Don't Move, Improve! Awards 2014/2015

Thursday 11 December – Tuesday 24 March 2015

Home Interior Winner - House Bloomsbury by Stiff + Trevillion © Kilian O'Sullivan

Home Extension Winner - Ravenswood by Maccreanor Lavington with Kay Hughes © TimCrocker

Home Interior Third Prize - Islington Penthouse by HUT © Jim Potter

Home Extension Second Prize - Cecilia Road by MW Architects © French & Tye

Home Extension Third Prize - RAW House by Mustard Architects © Tim Crocker

Celebrating the shortlisted entries from NLAʼs fifth, annual ʻDonʼt Move, Improve!ʼ competition

This free exhibition details 44 schemes, judged to be Londonʼs best and most innovative home improvements, and reveals this year’s winners!

The competition aims to provide inspiration for homeowners at a time when providing more usable space is a key concern for Londoners, with house prices continuing to spiral. Instead of moving on or upsizing, these projects enliven and expand the clients’ existing homes, creating spaces that better meet their needs.   

For the first time, the exhibition is accompanied by a magazine detailing all shortlisted and winning projects - on sale at The Building Centre café for £2.

- - -

Don't Move, Improve! 2014 Winners!

Winner – Ravenswood by Maccreanor Lavington with Kay Hughes 
Second Place – 
Cecilia Road by MW Architects 
Third Place – 
RAW House by MUSTARD Architects   


Winner – House Bloomsbury by Stiff + Trevillion 
Second Place – 
Rosa & John's Home by Zminkowska De Boise Architects 
Third Place – 
Islington Penthouse by HUT   


Best Historic Intervention – 
East London House by Mikhail Riches 
Most Cost Effective – 
Wallace Road by Appleton Weiner 
Best Use of Glass – 
Sebastian House by Paul Archer Design 
Best Use of Material – The Slate House by Gundry & Ducker 

A timber-framed extension to a 1960’s estate in Gospel Oak designed by architectsMaccreanor Lavington and a light-filled home in Bloomsbury designed by Stiff + Trevillion have been announced as overall winners of New London Architectureʼs fifth annual ʻDonʼt Move, Improve!ʼ awards to find Londonʼs best and most innovative new home improvements.   

Supported by the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), Heal’s and RIBA London, the NLA competition sought projects that displayed innovation and creativity in the creation of new space, sustainable and cost-effective approaches to project delivery, and high-quality design that complements London's rich mix of architectural styles. The 44 shortlisted and winning projects demonstrate a range of solutions at a variety of budgets, completed within London’s distinct typologies – from Victorian to Georgian, through to 1950’s stock and more modest industrial buildings.   

Overall Winner in the Home Extension category was awarded to Maccreanor Lavingtonfor Ravenswood, a timber-framed extension to an end-of-terrace house on a 1960’s estate in Gospel Oak. The project was championed by the jury for its sympathetic interaction with the neighbouring vernacular styles, and illustrates the scope for improving London’s 1960’s estates. Second Place was awarded to MW Architects for Cecilia Road – a refined copper, concrete and black-stained timber extension providing a home office and shower, with a strong connection to the garden; while Third Place was awarded to MUSTARD Architects, for RAW House in Peckham, opening up a dark Victorian property to create a light-filled home of industrial elegance.   

In the Interior Design category, Overall Winner was unanimously awarded to House Bloomsbury by Stiff + Trevillion, a characterful mews house with a dated 90’s interior, refreshed through simple, elegant detailing and reworked layout, complete with a sculptural staircase bringing light into the centre of the home. Second Place was awarded to Rosa and John’s Home designed by Zminkowska De Boise Architects – transforming a series of ground-floor rooms and long entrance hall into one continuous split-level family space; and Third Place was awarded to Islington Penthouse in Highbury by HÛT for its wonderful creation of inside and outside spaces above the rooftops of an Italianate villa.   

Four schemes were also recognised with commendations. The Slate House by Gundry & Ducker, noted for its well-executed use of simple materials and creation of pattern throughout, received Best Use of Material. Paul Archer Design was presented with Best Use of Glass for Sebastian House – a heat generating glass corridor to connect a Georgian house and a Victorian workshop in the garden. Wallace Road, designed by Appleton Weiner, was awarded Most Cost Effective for its extraordinarily modest lower-ground floor extension, which the judges described as having given the family an enormous amount of space, transforming their life for very little money. East London House by Mikhail Richeswas awarded Best Historic Intervention, dividing the judges, for its grand double-height gallery extension to a Grade II listed house in Tower Hamlets.   

Debbie Whitfield, chairman of the jury, commented: “The Don’t Move, Improve! competition provides inspiration for homeowners at a time when providing more usable space is a key concern for Londoners, with house prices continuing to spiral. Instead of moving on or upsizing, these projects enliven and expand the clients’ existing homes, creating spaces that better meet their needs.”  

On Saturday 24 January 2015, NLA will host a special free day of Don’t Move, Improve! events offering inspiration and advice to homeowners looking to extend their homes. A number of the shortlisted and winning architects will be on hand at NLA for one-to-one design consultations, Heal’s at Tottenham Court Road will offer free style consultations to create your dream home interior, and a series of talks will give practical advice on getting started, planning and budgeting. Bookings open for the free day of Don’t Move, Improve! events on Wednesday 17 January. All events are free but booking in advance is highly recommended. Please click here to book a session or a talk.

Event Details Toggle

NLA, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT

Free Entry

Opening times Toggle

NLA and the Building Centre

Monday to Friday: 9.30 am - 6.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

We are closed on Sundays, Bank Holidays, Easter Saturday and for the Christmas period from 24th December to the first working weekday of January.

Downloads Toggle

Share this page Toggle