The AJ can reveal the first 10 schemes in the running 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
BEN ADAMS • CANALES LOMBARDERO • EVA STUDIO • FEILDEN FOWLES • FINKERNAGEL ROSS • GIANNI BOTSFORD • INVISIBLE STUDIO • KATE DARBY AND DAVID CONNOR • LIPTON PLANT • MATTHEW BUTCHER, KIERAN WARDLE AND OWAIN WILLIAMS
Monotype digital foundry by ben adams architects ©edmundsumner 01
Source: Edmund Sumner
Font and technology specialist Monotype needed an agile and inspiring workplace for its ever-growing creative team.
Carefully targeted interventions transform an unremarkable floorplate into a series of versatile spaces to create a venue for working, educating, exhibiting and entertaining. Visual connections through framed openings and layered transparent screens combine depth and intimacy to create a varied environment with enticing spatial complexity.
The fit-out was predominantly crafted by a small team of carpenters on-site, reducing costs compared with off-site joinery fabrication.
The space is peppered with typographic references, and combines site-made, hand-crafted materials with modern CNC fabrication to create an architectural love letter to the art of typography.
Ben adams drawings for web2
Cost £175,000 • Location London • Completed Oct 2016 • Floor area 338m² • Client Monotype
Perea borobio house canales lombardero ©fernandoalda 03
Source: Fernando Alda
This house in Seville, Spain, was built for a retired couple to accommodate them and their visiting family.
Construction priorities were durability, solid construction, energy efficiency and the recycling of materials.
In particular, the design deploys a system of brick cavity walls that articulates all domestic spatial relations, while the fluid and dynamic inhabitation unfolds in between them. The walls are made of two interconnected layers of solid firebrick – leftovers from a local construction.
The house is designed as a passive structure with the help of sustainability experts from the Architectural Association. The energy strategy for the design is based on the thermal inertia of the thick walls. For this reason, the brick walls and concrete slabs are left unclad to better absorb energy flows within them.
Canales lombardero drawings for web
Cost £210,709 • Location Seville • Completed July 2016 • Floor area 209m² • Client Perea Borobio
Place tapis rouge by eva studio ©gianlucastefani 01
Source: Gianluca Stefani
Tapis Rouge is one of several public spaces in Carrefour-Feuilles, Haiti, one of the many neighbourhoods to suffer extensive damage in the 2010 earthquake. After the earthquake, the site became a tent camp for displaced people. It sits at the top of a slope, marking the entrance to the alleyways and homes below.
The architectural design was created through a participatory process with the community. An amphitheatre, intended for community gathering, marks the centre of the space. Plantings, when fully grown, will shelter users from the sun.
The concentric rings beyond define areas within the plaza. One is occupied by outdoor exercise equipment and seating; in another, locally made blue pavers give way to terraces of greenery. Above it, by the top end, a row of palm trees conceals water tanks. Locals have painted colourful murals on the wall that runs along the site perimeter.
Eva studio drawings for web
Cost 206,000 • Location Port-au-Prince, Haiti • Completed Sep 2016 • Floor area 1,300m² • Client Global Communities
Fielden fowles studio by feilden fowles ©kendalnocter 06
Source: Kendal Nocter
Feilden Fowles’ Studio is located at Waterloo City Farm on a formerly overgrown plot of land owned by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. Feilden Fowles was offered the land in exchange for masterplanning the whole site, including animal pens and an outdoor classroom.
The studio is designed as a demountable structure; a solid Douglas fir timber frame clad with corrugated Onduline sheets, with the materiality and approach redolent of agricultural building forms.
At the north boundary, the timber frame projects at high level to articulate large, north-facing lights which run the full length of the space, providing diffuse light and cross-ventilation. The long south elevation is articulated by steel T-columns and full-height glazing shaded by the overhanging roof but providing views over the courtyard.
Feilden fowles architects drawings for web
Cost £180,000 • Location London • Completed Sep 2016 • Floor area 133m² • Client Feilden Fowles
Wedderburn road by finkernagel ross ©willscott 02
Source: Will Scott
This extension and alteration to a Grade II-listed Victorian home in Hampstead, London, is built almost entirely of glass, topped with a crisp, marble-clad canopy.
The structure consists of the rear wall along the boundary, a steel column set back behind the glazing, and a steel box frame to support the sliding rooflight. The internal flooring extends out on to the terrace past flush tracks for the sliding doors. Frameless glazing sits between the existing house and the extension to articulate the new area.
The dark former kitchen area was transformed into a John Soane-inspired timber-panelled lounge, creating a transition between the listed building and the glass extension.
