The AJ reveals the remaining 10 schemes vying for this year’s AJ Small Projects Awards
From house extensions and garden sheds to office refurbishments and public toilets, minor works are the bread and butter of the profession, where architects cut their teeth, delivering experimental works on a shoestring.
Playful concepts, materiality and attention to detail made these shortlisted projects stand out among nearly 200 entries to this year’s awards. The winner will be announced on 29 March, with a prize fund of £2,500.
AJ Small Projects is run in association with Marley Eternit
Asylum house crop @tim crocker 02
Source: Tim Crocker
This two-bedroom house was built on a constrained London site previously used as a joinery workshop and car repair garage. The narrow frontage and lack of outlook required the house to be built up to the boundary walls.
The restrained façade opens to a narrow, top-lit galleried space, which expands into a light-filled, double-height living area. This space sits between two courtyards, a lightwell and underneath a rooflight. A mezzanine floats over the living area, providing a functional multipurpose family room.
Courtyards, rooflights and lightwells provide outdoor space, natural light and long views, while separating living and sleeping areas.
The front of the site, where the width is at its narrowest, incorporates the bathroom, storage and circulation. The main bedroom and en-suite are at the front of the site at first-floor level.
Lipton plant architects drawings for web
Cost £208,000 • Location London • Completed August 2015 • Floor area 125m² • Client John O’Shea and Richa Mukhia
Culardoch shieling by moxon architects @ben addy 013
Source: Ben Addy
The shieling was commissioned as an escape, for small gatherings or dinners, arranged around a long and narrow table.
It sits alone in the vast, rugged and windswept landscape of the Cairngorms, located at the foot of Culardoch.
Its windows appear haphazardly placed, varying in size and orientation, but they let in light and view while maintaining an enveloping sense of seclusion and security.
The exterior and interior are both clad in timber, with the overhanging eaves of its cruck frame roof dipping low, and the roof itself covered in heather, moss and stone.
Moxon architects drawings for web
Cost £70,000 • Location Aberdeenshire • Completed Oct 2016 • Floor area 47m² • Client Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Hauser & Wirth
Re imagining the building space by roz barr architects @john maclean 03
Source: John Maclean
Roz Barr Architects was asked to prepare a feasibility study for the Building Centre in central London, ‘reimagining’ its spaces to create lettable and flexible workspace.
The practice saw an opportunity to showcase different products, which companies could use as a promotional tool; an approach that celebrated good design and innovative products.
The plywood enclosure is open to the gallery space but separated by a timber screen. The plywood panels on the ceiling were perforated and backed with sound felt to create a quiet environment. Framed areas of plasterboard, set within the panels, are used to project presentations or display work. An inlay of carpet in the plywood floor differentiates a central space to create varied working environments within one open space.
Roz barr architects drawings for web2
Cost £150,000 • Location London • Completed Sept 2016 • Floor area 95m² • Client The Building Centre
Mews house by russel jones @rory gardiner 010
Source: Rory Gardiner
This two-storey brick house faces on to a quiet cobbled mews. Its 90m2 site was formerly occupied by a garage and derelict garden.
The project was designed and developed with an economy of visual, spatial and structural means, with the material palette kept simple. Carefully manipulated volumes make the most of a small site constrained by overlooking neighbours on most elevations.
The building material was influenced by the original context. A lightly toned brick was used for load-bearing walls, with precast concrete paving stones to match. The mortar uses white cement, lime and washed river sand. Douglas fir was used in the first floor and for the entrance joinery and stair.
The building has been built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, and includes underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic energy generation.
Russel jones 2 plans
Cost £234,000 • Location Highgate, London • Completed Oct 2015 • Floor area 68m² • Client Private
Laggan locks by sd gm @ david mckenna – 03
Source: David Mckenna
Laggan Locks provides visitor facilities, a café and camping pods as part of the Scenic Routes initiative, which aims to improve visitor experiences of Scotland’s landscape and showcase young design talent.
The structure provides a seasonal café/kiosk that can be securely shut down during the winter months while still providing a sheltered viewpoint down the Great Glen. Café/kiosk and toilet/shower facilities are separated but unified by one roof to create a covered platform within the structure.
The use of monochrome materials echoes traditional canal infrastructure. Charred larch cladding combines with bright white timber boarding. The camping pods share silhouette-like forms with the café, eroded and sculpted from cubic volumes and clad in the same charred timber, and are sized for modular construction and transportation.
