Steal ideas from the best home extensions of 2021

Photo credit: French + Tye
Photo credit: French + Tye

Don’t move, improve! That’s the message behind the annual prize organised by New London Architecture, showcasing the best house extensions in the capital.

Following a period that many of us spent wishing our homes were a little bit bigger and a whole lot more flexible, this year’s shortlist offers a pool of inspiration.

Working with radical materials, bright colours and unusual shapes, the architects behind these innovative designs show that, whether you’re looking for a quiet corner to work, or a space big enough to entertain, all kinds of things are possible.

‘We’ve all realised the importance of balance throughout the pandemic,’ says New London Architecture (NLA) chairman Peter Murray. ‘This year we’ve seen a vast range of home office spaces submitted, which have not only added functionality but character to the existing homes.’ Here are four examples of the best…

A House Recast by Studio Ben Allen

Photo credit: French + Tye
Photo credit: French + Tye

Studio Ben Allen has exploited the full potential of concrete in this multi-hued extension for a terraced property in Haringey (right). Supporting the structure are green-pigmented columns and beams, which are imprinted with ornate patterns, while the exterior wall is made from salmon-coloured concrete panels, inset with a matching window screen.

Photo credit: French + Tye
Photo credit: French + Tye

Inside, a kitchen and two new bathrooms feature the same vibrant colour palette, along with vaulted louvre ceilings and flashes of gold. With so much creativity on show, it’s no surprise this inventive project was awarded first prize. studiobenallen.com

Arnott Road by Alexander Owen Architecture

Photo credit: French + Tye
Photo credit: French + Tye

The owners’ love of art, design and graphics is clearly reflected in this kitchen and garden revamp in Peckham, designed by Alexander Owen Architecture. Bold blue arches characterise the rear façade, framing patio doors and a window in the dining area.

Photo credit: French + Tye
Photo credit: French + Tye

Set against a black backdrop, the blue contrasts perfectly with the soft pink of the patio and the canary yellow of bespoke outdoor seating. The architects describe it as ‘part art, part sculpture, part architecture’, and they aren’t wrong. aoarchitecture.co.uk

Lydford road by Artefact

Photo credit: Ivan Jones
Photo credit: Ivan Jones

An unusual mix of coloured concrete blocks, dark quarry tiles and oak gives a unique aesthetic to this rear extension in Tottenham. It’s the home of architect Daniel Marmot of Artefact, who designed it for himself and his family, aiming to combine their British and Indian heritages.

Photo credit: Ivan Jones
Photo credit: Ivan Jones

The space is highly flexible, thanks to custom-made furniture that includes a blockwork bench topped with recycled foam, a table made from steel and repurposed yoghurt pots, and a shelving system that incorporates a desk and toy storage. artefact-studio.com

Cloistered house by Turner Architects

Photo credit: Adam Scott
Photo credit: Adam Scott

This restored Georgian house in Clapham now has two private courtyards, thanks to some smart space planning by its designers, Turner Architects.

Photo credit: Adam Scott
Photo credit: Adam Scott

As well as providing plenty of natural light and fresh air, these protected outdoor spaces help to naturally divide what would otherwise have been a very large open-plan living room, meaning the resident family can be doing different things in the space without disturbing one another. It might just be the perfect city house for a lockdown. turnerarchitects.co.uk


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