Best Architect or Designer for a Renovation or Extension Project 2019

Check out the shortlist and help choose the UK’s best renovation or extension designer in the Build It Awards 2019
by Lucy Aplin
7th October 2019

The Build It Awards 2019, in association with BuildStore, is a celebration of the very best self build and renovation projects, products and services.

Our awards recognise those homeowners, architects, manufacturers and key figures that are worthy of recognition for their innovation and excellence.

The winner of the Best Renovation or Extension Architect or Designer Award was chosen by you, Build It magazine’s readers, and our judging panel of self build experts.

The winner was announced on 29th November 2019 at the Build It Awards ceremony, but be sure to explore these extraordinary homes and the inspiring stories behind them in the shortlist below.

Follow the Hashtag #BuildItAwards to discover the live coverage of the evening.

More Build It Awards voting categories: Best Self Build Architect or Designer 2019 and Britain’s Best Home 2019.

Best Architect or Designer for a Renovation or Extension Project: The Shortlist

Knibb Architects

Adam Knibb from Adam Knibb Architects for Gatti House

The aim of this project was to create a two storey extension and kitchen refurbishment for a historic vicarage, adding flexible living space for the client.

The result is a contemporary structure that seeks to blend sympathetically with the original building’s character and form. Privacy was a key consideration for this family home, so the design includes a mix of open-plan living spaces and more secluded zones. But it also takes full advantage of the light from the south-east-facing gardens.

Adam Knibb Architects acted as lead design consultant throughout the project, from the initial the planning phase through to meetings with the structural engineers. The collaborative ethos allowed them to adapt to the challenges that come with historic building work.

Highlights of this project:

  • 246m2 extension and renovation project
  • Maximises natural light
  • Contemporary addition to a heritage home
  • Open-plan living that still retains privacy

BARC Architects

Emmet Hanley from BARC Architects for Chester Close

By replacing an existing garage with a two-storey extension, this project has reconfigured the ground floor layout of a family home and added significant space, creating an open-plan living space with improved connection to the garden.

A visual break between the extension and original dwelling creates a distinction between old and new, with the new timber cladding creating a sense of cohesion. The restrained materials palette helped to ensure the scheme stayed on budget.

This project shows that even relatively standard estate homes can be imaginatively reworked and extended. “Emmet and the team were very patient and extremely understanding; guiding us through the process of design, selecting a builder through the tender and offering suggestions for our new home” say the clients.

Highlights of this project:

  • 46m2 extension to achieve 124m2 house
  • Blends well with surrounding dwellings
  • Cohesive use of materials
  • Typical estate home transformed

Bungalow renovation

Barry Tape from BkT Architecture for Chyvounder

Barry and Jenny Tape wanted to completely remodel a two-bedroom bungalow to create their dream home. The result is a sustainable three-storey house that delivers on space, style energy efficiency and more.

In order to minimise costs, Barry – who also worked as the designer and project manager throughout the project – used the existing foundations, walls, windows and door apertures when constructing the new home.

To add aesthetic appeal, the couple selected local a bespoke dry stone walling system, a stunning feature that also acts as a habitat for local bees, insects and birds. “Barry has designed a beautiful yet functional, sociable home perfect for family living,” says Jenny.

Highlights of this project

  • 200m2 extension and renovation
  • Eco friendly use of local materials
  • Architect Barry designed and project managed
  • Includes a self-contained attic apartment

EV Architect

Paul Bagnall and Mark Webster from EV Architects for Belsize Park

By combining three makeshift flats and adding a basement and loft conversion to this Victorian terraced house, EV Architects has created a single luxurious home with plenty of space for their client’s young family to grow.

The scheme involved knocking down walls to create open-plan spaces, excavating a substantial basement and building a bright and airy loft for a tranquil office. The design incorporates clever placement of glazing, skylights and floating stairs to draw as much light as possible throughout the property.

“EVA was a pleasure to work with from the start,” says client Maria Mordue. “They came to our initial meeting with a set of proposed CGI images that were impressive and thought-provoking, which was a great demonstration of their commitment and creativity.”

Highlights of this project:

  • 353m2 squared house, with 90m2 added through basement and loft extension
  • Light-enhancing use of glazing
  • CGI images provided at initial design meeting

Hyve architects

Tess Lavery from Hyve Architects for Smith House

The aim of this project was to transform a humble property into a more liveable, 149m2 home by adding a bedroom extension and reshuffling the internal layout.

A modest material palette was used to create a simple yet stunning result, with swathes of glazing being installed to achieve a lighter, airier living space. Timber cladding ties the old with the new, whilst maintaining an element of privacy from the outside.

