An almost invisible live/work scheme on the site of a former carpenter’s workshop has won this year’s AJ Small Projects Awards
Described by the judges as ‘delightful’ and a ‘superb use of a found site’, Jack Woolley’s £232,000 Old Workshop in London was handed the £1,000 first prize at a ceremony on Wednesday night at the NLA (8 February).
The office and home, with its ‘hidden’ door built into the brickwork of an existing wall, saw off schemes by 24 shortlisted practices. For the first time since the AJ began running the prize, which champions projects with a total build cost of £250,000 or less, all the finalists presented their projects to the judges for two minutes during a special day of ‘crits’.
Commendations went to the ‘beautiful’ Capel Manor House Guest Pavilion in Kent by Ewan Cameron Architects (budget £245,000) and the similarly stunning Artist’s Workshop for Anthony Gormley in London by Carmody Groarke (budget £35,000).
The Small Projects Sustainability Award, worth £750, was scooped by NEX for its Times Eureka Pavilion in Richmond, Surrey which was praised by the jury for ‘making plastic beautiful’ and for being ‘entirely recyclable’ (budget £70,000).
A Special Award was given to the Office of Subversive Architecture’s homage to Kurt Schwitters Merz collage technique at the CUBE Gallery in Manchester (budget £21,000). The Merzen installation, which netted the practice a £750 prize, was hailed for its ‘forward-thinking re-use of materials’.
The 2012 judging panel included: Moira Gemmill of the V&A; Keith Bradley of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Rider Levett Bucknall’s Mark Weaver; Paul Reed of Marley Eternit; and AJ editor Christine Murray.