Terracotta-tiled extensions by Emil Eve Architects named London's best home improvement project

A family house “joyfully transformed” with terracotta-coloured extensions has been named London’s best home improvement project by Don’t Move, Improve! 2024.

The house renovation by local studio Emil Eve Architects, named Aden Grove, has been selected as the overall winner of the annual award from a shortlist of 16 projects.

It was praised by this year’s jury for its playful use of colour while also providing a “purposeful and functional” space for the family that lives there.

Don't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve ArchitectsDon't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve Architects
Aden Grove has won Don’t Move, Improve! for 2024

“Aden Grove has been joyfully transformed by Emil Eve Architects,” said jury member Ellie Stathaki.

“It’s a family home so it was redesigned to be purposeful and functional in order to serve its residents’ everyday needs, while also ensuring sustainability considerations are taken into account,” she continued.

“At the same time, the external terracotta skin visually signals the refresh and its new elements, while wrapping the home in a natural material and playful colour that brings on a smile.”

Terracotta-tiled loft extensionTerracotta-tiled loft extension
The house comprises a pair of terracotta-tiled extensions

Now in its 14th year, Don’t Move Improve! Awards is an annual competition held by New London Architecture (NLA) to celebrate the best home improvement projects from across the UK’s capital.

This year’s winner Aden Grove was revamped by Emil Eve Architects with loft and rear extensions that are characterised by angular forms, large windows and terracotta tiles.

Interior of Don't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve ArchitectsInterior of Don't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve Architects
The project has introduced a bright open-plan kitchen and dining area

The ground-level extension stretches across the width of its plot and contains a bright open-plan kitchen and dining area, combatting what Emil Eve Architects said was once a “dark and narrow” interior. Meanwhile, in the loft, a spacious ensuite bedroom has been created.

“The extensions are considered as a pair with unified cladding and glazing,” the studio’s co-founder Ross Perkin told Dezeen.

“All of the new rooms feature windows that stretch to the ceiling and opportunities have been found to bring greenery and planting right up to the interior spaces.”

Alongside winning the title of London’s best new home renovation, Aden Grove also takes home the Materiality & Craftsmanship award – one of seven special prizes that Don’t Move, Improve! also presents as part of the programme.

The others include the Environmental Leadership prize, which has been won by House Made by Many Hands by Cairn, and the Transformation Prize, which has been given to Khan Bonshek for its project called Two-Up Two-Down House.

Blue-tiled bathroom of Aden Grove by Emil Eve ArchitectsBlue-tiled bathroom of Aden Grove by Emil Eve Architects
The loft extension comprises a bedroom and bathroom suite

Mike Tuck Studio has been awarded the Unique Character award for Hillside House, while the prize for Urban Oasis has been given to Chelsea Brut by Pricegore.

The final three awards were given to The Green Machine by Suprblk Studio, Triangle House by Brown Urbanism and Heyford Avenue by Manuel Urbina Studio for the prizes called Compact Design, Best Project Under 100K and People’s Choice Award respectively.

Don't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve ArchitectsDon't Move, Improve! winner Aden Grove by Emil Eve Architects
Aden Grove has also taken home the special Materiality & Craftsmanship prize

Alongside Stathaki, who is architecture director at Wallpaper* magazine, this year’s jury was made up of urban design manager at London Borough of Camden Ed Jarvis, David Kohn Architects associate Jennifer Dyne and Hilson Moran sustainability director Marie-Louise Schembri.

Previous winners of the award include a “practical and playful” refurbishment by Little Brownings, The House Recast by Studio Ben Allen and a renovated flat by studio Nic Howett Architect that “feels like an oasis”.

The photography is by Taran Wilkhu unless stated otherwise. 

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