Now in its eighth year, the AJ Small Projects competition, sponsored by Robin Ellis Design Build, shows what can be achieved with limited funds - no more than £250,000, but including projects down to a few £000s.
There will be another selection of schemes in next week's AJ
Bradford has a touch of Parc de la Villette with a series of sculptural steel bus shelters on Manchester Road.There are six shelters of two types, the one shown has a 12m mast with an aerogenerator and heated seats.They signal an ambition to develop sustainable transport. Artist group Greyworld created sound installations for two shelters. Cost: £40,000 each mmm architects Berrytime Studios in London SW11 is both shop and gallery for contemporary rugs.The client wanted high natural light levels and clear walls for display.With nine abutting houses, daylighting is provided from an internal courtyard and a glazed link from front to rear.A double-height gallery fronts a viewing mezzanine linked to the upper level office.
sophie nguyen architects
This ground floor flat in London, divided by 1970s'partitions and suspended ceilings, was first cleared back to the original house structure for a couple with two young children.The Yellow Submarine, a free-standing unit, defines the functions of adjacent spaces - kitchen in front, bathroom behind, with two bedrooms behind a glass partition.Cost: £24,000 TOH architecture This discreet garden room is for guests, independent of the main house (refurbished three years ago by TOH) in central London.The zinc-clad roof and hardwood windows reflect work on the main house.Complementing the large pivoting windows is a rooflight along the back, washing the wall with light.Engineer - Techniker.
Extension and refurbishment of the existing McLauchlan Opticians in Elgin involved removing the previous shopfitting and clearing the shopfront clutter. The scale of space revealed was retained, with storage and display items custom-designed by the architect. Colour was kept to a palette of natural tones. Engineer - Adams Partnership. Cost: £80,000
The McGovern House project provided living space to the side and rear of a semi-detached villa in Glasgow's Bearsden area. A double-square plan defining a new lounge and a kitchen, with views to the garden, works in tandem with two rooflights.These and the roof forms maximise natural light under a Scottish sky.Engineer - Adams Partnership.Cost: £40,000
smith scott mullan associates
The 19th-century house known as Boglesknowe, near Biggar in the Scottish borders, has been extended, incorporating a diversity of glazed openings and high ceilings that draw in daylight and frame landscape views.Traditional slates, render and oak panelling combine with large glass sheets and galvanised steel.
A competition-winning design and construction of the Glasgow Institute of Architects'annual exhibition of projects was set up within the fourth floor of Glasgow's Lighthouse.The 2.4m-high wall lining focused attention at lower level, while screening the windows.A plinth acted as bench and stand for models.Steel frames on the walls hold drawn material.Cost: £10,000 softroom Ebony and Co is a supplier of highquality wood floors.This space in Pimlico was remodelled as a showroom on two floors.On the entrance level, the long space was divided into four bays using neutral grey frames, each bay differently floored.Low mirrors extend apparent space.Sample panels are displayed like artwork.
Lighting - Minds Eye.
Cost (exc floors): £25,000
This London flat needed a brighter, more functional cooking/dining area and improved access to loft storage.Having opened up the ceiling to provide headroom, the most striking new feature is a glass spiral stair leading to an open gallery at loft level.A doubleleaf patio door provides access to the terrace.
Engineer - Ian Drummond.
The 'bag-space' in Shoreditch required fitting of a gallery, a shop and a working area into a very confined space, enlarged with mirrors.The patterning comes from the interference of three rhythmic orders; 1:1 prints were used as templates for each of the 35 shapes. Cost: £7,000 (includes pricing of building work done by the client)
james p rooney
A contrasting extension to an Edwardian house in Belfast provides a sitting and dining area to complement the reconfigured kitchen, utility room and study.Vistas to outdoor greenery relate new to old.Externally, western red cedar cladding, idigbo framing and yellow balau decking provide contrasting colour and texture.Cost: £74,000
The existing rear extension of this Victorian house in London's Highbury Fields has been opened up at ground level, with a new glazed box extension to the side.Steel beams support the old masonry wall to create a single space.Large, sliding glass doors link this new space to the garden. Engineer - David Berle.
austin winkley & associates
A rooftop box provides access from a two-storey maisonette onto the flat roof above.
