements.
However, minimalism remains a relevant trend in residential architecture, with a number of pared-back designs also selected for the 2023 shortlist from over 130 entries.
These include Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams, a mews house renovation in north London with a louvred oak facade, and DB Apartment by Studio Hallet Ike, a dark brick extension to London flat.
Several homes on the shortlist prioritised establishing a connection to nature and the outdoors, such as Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett and Black and Milk – a garden room with large, glazed sliding doors that overlook surrounding woodland in Camden.
Kitchen in the Woods by A Small Studio and Walled Garden by Nimtim Architects are other shortlisted projects in which celebrating surrounding landscapes was a key element.
The remaining projects on the shortlist include The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect and Brückenhaus by R2 Studio.
White Patio House by Pashenko Works, Rotherfield Street by Atelier Baulier and the Lubetkin apartments by Studio Naama also made the cut.
The Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist was selected by Buro Happold associate Anna Beckett, Coffey Architects director Phil Coffey, engineering firm Hilson Moran’s sustainability director Marie-Louise Schembri and Wallpaper Magazine‘s architecture editor Ellie Stathaki.
This year’s overall winner will be revealed at a ceremony on 24 May at The London Centre, alongside other prizes including the Environmental Leadership Prize and Compact Design Prize.
Previous overall winners of the Don’t Move, Improve! include Archmongers’ “practical and playful” refurbishment of a home on Dulwich Estate and The House Recast by Studio Ben Allen.
Scroll down for the full Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist:
Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett and Black and Milk
Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams
Breathable House by Mike Tuck Studio
Brückenhaus by R2 Studio Architects
Colour Casing by District Architects
Kitchen in the Woods by A Small Studio
The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect
DB Apartment by Studio Hallet Ike
Rotherfield Street by Atelier Baulier
Graphic House by Office S&M
Low Energy House by Architecture for London
Lubetkin Apartments by Studio Naama
Walled Garden by Nimtim Architects