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small projects 03

The schemes featured in part two of the AJ Small Projects competition, sponsored by Robin Ellis Design Build, show just what can be achieved on a limited budget - all were completed for less than £250,000. Selected schemes from this week's crop and last week's selection will be exhibited at the RIBA in April Remodelling this Victorian house in Wandsworth included moving the main living space to the back and placing the kitchen at the heart of the house. The glazed back wall is shaded by timber slats on a galvanised frame that defines the immediate outdoor space, controlling the view and offering some privacy from neighbours. The engineer was Fluid. Cost: £120,000 paul archer design This Mill Hill extension is a 'thinking space' for two medical scientists, providing an area away from the lab for relaxed consideration, a space looking out onto the world. A lightweight steel frame allows the structure to cantilever over the garden.

Electrically-operated aluminium thermal shutters reduce glass area when it is cold. The engineer was Fluid.Cost: £88,000 bluebottle A subterranean garden, 20x8m, contains a pavilion for exhibiting a collection of sculpture, viewable from outside and inside the house. A box - not touching the boundaries - was articulated by cutting, folding, splicing, wrapping and reflecting elements. A two-way pivoting mirror screen extends views from within the house.

Cost: £80,000 robert dye associates The conservatory/entrance is a new element between the existing brick main house and the music room of the Red House in Hampshire. A tall, freestanding box is divided into external porch and internal skylit space, surrounded by lower buffer zones of plant shelving, coat storage and circulation, with Douglas fir cladding and Chicksgrove stone flooring. Cost: £27,000 catherine phillips and robert bailey This partial refurbishment and extension provides a new kitchen, dining room and utility room, related to the garden, for this house in London SW2.

A rooflight has been added to the existing 1980s extension - bringing in light from the east.

This opens into a new glazed zone for the dining room. The engineer was Price and Myers.

Cost: £133,000 child graddon lewis Situated in Hampstead Garden Suburb, this dilapidated 1930s house had lost its original light and open aspect. The structure, though, was intact, allowing a complete Modernist refurbishment.

Previous rear extensions were replaced with a minimal new-build structure of frameless glazing designed to integrate the garden with the home. Cost: £240,000 popularchitecture This reorganisation and extension of a one-bedroom flat in central London provided a new bedroom and bathroom, yet with a general sense of openness. The existing roof void was opened and extended, with a 'nautical'balcony created.

Skirtings and architraves were inlaid with polished chrome to create jewel-like details.

Cost: £175,000 This 100m 2 ground floor and basement office refurbishment in Shepherds Bush is for a multi-disciplinary design company.

The office required a strong presence without identifying the occupying business.

Internally the space was divided into four zones for separate project work.

Cost: £230,000 The client wanted to come home to 'an epic scene that entertains and dismays'. The apartment in central London is conceived as a sequence of views that frame and reveal elements of the interior. Central is the black fireplace surround, with the fireplace receding within it.

The culminating frame is for the rooftop skyline view.

Cost: £160,000 wilkinson king The brief required a family home without barriers between the living room, kitchen and garden for this Edwardian house in west London. The ground floor is wide on the street side but rooms onto the garden were dark and narrow at different levels. A single room now continues from under the existing house, opening to garden and sky.The engineer was Packman Lucas.

Cost £150,000 featherstone associates A new home for one of the practice's partners is also a prototype for a typical London terrace.Starting from a shop, self-contained studio and a two-storey maisonette above, the shop is retained and a house and studio built behind.Only 4m wide, the buildings are arranged around a courtyard and central stairwell. Cost: £150,000 plat-form The brief was to open this overshadowed west London apartment to sunlight and to house a collection of postcard artworks. Service units were built as a single sculptural piece containing WC, shower, kitchen and laundry cupboard. A bathroom of sandblasted blue glass has interlocking beams of stainless steel and birch ply.

The engineer was Blacker Partnership.

Cost: £70,000 hugh broughton and jamie troughton architects William Burn designed what is now the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and its lodge, which the architect has extended.Providing open plan offices for four people, the steelframed building has oak joinery and cladding.The structural engineer was David Narro Associates and the services engineer was Ian Campbell Partnership.