A cube of 2m sides has each face half panelled, half glazed, with a glazed roof.For security, slatted timber trap doors fold down and bolt shut over the spiral staircase opening.Timber decking and fencing make parts of the roof walkable.Cost: £57,500 roland cowan architects A 1950s London home was remodelled at ground floor level and extended to the side with a terrace above, to provide a kitchen/dining/living space.To the rear, three glazed screen doors maximise daylight and views.The oak floor level flows out to new mahogany decking around a pool.Structural engineer - Trigram.
The brief for the Crescent Maisonette in London was to maximise living and entertainment space at first floor, with other accommodation on the smaller second floor within a large Victorian townhouse.Two former flats were merged, with a new plan generated around an L-shaped reception room.
Structural engineer - Trigram. Cost: £235,000
christopher chestnutt associates
Seventeenth-century timber-framed Brook Barn, at Saxmundham in Suffolk, has been converted for holiday letting.For this Grade II-listed building, the simple plan has a central, three-storey kitchen/dining/living space with bedrooms stacked at the ends.The barn door is fully glazed; other windows are small and set back from the facades.Cost: £220,000
julian cowie architects
Refurbishment of a 1930s office building in Soho for a media company provides office accommodation on the five upper floors.Access is from a street level reception area, fronted by a bronze screen, folded back during the day.The space is lined with contrasting natural materials and illuminated with concealed lighting.Cost: £90,000 evans vettori St Joseph's Catholic church in Matlock has a new permanent community hall. It sits on a long, thin site alongside the church.Local Lumshill stone for the front sits next to the Victorian Gothic church. Inside is a very simple shell, with a timber and steel hybrid portal frame.Video links and IT facilitate small conference use.Cost: £178,000
the pike practice
A kitchen, two sheds and a summerhouse make up the new ensemble to the rear of this house in Southfields, London. The first phase was a kitchen/dining extension. Following this, the client asked for the stores and summerhouse. Choice of form and materials, including new garden fencing, unite the group.
Engineer - Timothy George. Cost: £152,000
Conversion of the architect's own three-storey Victorian house in London SW8 provided two separate units for sale.The upper floor, with its new mezzanine and roof terrace, became one unit.Dining and living spaces were combined into a larger open space.Rooflights and glazed terraced doors amplify daylighting.Engineer - Mervyn Rodrigues.Cost: £60,000
It is the first question you ask: how did Studio BAAD manage to build a company headquarters - sleek, modern, a place which is obviously a pleasure to work in - for only £217,000?
'The brief was basic, the budget was tight, so we've basically built a simple box, 'explains Philip Bintliff of Studio BAAD.
It is rich with ideas about the nature of space and materials, about the quality of light and the way office workers experience the space they inhabit. Its Preston docklands setting is less inspired.
The main facade is a blank translucent wall, like a giant billboard with office lights dimly glowing through it. It extends beyond the main structure at both ends to form two entrances.The all-glass entrance doors are each indicated by a massive 6m-high steel grille, which is painted a vibrant pink.When the office is closed, the grilles swing shut to secure them.
Entering the building, you become aware of the ingenuity of the assembly. It is a bog-standard two-storey steel-framed box,27 x 13m, but the translucent front wall has been 'pulled away' from the structure and extended at the ends, creating a full-length, doubleheight lobby space behind it.Lit by a continuous glazed rooflight above and by the translucency of the wall, the lobby has a wonderful sense of light and space; it is open to the ground floor reception and, protected by a balustrade, to the open-plan office on the first floor.The lobby is fully glazed at both ends.
The two short sides of the building are clad with black crinkly tin; (service and WC spaces are stacked against these side walls to allow uninterrupted open office spaces on both floors).Both open-plan offices are filled with light; the rear facade, which faces south and has a view of the docks, is a glazed wall behind a simple steel deck terrace with a screen of expanded aluminium mesh.
The wall is made of glazed sliding doors which can be opened for natural ventilation on warm days, or for access to the terrace.With its open deck at first floor level, the terrace is a pleasant place to sit out at lunchtimes. It also acts as a sun screen to the ground floor and gives access to the fire escape.The construction was not straightforward; the site was formerly an oil storage depot and before that, the river bed; driven pile foundations were needed, together with gas-proof membranes and ventilating pipes to prevent the build-up of methane gas.This may be a building which is cheap to build and cheap to run, but there is nothing cheap about the quality of its inspiration.