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Shortlist for AJ Small Projects Awards – Part 5

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The AJ can reveal the final five schemes making up the shortlist for the 2016 AJ Small Projects Awards

The projects by Rural Design, ZCD Architects, Taro Tsuruta, Simon Gill Architects and Studio McLeod are all in the running to be hailed the best scheme under £250,000.

The projects include a house, a shop fit-out, an architect’s studio, and two house extensions.

The shortlist so far 

Black House by Rural Design 

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: Nigel Rigden

Black House by Rural Design

At the Black House at Fiscavaig on the Isle of Skye, Rural Design has explored how to bring the notion of traditional island vernacular into the 21st century.

The clients required a house of around 140m2 with living spaces that engaged with the views. It also needed to be self-buildable and low cost.

A simple structure comprising of just five sides, the utilitarian aesthetic identifies firmly with an agricultural vernacular and minimises risk in the face of the frequent Atlantic storms.

Truly a ‘Black House’, not only by colour but by spirit. It draws parallels to the can-do attitude of the original occupants of ‘blackhouses’, who heroically self-built using basic materials and skills to create a shelter for the family.

Cost £120,000
Location Isle of Skye
Completed February 2014
Floor area 140m²
Client Nick and Kate Middleton

Wistaston Cottage by Simon Gill Architects

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: Mike Daines

Wistaston Cottage by Simon Gill Architects

Looking out at Putney Heath and the spire of Holy Trinity Church, Wistaston Cottage is a semi-detached Gothic revival house which had a leaky, cold 1980s conservatory to its rear.

The brief was to remove this and create a new two-storey extension, housing a kitchen/dining room and a bedroom suite above.

By using lightweight timber construction the scheme was able to be built on the existing concrete plinth of the conservatory reducing cost. A splayed bay giving access to the garden is supported off a single post while doors and windows feature projecting reveals.

Planning requirements insisted the timber cladding be hung horizontally so this was steam bent on site to wrap around the extension’s curved form.

Cost £50,000
Location London
Completed October 2014
Floor area 55m²
Client Mr B Perl

320 Kilburn Lane by Studio McLeod

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

320 Kilburn Lane by Studio McLeod

This scheme remodelled and extended a Victorian terrace property to create an architect’s studio below an existing flat.

The aim was to create an office that didn’t feel like an office and a space filled with natural light. As the studio and flat were linked there was the added challenge of balancing the visual and spatial connections between home and work.

The studio faces south and bounds a rear courtyard. Clerestory glazing allows light into this office space while also providing a balustrade for the first floor garden.

The building’s original wall layout has been recorded in the brick floor and the addition of a secret sliding staircase adds a playful hiding place for the owner’s motorcycles.

Cost £94,500
Location London
Completed September 2015
Floor area 63m²
Client Lyndsay and Duncan McLeod/Studio McLeod

House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects 

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Source: Tim Crocker

House of Trace by Taro Tsuruta

Demolishing an original extension paved the way for this intervention which sees the original building traced as a memory.

The original extension had no distinct historical or architectural value and was structurally unsound, but it had a sloping roof profile typical of those found in terraced house back gardens.

This was incorporated into the new back façade preserving its charm and carrying a sense of associated memory. The sloping roofline has been surrounded by pale-coloured brickwork distinguishing between the old and new.

Steel beams used to support the new extension have been left exposed and large sections of glazing set within this framework.

Internally, the house’s layout has been reworked with the bathroom and kitchen moved to the centre of the scheme and replaced with a dining room and bedroom which look out over the garden.

Cost £247,000 
Location London
Completed January 2015
Floor area 110m²
Client private

Hussein Chalayan by ZCD Architects

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

AJ Small Projects Award 2016 finalist

Hussein Chalayan by ZCD Architects

Here, ZCD Architects has created a ‘shop within a shop’ for Hussein Chalayan’s first London store.

The entrance area creates a ‘liminal zone’; an in-between space that marks the transition between street and shop.

The insertion of a black steel frame defines the shop within the existing space as well as creating the hanging rail for the clothes and visually extending the space playing with perspective.

Only two objects sit within the space – the black hull of a boat which transforms from display shelf to a dinner table, and a sleek black cash desk with a digital timer continuously running.

Cost £120,000 
Location London
Completed August 2015
Floor area 119m²
Client Hussein Chalayan


Sunken Extension by Konishi Gaffney

Ingersoll Road by McLaren Excell

The Writing Room by Neighbourhood

Knole Gatehouse by NORD London

Hut on Stilts by Nozomi Nakabayashi

The Observatory by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Lake Cabin by Feilden + Mawson with FAM Architekti

Archive Homestore and Kitchen by Haptic Architects

Avon Wildlife Trust Cabin by Hugh Strange Architects

Kinnerton Street by Jonathan Tuckey Design

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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