Best Self Build Architect or Designer 2015

Vote for the best architect or designer in the Build It Awards 2015
Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It magazine
28th August 2015

Voting is now open for the Best Self Build Architect or Designer category in the 2015 Build It Awards – and we want your help to crown a winner!

This award is open to architects and designers who have completed truly special self build or renovation projects, working closely with the client to realise their ambition. The judges, whose votes count for half of the overall score, were looking for good design and firms that went the extra mile in providing support throughout the project.

Build It’s panel of judges has whittled the shortlist down to five fantastic homes, and now it’s your turn to have your say. Voting closes at 5pm on 8th September.

You can also keep us posted about what you think on Twitter using the hashtag #builditawards


This year’s amazing shortlist:

Wignall House by ARCH-Angels Architects

Wignall House by ARCH-Angels ArchitectsWignall House by ARCH-Angels ArchitectsWignall House by ARCH-Angels Architects

ARCH-Angels Architects for Wignall House

The project: This three-storey, Bauhaus-inspired renovation and extension makes a significant statement on a street of 1930s houses. The client wanted a house that was of its time that would maximise views to the south and west, and the resulting design’s clean lines, expansive glazing and stepped roof terraces help to open up stunning panoramas over the city and sea.

Architect and contractor worked closely together to resolve practical issues early on, for instance by double-battening the outside of the timber frame to help protect against exposure to the elements.

The white-rendered finish emphasises the geometric shape, while the varying roof heights show how the idea of a contemporary box can be pushed to achieve visual interest. The rear stairwell is a stunning feature, set within a glazed tower that floods the interiors with daylight, while the first floor living room provides dual-aspect views.

What the client said: “With the help of ARCH-Angels Architects, my vision to convert a dated bungalow into a contemporary five bedroom home has been realised. Our inverted house fully utilises the tight plot and encompasses the panoramic views. Through the design, planning and build, ARCH-Angels ensured the house was built to the highest specification, with clever design ideas and thoughtful layout.”

What the judges said: “This is a complete transformation and almost looks like a self build. The massing at the front is exceptional – and harder than it looks to get right. ARCH-Angels have delivered an astonishing yet considerate design through collaboration with the builder and client.”

Rothamsted Avenue by EHW

Rothamsted Avenue by EHWRothamsted Avenue by EHWRothamsted Avenue by EHW

EHW for Rothamsted Avenue

The project: Set within a conservation area in Hertfordshire, this replacement family home was cleverly imagined by Kylie Monsma from EHW to providing contemporary living while navigating the local planning authority’s design constraints

The scheme was set out using a variety of media, including moodboards and 3D models, to help the client visualise the proposals. Once initial planning permission was gained, EHW produced over 20 individual detailed design drawings and a variety of specification documents to create the full tender package. The practice was on hand for regular site visits and to ensure contractors implemented the design details to the client’s specification.

Significant thought was put into linking the more traditional appearance of the main house with the contemporary art gallery. This was achieved in a number of ways, such as using the same external bricks in a different way: a stack bond pattern combines with a clean render finish on the gallery

What the clients said: “The design balanced our requirement for open-plan living with Kylie Monsma’s creative vision for a contemporary home set within a conservation area. EHW gave us all the input and support we hoped for, including overcoming significant planning complications and providing reassuring project management. We’re delighted with the final outcome.”

What the judges said: “This project was designed by an architectural assistant under the guidance of a senior architect. It’s great to see a practice that’s nurturing students to achieve great things. The clarity and brick detailing on the gallery is beautiful.”

Marina Lodge by LA Hally Architects

Marina Lodge by LA Hally ArchitectsMarina Lodge by LA Hally ArchitectsMarina Lodge by LA Hally Architects

LA Hally Architect for Hamble-le-Rice

The project: The brief for this scheme by LA Hally Architect was to modernise the property whilst retaining the original architecture. The house is part of a Bauhaus-style 1930s estate on the edge of the River Hamble, originally designed by architect Robert Cromie and commissioned by Sir Thomas Lipton (of the eponymous tea brand) for his Americas Cup sailing team.

