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AJ Small Projects 2019 winner revealed

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An ’exploratory’ garden extension to a house in Ireland by David Leech Architects has been named the winner of AJ Small Projects 2019

The Conservatory Room, an 63m² addition to a terraced house in central Dublin, cost just £49,750 to build.

The London-based practice, which was set up by former Caruso St John architect David Leech, received £2,500 for the award, which is now in its 24th year and celebrates innovative projects built on a budget of less than £250,000.

The scheme features distinctive marble tile flooring and columns protruding to hold the cross joisted ceiling structure.

The jury praised its ’clever use of off-the-shelf elements’ and for expressing ’complex ideas in unexpected ways’.

The Sustainable Project Winner was Guylee Simmonds’ Hospital Chapel in northern Haiti designed for British healthcare charity Hope Health Action.

The 195m² chapel, which cost £75,000, was described by judge Mary Duggan as an ’amazing piece of architecture’.

The People’s Choice award – a reader poll which drew more than 600 votes – was won by Teatum + Teatum for Testone Factory in Sheffield, which took 18 per cent of the votes. 

Speaking after his win, Leech said he was ’delighted and surprised’ to win the award for the practice’s second-ever project.

He said: ‘There was a common thread through all the projects of looking at things not only pragmatically but experientially and thinking about how to bring delight. It’s a very joyful shortlist.’

The practice’s first project, A House in a Garden, won in the House category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards last year.

Conservatory Room was chosen from a 20-strong shortlist selected from 190 entries. The shortlisted schemes were presented to the judging panel this afternoon in Studio Egret West’s offices in Clerkenwell. 

The jury comprised last year’s winner Jason Whiteley, of London-based practice Matheson Whiteley, Mary Duggan, Níall McLaughlin, Alpa Depani, the AJ’s sustainability editor Hattie Hartman and AJ architecture editor Rob Wilson.

Past winners include Doma Architects (2016), Carmody Groarke (2015), Chris Dyson (2014), Haworth Tompkins (2010) and Hawkins\Brown (2000).

An exhibition of the shortlisted AJ Small Projects is open until until 8 May at Studio Egret West’s offices at 3 Brewhouse Yard, London EC1V 4JQ, Tuesdays to Fridays 10am – 4pm.

All entries to this year’s awards are on view in the AJ Buildings Library. Copies of the AJ Small Projects special issue are available to buy from the AJ Shop.

AJ Small Projects is run in association with Marley 


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