Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist | Sustainable home renovations

Low Energy House by Architecture for London. Photo by Lorenzo Zandri

The Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist has been announced, recognising 15 of London’s most innovative home improvement projects, which all reflect this year’s programme theme of Green Ambitions. 

This annual London-wide architecture competition, organised by New London Architecture (NLA), is now in its 14th year and it continues to not only celebrate architects and outstanding home renovation projects, but to highlight the importance of improving the sustainable credentials of homes in the city. 

Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett Architects. Photo by Philip Durrant

The 2023 shortlist has now been revealed, and it features projects that encompass the breadth of the capital with a range of inspiring extensions, conversions, and renovations. Creativity shines through in the diversity of projects, all of which showcase what can be achieved with all types of homes. 

There are examples of innovative designs that place a strong focus on well-being, through to conversions that enhance compact living with improved access to daylight and space-saving solutions. 

Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 shortlist

  • Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett Architects with interior designers Black and Milk
  • Breathable House by Mike Tuck Studio
  • Brückenhaus by R2 Studio Architects
  • CLT House by Unknown Works
  • Colour Casing by District Architects 
  • DB apartment by Studio Hallett Ike
  • Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams
  • Graphic House by Office S&M
  • Kitchen in the Woods by A Small Studio
  • Low Energy House by Architecture for London
  • Lubetkin apartment by Studio naama
  • Rotherfield Street by Atelier Baulier
  • The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect
  • Walled Garden by nimtim architects
  • White Patio House by Pashenko Works

This year’s 15-strong shortlist was selected from over 130 entries by a jury chaired by Florence Maschietto, NLA’s Programme Manager, and an eminent judging panel, featuring Anna Beckett, Associate at consultancy engineers Burt Happold; Phil Coffey, Director at Coffey Architects; Marie-Louise Schembri, Sustainability Director at Hilson Moran, and Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor at Wallpaper* magazine. 

Exemplary sustainable projects include the Low Energy House by Architecture for London in Haringey (pictured above, top), which has had its energy requirements dramatically reduced with insulating, triple-glazing and improving airtightness. Also, in Lambeth, White Patio House by Pashenko Works provides a prototype for urban dense living with its successful response to the challenge of making an experientially rich dwelling within the context of congested cityscape.

Also notable is the Breathable House in Waltham Forest (pictured above), a Victorian terraced house which has been transformed into a light-filled, breathable home, shaped by natural materials. The ground-floor extension is built using natural materials to allow the previously damp house to breath through the cork construction.

Colour Casing by District Architects. Photo by Megan Taylor

Four projects featured on the 2023 shortlist are situated in Southwark: Brückenhaus by R2 Studio Architects; Colour Casing by District Architects; Kitchen in the Woods by A Small Studio, and The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect.

Colour Casing (pictured above) is designed to create the flexibility of a three-bedroom two-reception house within the footprint of an original small one-bedroom flat with a new ground floor wrap around extension. The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect (pictured below) is a remodelling of a small, awkward flat, with a self-build made of modest materials which forms a new bedroom and a secluded garden studio.

A further selection of images of the 2023 shortlisted projects are pictured in the slideshow below:

Find out about all the shortlisted projects and jury panel for the Don’t Move, Improve! 2023 awards online.

This year’s overall winner will be revealed on 24th May 2023 at a ceremony at The London Centre. Watch this space!

Read more architecture news and see all of our residential case studies. Plus, you can take a look back at the Don’t Move Improve! 2022 shortlist and read all about Little Brownings by Archmongers, the winner of the 2022 Home of the Year in the Don’t Move, Improve! Awards.


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