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AJ Small Projects: 25 years of winners


In the run-up to the 2020 awards, we look back on 25 years of winning schemes 

Starting with a garden pavilion and since oscillating between luxury home renovations, extensions on tiny budgets, arts and cultural studios and spaces, follies and more civic and community-minded market stalls, the AJ Small Projects awards chart a quarter of a century of Britain’s architects seeking to harness big ideas to small budgets.

Interestingly, over the years judges have often tended to give the prize to sustainable or clever retrofit projects and to recognise practices that have gone on to bigger successes, such as Haworth Tompkins, Mole Architects, Carmody Groarke and Hawkins\Brown. Which of the projects entered in to this year’s award, completed some time between 1 July 2018 and 1 January 2020, will be the 2020 winner? 

Guylee simmonds sustainability winner2

Hospital Chapel by Guylee Simmonds

Source: Guylee Simmonds

The Sustainable Project prize was introduced in 2019 and awarded to Guylee Simmonds’ Hospital Chapel in northern Haiti designed for British healthcare charity Hope Health Action.

David Leech, whose practice David Leech Architects won the 2019 award with The Conservatory Room, said ‘awards allow you to cement ideas and thoughts that you may have in practice … These ideas are your lifelong projects and often more important than the built projects themselves.’ 

He added: ‘Small projects and the speed [with which] they’re completed are akin to a sketch; they allow ideas of architecture to be discovered and that’s why they’re very important to our profession.’ 

All projects entered into the awards are featured on the AJ Buildings Library. Check them out here. The 20 shortlisted projects will be published in the AJ’s 26 March 2020 issue.

The annual AJ Small Projects awards, run in association with Marley for the ninth year, celebrate completed projects with a contract value of £250,000 and under.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Would be a great series of articles to revisit these projects.

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  • I agree about re-visiting the projects. We had Keith Hunter back to photograph our 2006 winner after a decade. You can see his pictures here:

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