Materials used include low-iron glass, Calacatta marble cladding to the canopy and polished micro-concrete for the terrace and internal flooring.
Finkernagel ross drawings for web2
Cost 249,000 • Location London • Completed April 2016 • Floor area 29m² • Client Private
The layered gallery by gianni botsford architects ©luigiparise 01
Source: Luigi Parise
The gallery, for a private art collection, was created by adding a new elevation to a Grade II-listed building, creating a garden-like inner court in which to contemplate art.
A sequence of screens creates a layered effect. The first, Cor-ten outer screen is purely structural; the second is a Cor-ten-framed glazed screen. Inside, a further layered effect is achieved through red blinds protecting the artworks and the hanging of Cor-ten screens on rails used for storing and viewing the collection.
Inside, finishes are robust. On the ground floor, an existing exposed brick wall is contrasted with a Cor-ten cabinet concealing a WC. The lower-ground level contains an outdoor kitchen, while the first floor has a viewing bench in a sun trap within the gallery. Museum-quality UV-treated glazing has been used throughout to protect the collection from excessive light.
Gianni botsford 3 plans
Cost £215,000 • Location London • Completed Nov 2015 • Floor area 27m² • Client Private
Long drop by invisible studio ©pierstaylor 01
The Long Drop is a no-cost, no-impact composting toilet made for and by Invisible Studio to serve their woodland studio. It was made entirely from scavenged material and cost nothing to build.
The toilet separates solids and urine just below the seat. Urine is used as fertilizer, while solids are captured via a series of stacked (donated) wheelie bins, and will be used as fertilizer after 12 months.
The toilet was designed around available material. The studwork, battens and sheet material were all left over from other projects. The poles were cut on site, and braced with offcuts from steel black bar bracing used for the practice’s studio. The flashing piece at the ridge was left over from Invisible Studio’s Moonshine house close by, and the polycarbonate for the door and the black fibre cement tiles were scavenged from skips.
Invisible studio drawings for web
Cost zero • Location Bath • Completed Dec 2016 • Floor area 2m² • Client Invisible Studio
Croft lodge studio by kate darby and david connor ©jamesmorris 08
Source: James Morris
This project is centred around a 17th-century Herefordshire cottage and stables. The strategy was not to repair the 300-year-old structures but to preserve them within a high-performance outer envelope, while adding a new studio. This means that there are often two roofs and two walls – an old one and a new one.
The new shell is made with a steel frame infilled with timber, and the voids are filled with insulation. Where there is an old window, a new one has been fitted on the outside. The new structure was clad externally with black corrugated iron, a material used extensively in the area for agricultural purposes.
The building is laid out as a design studio with a store, kitchen, sleeping area and a living room. However, it has been designed to become a three-bedroom house with minimal alterations.
Kate darby david connor drawings for web2
Cost £160,000 • Location Leominster, Herefordshire • Completed Dec 2016 • Floor area 115m² • Client Kate Darby and David Connor
The bath house children’s community centre by lipton plant architects ©davidvintner 05
Source: David Vintner
This extension and refurbishment of the Bath House Children’s Community Centre in Dalston, north London, functions as a nursery, after-school club and holiday care provision.
A central tree-like form connects the ground floor multi-purpose space with a platform used for quiet play, reading and sleeping; and incorporates many levels and dens en route to the top.
The treehouse was assembled on site using timber from a local builders merchant. It provides an interactive, stimulating, flexible space, which encourages the children to develop in an exciting, creative atmosphere.
The space provokes imaginative play, providing both the possibility for independent play as well as an open space for physical freedom, movement and physical development.
Lipton plant architects drawings for web
Cost £115,000 • Location London • Completed Sept 2015 • Floor area 80m² • Client Margaret Norwood
The mansio by mb kw and ow ©brotherton lock 04
Source: Brotherton Lock
The Mansio is a mobile space for writers, poets and thinkers, commissioned by the Hexham Book Festival. It toured Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site last year, showcasing a series of poems and stories developed on the theme of borders.
The design references northern England’s historic Roman ruins and its existing and decommissioned industrial infrastructure.
It is constructed from translucent polycarbonate, powder-coated steel and wood wool. For easy transportation it was demountable into three main segments.
The structure travelled to the Roman Forts of Arbeia, Birdoswald, Senhouse and Carlisle Castle (Cumbria), Walltown Quarry in Northumberland National Park and the stunning excavations of Vindolanda.
Lipton plant architects drawings for web
Cost £45,000 • Location South Shields • Completed March 2016 • Floor area 25m² • Client Hexham Book Festival