Hyve was appointed to project manage, with every feature from the kitchen shelves to the inset LEDs was discussed and considered carefully. “The team were always on hand with exciting ideas and ensured an extremely high standard of finish,” says the owner. “I look forward to working with them on another project in the near future.”

Highlights of the project

  • Full renovation and 34.6m2 extension
  • Successful creation of internal space and light
  • Close collaborative attention to detail
  • Effective use of external cladding

Hally architect

Lesley Hally from LA Hally Architect for House 522

This scheme integrates a country cottage into the next-door property – merging two modest dwellings to create a bright, modern family home. A two-storey, timber-clad extension provides a new master bedroom suite and small study opening out onto the wildflower garden and patio.

The new spaces knit together beautifully, with views centred around the external courtyard and large glazed openings blurring the boundaries between indoors and out.

The extension and renovation has modernised and enhanced the existing cottage without making the structure completely alien; creating a practical space that does not compromise the existing charm.

“The team at LA Hally provided architectural design and full contract administration,” say the clients. “They saw us through the whole process to ensure our house was completed to our satisfaction.”

Highlights of the project:

  • 30m2 extension
  • Successful integration of two modest cottages
  • Strong connection between garden and interior
  • Clever use of natural light

LAPD Architects

Nikki Fulton from lapd Architects for Whitehaven

Rob and Georgie wanted to renovate their tired looking home and create a modern dwelling for their growing family to enjoy. Nikki from lapd Architects worked closely with them to create a design that transforms the internal layout and totally revamps the external aesthetic.

Key features include a new utility space and dressing room to add functionality, light-enhancing features such as a large roof lantern in the new rear extension, and a pitched rain screen and Juliet balcony at the front of the house – where visitors are drawn in to a double-height entrance.

“The biggest compliment we can pay to lapd is not only did they provide us with our dream house, but also a home which we use every inch of,” says Rob and Georgie.

Highlights of this project:

  • Transformative revamp including 23m2 extension
  • Impressive double height entrance
  • Practical reshuffling of internal layout
  • Dramatically improved kerb appeal

Hillstead House

Miles Griffies from Red Squirrel Architects for Hillstead

This project involved the major excavation beneath and at the rear of an existing property to make room for a dramatic new basement and glazed extension.

The basement accommodates most of the home’s service areas and features a Finnish-style sauna and wet room. This space was designed to connect to the two-storey extension, which now houses new living areas that enjoy views over the garden from the glazed walls and glass balconies.

All areas of the house have undergone major remodelling. The garage has been transformed into a gym and glass links brighten up the internal layout.

“Every space in the house works very hard for us and gets used as planned and we really feel we have maximised the potential of our new home with the help of our architect,” say clients Leena and Adrea Ceccolini.

Highlights of the project:

  • Major renovation of 350m2 house, including 80m2 extension
  • Fantastic flow of space and light
  • Inclusion of many new services and features
  • Overcame sloping site challenges

Roderick james

Mike Hope and Sarah Leach from Roderick James Architects for Treyard

Alison and Robert Commbs’ project saw a historic collection of post-industrial buildings undergo a sympathetic renovation for the purpose of creating a modern home with heritage charm.

Although the property was not listed, the extensive refurbishment involved thorough discussion between the team at Roderick James Architects (RJA) and the local conservation officer.

The redesign involved repairing original features and inserting a wow-factor, two-storey oak frame structure. New internal fixtures, such as heavy oak screens and reinstated stone pillars, help to add harmony between the old and modern elements.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with RJA from concept to completion of our project,” say the Coombs. Their sensitivity and attention to detail have resulted in a house that’s a joy to live in and very practical.”

Highlights of the project:

  • 400m2 house and annexe updated with modern oak extension
  • Sensitive restoration of heritage features
  • Clever use of zinc and other contemporary materials
  • Strong relationship between architect, client, builder and conservation officer

Whiteman architects

Lee Whiteman from Whiteman Architects for Twyford Avenue

This single-storey extension to a period property has perfectly fit the clients’ brief of having a larger family home, with an open-plan layout to create a sociable living space.

Whiteman Architects has cleverly zoned the space without closing-off rooms, using the vaulted ceilings to create a sense of definition. Slim-framed sliding doors open up amazing views, while multiple rooflights bring light deep into the floorplan. An exposed brick wall adds a touch of character, breaking up the white finishes. The team also assisted in appointing a builder and was on hand to answer questions throughout.

“Lee was a pleasure to work with, providing full support throughout the project whenever needed,” say the clients. “His design matched our remit perfectly: from early on, he understood our lifestyle and what we desired from the extension.”

Highlights of this project:

  • 20m2 ground floor extension
  • Flexible and sociable layout
  • Zoning achieved by use of vaulted ceilings
  • Abundant light and garden views

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