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Architect: Paul Zara

Cost: £220,000

Paul Zara has designed a 'deliberately austere' home for his family, located off a footpath by a railway cutting. The 200m2 house is roughly square on a double-square plot, with tough materials used both inside and out. The simple form is constructed of red brick with a slate roof. Mill-finished aluminium gutters and downpipes - usually used in prisons - add to the robust effect, with cedar panelling giving warmth to the primary elevations. Internally, floors are of solid oak or Marmoleum, so the two young boys can ride scooters or play table tennis freely. A big, double-height living space, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, was created on a tight budget.


Architect: Neil Choudhury Architects

Cost: £95,000

'The space is constantly animated with light, ' says architect Neil Choudhury. 'Most dramatically, in the evening as the family sits down to eat, sunlight pours through a coloured glass window above the banquette adding a warm glow.' The rear extension was designed as a solution for a family tired of their existing kitchen and dining room being dark and lacking connection with the garden. The wedge-shaped timber box - seen both internally and externally - was conceived as a cabinet. It contains kitchen appliances and a larder, with sliding doors that open to reveal the brightly coloured interior of the utility room and WC.


Architect: Andrew Stoane

Cost: £197,000

Tight constraints - a 14m-by-6m site, with overlooking and overshadowing issues - prompted this design, where 'site and house are fused into one entity'. The architect wanted to create a sense of continual physical and visual movement between the inside and the outside.

The existing step in the site suggested a sectional arrangement over four half-levels, grouped around a 5m-high rear living space, with the spaces behaving as large stair landings. Morepublic areas are placed on the lower levels, with private bedroom spaces above. The central in situ concrete spine wall and stair articulate the movement throughout the house, with all other walls treated as neutral.


Architect: Erect Architecture Collaborating artist: Sarah Lewison

Cost: £113,000

This site in Haggerston Park, Hackney, east London, has been transformed into a play landscape that uses 'a newly created topography' of grassy hills and play equipment. Starting with several workshops and consultations involving local children and parents, the final design takes into account all their needs, separating different age groups through landscaping. Emphasis was placed on the use of sustainable materials. The embedded timber play equipment allows children 'to experience height and distance'. The architect didn't want to use the expensive safety surfacing usually required for objects over 1m high, so it designed the grassy hills to have small fall distances - partly justifying the cost of the new landscape.


Architect: Duggan Morris Architects

Cost: £245,000

Duggan Morris Architects developed the common areas of 14 Southgate Road, a new 1,997m2 commercial development in London. The potential for parties, exhibitions and seminars creates 'a new architectural programme for an otherwise underused space, offering an area for people to congregate'.

The architects collaborated with Tundra (for illustration), Browns (for graphics and marketing), and Sheila Duggan (an independent graphic designer) to generate a bespoke style, as seen on the backlit beech-veneered lantern that connects the two floors as a double-height space.


Architect: Anne Thorne Architects Partnership

Cost: £230,000

Holmewood Nursery's new toddler facility has been described by the head teacher as a 'colourful jewel' on dark, winter afternoons. The structure centres around a 10m-tall tulip tree. The leaves shade the openable glazing of the play link in the summer, and the space remains bright in the cooler months when the leaves fall. The addition is framed and clad in timber, linking to the existing 1950s building via a covered walkway.

All materials used - including recycled newspaper insulation and non-toxic paints - are designed to be as safe as possible for the children playing in and around them. Fencing panels, based on a pupil's drawing of a tree, were laser cut from WBP plywood with a brightly coloured infill.


Architect: Haverstock Associates

Cost: £51,322

Haverstock Associates was commissioned to provide new head teacher's and school offices at Thomas Fairchild Community School. The original position of the offices on the first floor was remote, offering no step-free access to visitors and no physical welcome to parents and children who entered on the ground floor at the main children's entrance. The new offices are now on the ground floor and are the first point of contact for parents and children as they enter the school. The fully timber structured boxes face each other and provide space for the head teacher and administrative staff. The boxes have bright-coloured frontages based on school colours. Graphics on the front of the offices, welcoming people in four different languages and using the school logo, were completed by the architect.


Architect: Powell Architects

Cost: £160,000

This former scrap-metal garage has been renovated to create 135m 2 of flexible space, used as a studio and gallery by the client, an artist/furniture maker. The architect sought to produce the 'conditions for order and calm, comfort and security'. The brick shell has been retained, its openings reinforced with steel edges to form new vents, windows and thresholds, and to accept steel corbels for the roof structures. The main studio is day-lit by large, steel-framed north lights, intensified by the new white floor slab, which also provides ambient heating. The sequence of internal volumes can be reconfigured with large screens that slide to create a variety of open or closed spaces.


Architect: David Archer Architects

Cost: £180,000

An elegant timber and glass structure has been added to this Arts and Crafts coach house. The 210m2 property, neighbouring Midford Castle, has been renovated and extended to include a new reception room and office area. The design has placed emphasis on views of the surrounding countryside, with full-height glazing - supported by a series of 150mm sections of solid oak - cantilevering off the amended floor slab. A 20m2 decked roof terrace is provided to the guest suite on the first floor. At the front of the house, one of the twin garages has been removed to provide space for a new white Calacatta limestone kitchen. The garage door has been replaced with a picture window, creating a vista through the house to the grounds at the rear.


Architect: Adams & Sutherland

Cost: £116,000

This versatile new addition has been added to the existing Kingsgate Workshops, which can be used for education, gallery or workshop space. The form of the building maximises the constraints of an awkward site, providing a generous and light-filled interior for visiting school groups. Its low-cost industrial exterior cladding contrasts with the calm top-lit interior to establish a dialogue between the new building and the existing place.

The building envelope is Masonite, a highly sustainable breathing-wall system constructed of timber, chosen for its speed of erection, lightness and quality. The combination of good natural lighting and underfloor heating creates a comfortable and sustainable environment.

All the projects published in our two-part Small Projects feature, sponsored by Robin Ellis Design and Construction, were built for less than £250,000. The first part was published last week. The work will be exhibited at the RIBA headquarters at Portland Place, London, in May.

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