Cost £194,250 • Location North Laggan, Scotland • Completed Sep 2016 • Floor area 30m² • Client Scottish Canals
Sd gm drawings for web
Belsize house crop @richard chivers – 05
Source: Richard Chivers
This modest extension to an Edwardian terraced house replaces a conservatory, creating more usable space with better visual and physical connections to the garden.
Tall vertical sash windows reflect the elegance and rhythm of the existing rear french doors. Deep oak fins between the windows express this verticality while reducing neighbouring views into the property.
The timber structure, fins and windows rest carefully on top of a fair-faced concrete plinth. White oiled oak cladding was used internally and externally and, combined with the exposed concrete, creates a calm palette of materials and a subtle contrast to the existing London stock brick. A large, strip skylight between the extension and existing house separates new from the old.
Studio carver drawings for web
Cost £72,000 • Location London • Completed Mar 2016 • Floor area 8m² • Client Mr and Mrs Gannon
Lantern studio by sulman weston 02 ©wai ming ng
Source: Wai Ming Ng
Surman Weston was asked to design a space for studying, relaxing and entertaining that would encourage more engagement with its mature, wooded south London garden.
The garden-facing elevation was critical. Here the architect played with transparency and structure to create a building with a subtly shifting appearance.
Approaching from the house, the structural timber truss is expressed playfully along the front elevation and is partially screened with a translucent secondary façade, which adds privacy and intrigue. By day the fibreglass skin flickers and shimmers; by night it scatters and diffuses light like a welcoming lantern.
Internally, the space is wrapped with spruce plywood and is characterised by a series of birch-faced joinery cabinets, maintaining a warm, inviting environment. The double-pitched soffit is punctured by a large rooflight, providing views to trees above, while the large Douglas fir sliding-door and windows look out to the garden.
Surman weston drawings for web
Cost £50,000 • Location Lewisham, London • Completed October 2015 • Floor area 22m² • Client Private
Seminar house pavilion crop 04
The pavilion consists of three layers of simple OSB and softwood composite panel construction, containing an intimate informal meeting room inside and a viewing deck with seating at the top.
It is dressed with zinc, hand split wooden shingles and charred timber produced by at Kingston University Unit 5 postgraduate students in collaboration with Terunobu Fujimori during his residency at Kingston in March 2016.
The cantilevered layers of the pavilion’s structure were inspired by the upturned form of Takamasa Yoshizaka’s 1965 Inter University Seminar House Project in Japan, which the Unit 5 visited in 2015.
Fujimori labeled Yoshizaka’s work as belonging to the Red School. The work of Red School is raw, tactile, sometimes improvised, sometimes self-built, using elemental, natural materials.
Takeshi hayatsu drawings for web2
Cost £2,000 • Location Kingston • Completed June 2016 • Floor area 9m² • Client Dorich House Museum
Grand entrance hall at the brunel museum by tate harmer @paul raftery – 01
Source: Paul Raftery
The Grand Entrance Hall is a newly accessible underground space which converts Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Grade II*-listed Thames Tunnel Sinking Shaft into an exhibition and performance space.
Tate Harmer’s intervention was as much about revealing the beauty of the existing space as it was about providing public access. The staircase and platform were conceived as a ‘ship in a bottle’ structure; prefabricated and inserted through a new door opening. The installation contains all the services and requirements necessary to create a working public performance space, while retaining the powerful, raw atmosphere of Brunel’s first structure.
Tate harmer drawings for web
Cost £185,000 • Location London • Completed March 2016 • Floor area 143m² • Client The Brunel Museum
No.49 by 31:44 architects 01 ©anna stathaki
Source: Anna Stathaki
On an urban infill site close to the River Quaggy in south-east London, this house was built by Stephen Davies, one of 31/44’s directors – his second self-build within the same street.
The form and arrangement respond to the contex : a Victorian terrace on one side with an ad-hoc assembly of fences, walls, mews and garages on the other.
The building is raised from the street to mitigate flood risk. Large openings capture views of surrounding trees and the courtyard. The southern section of the plan, containing the main living spaces, sits between two courtyards. To the rear, the client’s studio catches the southern light. A guest suite is located to the rear with a view into a third courtyard.
The first floor is accessed via a curved timber staircase with a large picture window overlooking the street. The master bedroom features connecting doors through to the third bedroom, offering a flexible layout of spaces.
Cost £245,000 • Location Lewisham, London SE13 • Completed June 2016 • Floor area 125m² • Client Private