Cost: £79,000 stephen donald architects The project comprises refurbishment plus a new kitchen/dining room and studio extension to a Victorian semi in Hackney. The studio is within a circular, semi-underground extension, while the kitchen/dining area sits between the studio and existing house under a flat glazed roof. The main materials are steel, glass and iroko cladding.Cost: £105,000 jeff kahane + associates The 1960s brick extension to this north London flat was replaced with a similar volume. The structural engineer generated a corner free of roof supports. New sliding windows of frameless glazing retract into the wall cavity. Inner perforated aluminium security screens are by artist Danny Lane. The engineer was Michael Chester Associates.Cost: £40,000 evans lane architects In a tiny courtyard, a small infill extension comprises a frameless glass roof and doors to enclose the space with minimum visual intrusion. Inside the existing building, stainless steel-topped units float above the floor with concealed coloured light beneath.

New landscaping completes the project. The engineer was Michael Barclay Partnership. Cost: £50,000 buckley gray Fitting out a shell unit in London's Farringdon provided offices for jeweller BJB Imports. As principal accommodation had to be sited in the basement, much of the ground floor slab was removed to admit daylight and provide views.

A bridge links the stainless steel entrance box to reception.The engineer was M Pegram & Associates. Cost: £250,000 Refurbishment of Channel 5's London reception enhances the street presence. Inside, a monolithic glass partition redefines space. It is punctured by a horizontal slice of light, housing plasma screens. Opposite is a backlit glass wall.Mirrors and bi-angle translucent film add to the visual complexity. The engineer was Energetics Engineering Services.Cost: £120,000 lisa shell design A front reception room was the only space preserved during the extensive reconstruction of this tiny terraced house in London W12. By offsetting the stair to the new mansard roof extension, a brightly lit vertical space was introduced which serves to bind the core of the house. A new kitchen extension opens outward through sliding glazed hardwood doors.

Cost: £170,000 3s architects A modern extension to a Victorian semi in Twickenham provides cooking and dining space. A new rendered side wall widens the floor plan and encloses a small guest bathroom towards the front of the house. On the garden side, folding glass doors and a square glass roof above the dining area control ventilation and maximise daylight. Cost: £140,000 A large dining/day room blends with this 1920s house in Wimbledon.

The simple space opens at both ends while fanning in a curve onto the lawn. A row of painted steel Ts acts as both window mullions and edge supports, while folding out to form a south-facing trellis.The project includes a garage loft conversion.Cost: £110,000 montrésor partnership Appropriately for a practice which provides a window and cladding consultancy service, the new office of the Montrésor Partnership is an exemplar, at a relatively small scale, of how those elements should be used. It stands on the site of a former piggery in the grounds of Wraxall House, a former barn in the Wiltshire village of North Wraxall which was converted into living accommodation (AJ 14.1.99) for their own use by partners Harry Montrésor and Sarah Rogers.

The single-storey office space is flexible - an office, a meeting room that doubles as a guest bedroom, and a workroom, all linked on the west side by a glazed conservatory. These three spaces are divided by 'servant' spaces - boiler room, kitchen, WC and store-room. 'And if you work where you live, the only way to stay sane is to walk out of one building to work in another. It is also a demonstration of what we do, in particular how maximum daylight and transparency can be achieved with something that is also energy efficient - we were all seduced by the Miesian glass box but this is the reality.'

As North Wraxall is a conservation area, the new building had to mimic the footprint and shape of the piggery, including its relatively low monopitch roof. The shape is simple: three solid walls of lime-rendered blockwork wrap round a transparent west wall and roof - a delicate steel structure of cranked beams supporting a combination of transparent, translucent and opaque, fixed and opening glass panels in silver anodised extruded aluminium glazing bars. The steel structure, exposed internally to maximise headroom, forms major bays over the 'served' spaces - office, meeting room and workroom - and minor bays over the 'servant' spaces.

The isometric (see Working Detail, pages 34-35) reflects the construction sequence. After drawing the details freehand to half-full size, Montrésor let the contract for external walls and slab, then contracted directly with the steelwork contractor, glazing frame fabricator and louvre blade manufacturer. The steelwork was craned in position over the servant spaces and the purlins of the major bays were site welded to it - Montrésor considers the small additional cost of welding preferable to bolting, as the result is much neater.

The new building is a delightfully light and airy space which must be a pleasure to work in. Its approach from the house, a two-minute stroll through landscaped gardens, and over a pool by means of a small bridge, is an enviable way to commute to work. Cost: £150,000.

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