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Don’t move, get better! 2023 shortlist names London’s best home renovations

An energy-efficient house and bright yellow extension are among the best home renovations in London according to the Don’t Move, Improve! restricted list.

There are 15 projects in the running to win Don’t Move, Improve! 2023, the latest edition of the annual New London Architecture (NLA) competition which celebrates the capital’s residential architecture.

This year’s theme is called Green Ambitions, which has prompted several entries focused on reducing their environmental impact, the NLA said.

Among them is Low Energy House by Architecture for London, an Edwardian home that has been retrofitted to improve its energy efficiency for studio founder Ben Ridley.

Meanwhile, Mike Tuck Studio was selected for its transformation of a Victorian terrace, named Breathable House, using natural materials such as cork and wood.

Top image: An energy-efficient house by Architecture for London is shortlisted for Don’t Move, Improve! 2023. Photo by Lorenzo Zandri. Above: Office S&M’s Graphic House is also on the list. Photo by French + Tye

Another prominent theme of this year’s shortlist is the use of bold colors, as seen in Office S&M’s Graphic House renovation which draws inspiration from the owner’s penchant for graphic design and art deco shapes.

Other colorful renovations include Color Casing, a one-bed apartment extension designed by District Architects, and the CLT House by Unknown Works, which has a bright yellow exterior to help distinguish its old and new elements.

However, minimalism remains a relevant trend in residential architecture, with a number of sleek designs also selected for the 2023 shortlist from over 130 entries.

These include Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams, a mews house renovation in north London with a louvered oak facade, and DB Apartment by Studio Hallet Ike, a dark brick extension of the London apartment .

Several homes on the shortlist prioritized connecting with nature and the outdoors, such as Cooke Fawcett’s Banya and Garden Studio and Black and Milk – a garden room with large sliding glass doors that overlook the surrounding woods in Camden.

Kitchen in the Woods by A Small Studio and Walled Garden by Nimtim Architects are other shortlisted projects in which the celebration of surrounding landscapes was a key element.

Projects remaining on the shortlist include The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect and Brückenhaus by R2 Studio.

White Patio House by Pashenko Works, Rotherfield Street by Atelier Baulier and Lubetkin Apartments by Studio Naama also made the cut.

Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams
Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams is among the shortlisted minimalist homes. The photo is by Lorenzo Zandri

Don’t move, get better! The 2023 shortlist was selected by Anna Beckett, partner at Buro Happold, Phil Coffey, director of Coffey Architects, Marie-Louise Schembri, director of sustainability at engineering firm Hilson Moran, and Ellie Stathaki, editor. by Wallpaper Magazine.

This year’s big winner will be revealed at a ceremony on May 24 at the London Centre, alongside other awards including the Environmental Leadership Award and the Compact Design Award.

Previous winners of the Don’t Move, Improve! include Archmongers’ “practical and playful” renovation of a house on Dulwich Estate and The House Recast by Studio Ben Allen.

Scroll down for full Stay still, improve! Preselection 2023:


Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett and Black and Milk
The photo is by Philip Durrant

Banya and Garden Studio by Cooke Fawcett and Black and Milk


Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams
The photo is by Lorenzo Zandri

Elizabeth Mews by Trewhela Williams


Breathable House by Mike Tuck Studio
The photo is by Luca Piffaretti

Breathable House by Mike Tuck Studio


CLT House by Unknown Works

CLT House by Unknown Works


Brückenhaus by R2 Studio Architects
The photo is by Andy Stagg

Brückenhaus by R2 Studio Architects


Color case by District Architects
Photo is by Megan Taylor

Color case by District Architects


Kitchen in the woods by A Small Studio
The photo is by Manuel Vasquez

Kitchen in the woods by A Small Studio


The Secret Garden Apartment by Nic Howett Architect
The photo is by Henry Woide

The Secret Garden Apartment by Nic Howett Architect


Apartment DB by Studio Hallet Ike
The photo is by Ståle Eriksen

Apartment DB by Studio Hallet Ike


Rue Rotherfield by Atelier Baulier
The photo is by Henry Woide

Rue Rotherfield by Atelier Baulier


Graphic home by Office S&M
The photo is by French + Tye

Graphic home by Office S&M


Low energy house by Architecture for London
The photo is by Lorenzo Zandri

Low energy house by Architecture for London


Lubetkin Apartments by Studio Naama

Lubetkin Apartments by Studio Naama


Enclosed garden by Nimtim Architects
The photo is by Jim Stephenson

Enclosed garden by Nimtim Architects


White Patio House by Pashenko Works
The photo is by Stijn Bollart

White Patio House by Pashenko Works

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