The House Recast by Studio Ben Allen was revealed as the overall winner of the Don’t Move, Improve! awards 2021.
The end-of-terrace house’s owners spent a total of £372,000 on a thorough makeover of the house with a new kitchen and two new bathrooms.
They also wanted the architect to test new ideas in the 120sq m refurbishment. Project architects took advantage of the brief to experiment with off-site fabrication techniques and the coloured concrete finishes, inspired by the original patterned Victorian brickwork.
The judges rewarded this complementary but innovative approach with the top prize in the competition, which is run by New London Architecture. It was chosen from a shortlist of 22 home renovations or extensions, whittled down from 200 entries.
There were eight other projects that received special recognition in the contest, including Mountain View by CAN, which won the Unique Character Prize for its fake mountain-capped rear extension inspired by everything from Disneyland to David Lynch.
Many of the 2021 entries dealt with practical problems posed by the pandemic, with home-working spaces and multi-functional rooms prevailing. There was also a search for fun, joy and maximising natural light to see Londoners through the dark times of lockdown.