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Shortlist for AJ Small Projects Awards – Part 3

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The AJ can reveal the next five schemes in the running for the 2016 Small Projects Award


The schemes by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Feilden + Mawson, Haptic Architects, Hugh Strange Architects and Jonathan Tuckey Design are all in the running to for the prize which celebrates projects with a value under £250,000. 

Ranging from artist’s studios to a lakeside cabin in Bohemia the projects present a mix of schemes by UK-based practices. 

The shortlist so far 

The Observatory by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

The Observatory by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The observatory is a rotating artists’ studio designed to explore remote landscapes along Britain’s coastline.

Inspired by Antonello da Messina’s ‘Saint Jerome in his Study’, The Observatory’s contemplative spaces and sharply framed views allow the artist, audience and landscape to connect outside conventional exhibitions. A concealed 360 degree rotating mechanism allows users to easily change their view and respond to the weather.

The Observatory is hewn from a palette of hand crafted coastal materials: timber, tar, charcoal and hemp. The project investigates the architectural application of ancient and modern wood technology using sustainably sourced timbers. It was built off-site in three months and transported on a flatbed lorry to site.

The pre-fabricated structures are designed to be self-sufficient, being entirely off-grid and effectively carbon neutral. At the end of the scheme’s life cycle, the steel base frame will be recycled and the timber reused to create new projects.

Location various
Completed January 2014
Floor area 7m²
Client Spaces, Placemaking and Urban Design (SPUD)

Lake Cabin by Feilden + Mawson with FAM Architekti

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: Tomas Balej

Lake Cabin by Feilden + Mawson with FAM Architekti

This cabin on a lakeshore in Northern Bohemia replaces an old cabin by following its original outline.

With a brief to create a year-round retreat with connections to the lake and surrounding pine forest, the architects created this single-pitched timber structure.

The single pitch is a result of internal spatial planning as well as the relationship to the lakeshore axis represented by the mooring pier as a principal access point.

The interior of the larch-clad cabin is accessible through a large window opening and is designed as a continuous space open to the roof.

The tall end includes a sleeping gallery with a compact black box beneath which contains minimal kitchen, toilet and shower facilities. The principal wall of the interior forms a deep full length cupboard for storage with a built-in fireplace.

Location Czech Republic
Completed August 2014
Floor area 43m²
Client private

Archive Homestore and Kitchen by Haptic Architects

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: Simon Kennedy

Archive Homestore and Kitchen by Haptic Architects

Housed in a double storey Victorian arch on Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour, the project’s intention was to create a flexible space for a shop and café alongside exhibition and events spaces.

The architect has completely transformed the former industrial space through contemporary installations into the building.

Drawing on the scheme’s seaside location and the client’s Scandinavian ethos, a series of pitched roof birch-ply interventions have been used to break up the space.

At ground floor level a café and retail space is arranged around a linear table while a children’s space has been carved out to the back of the arches. Upstairs a double-height arched room contains an angular plywood form housing the project’s kitchen and storage space.

Location Ramsgate
Completed October 2015
Floor area 200m²
Client Archive Homestore and Kitchen

Avon Wildlife Trust Cabin by Hugh Strange Architects

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: David Grandorge

Avon Wildlife Trust Cabin by Hugh Strange Architects

This simple timber building creates a semi-seasonal shelter for volunteers, school classes and visitors to a newly created nature reserve in the Avon Gorge near Bristol.

The design provides a simple off-the-shelf agricultural building and extends and adapts it. Full height galvanised steel barn doors allow the building to be opened up to the view while still providing shelter from the elements.

A purpose-built douglas fir canopy frames the views and offers shelter from the rain when the building is not in use. Extending beyond the length of the building this canopy also provides a gateway to the nature reserve.

The interior is simply fitted out with plywood shelving and storage while the floors are created by placing the building on a concrete slab which already existed on the site.

Location Bristol
Completed April 2015
Floor area 72m²
Client Avon Wildlife Trust and HAB Housing

Kinnerton Street by Jonathan Tuckey Design

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: James Brittain

Kinnerton Street by Jonathan Tuckey Design

Set within an interconnected series of whitewashed mews houses and a former dairy in London’s Knightsbridge, the Egg boutique features an eclectic collection of clothes and household goods, carefully collected and displayed.

Inspired by the essentialism of Egg’s approach and by the informal character of the mews, the practice has inserted a series of room-sized containers within the first floor of the building to create a new home for the owner above the shop. These boxes sit within the volume of the pitched roof and create the ‘nest-like’ atmosphere of an attic or storeroom.

On the ground floor the project includes a bespoke timber bath, supplied by Studio Anna van der Lei, and set within a bathroom that opens up to the street and doubles as a meeting room for the Egg team.

Location London
Completed September 2015
Floor area 110m²
Client Egg Trading


White Cube at Glyndebourne by Carmody Groarke

The Welcoming Shelter by Charlie Redman

Kenworthy Road by Chris Dyson Architects

The Woodland Cabin by De Rosee Sa

Contemporary Lean-to by Doma Architects

Landells Road by Alma-nac

Clock House by Archmongers

The Pyramid Viewpoint by BTE Architecture

Folds by Bureau de Change

Storage Cube by Carden and Godfrey

The projects will now go on to be judged by our expert panel made up of RIBA head of awards Tony Chapman, developer and architect Roger Zogolovitch, architect Sally Lewis and cost expert John Boxall. 

The AJ Small Projects Awards, run again in association with Marley Eternit, celebrate completed projects with a contract value of £250,000 and under.

The awards were launched in 1996 to give much-deserved recognition to the many high quality schemes with low pricetags.

Although the budget has increased from the original £150,000 cap, the intention of the awards remains the same: ‘From home extensions to restaurants, offices to shops, architects all over the country are busy working on projects that may not make the headlines but nevertheless give a real indication of the design talent in Britain today.’

Last year the award was picked up by Carmody Groarke for its temporary Maggie’s Centre in Merseyside, while RCKa’s Enfield Business Centre was honoured with the Sustainability Prize.




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