The architect took a sympathetic approach, using a limited palette of materials to retain the purity and simplicity of the house whilst adding a contemporary twist. The design – which includes extensions to the kitchen and living areas – rationalises the internal layout, creating an elegant home where each space flows into the next. Level changes were eliminated and bleached wood floor specified throughout for continuity.

The spectacular views have been made available to all the main living spaces, while a new roof terrace has been added to provide a luxurious private space that takes full advantage of the marina setting.

What the client said: “Although the house was on a brilliant site with lawns stretching down to the river and views across the marina, inside it was dark and dingy with a complicated floorplan. We worked with LA Hally to come up with a design that massively improved on the original, achieved what we wanted and also stayed true to the style of the house. LA Hally provided an in-house contract management service that took the stress out of the project.”

What the judges said: “This Bauhaus-inspired project is true to the building’s history. Great care has been taken to retain the best features of the original lodge while creating something that suits the client’s lifestyle. The really special part is the roof: you’re left wondering why the house wasn’t built like this in the first place.”

Lashford Lane bungalow renovation by LAPD Architects

Lashford Lane bungalow renovation by LAPD ArchitectsLashford Lane bungalow renovation by LAPD ArchitectsLashford Lane bungalow renovation by LAPD Architects

LAPD Architects for Lashford Lane

The project: LAPD Architect’s remodelling of a dated bungalow has created a comfortable home that caters for a multi-generational family. The client wanted an enjoyable home that would serve them – and their elderly father – into retirement.

Opinder Liddar of LAPD undertook a clear briefing exercise with the client and developed 3D models and plans, which were then collaboratively tweaked to achieve the desired result. The design included a rear extension to create space for a large kitchen/dining/living zone as well as a new first floor balcony – something the clients hadn’t previously considered.

Key features include the entrance hall, which offers views through the house to the garden, and the sleek, planning-friendly front dormer window. LAPD advised on costs throughout the process and assisted in making design changes and negotiating with contractors to deliver the client’s desired result within a realistic budget

What the client said: “Of all the architects we came across, LAPD were the most approachable, imaginative and engaging. Their ideas were innovative and the whole process was clearly explained. We are absolutely thrilled with the end result and were particularly pleased with the contractor LAPD helped us select.”

What the judges said: “This is an unusual bungalow update complete with an interesting roof terrace that provides a different perspective on the garden. The scheme has expanded on the client’s initial ideas while truly fulfilling the brief.”

Hertfordshire Renovation by Model Projects

Hertfordshire Renovation by Model ProjectsHertfordshire Renovation by Model ProjectsHertfordshire Renovation by Model Projects

Model Projects for Whole House Renovation Project

The project: This scheme by Model Projects has totally revamped the original property (made up of two semi-detached houses) to create a new contemporary home that reflects the owners’ sense of style. The crisp, white-rendered result makes a bold statement and has been cleverly reconfigured both inside and out to provide naturally bright living spaces.

A number of design details were considered, including choosing between clay or slate roofing, timber or aluminium windows and timber cladding or white render. One of the biggest decisions was whether to convert the loft space to form a third floor and, while the head height is not perfect here due to limitations on the roof height, the clients are pleased with the result.

Model Projects was on hand throughout the process, from concept to completion. The team managed the scheme through the planning process, including making some last-minute tweaks to the glazing on the upper storey to secure consent first time. They also provided the construction drawings and put the work out to tender.

What the client said: “None of our friends and family can believe this is the odd, dark brick house we bought five years ago. We often fling open the bifold doors onto our raised terrace and have fully embraced indoor-outdoor living.”

What the judges said: “This was quite a difficult building to transform and Model Projects has done an impressive job of achieving a unique, light-filled home. With a quarter of the original fabric retained, the house feels like a new build.”

Build It Awards 2015 - Best Self Build or Renovation ProjectVoting closed at 5pm on 8th September 2015. The winner of the Best Self Build Architect or Designer 2015, sponsored by Kloeber, will be announced at the Build It Awards ceremony on 24th September 2015.


Comments are closed.

You may be interested in

Our sponsors