Don't Move, Improve! competition announces 2020 winners

The London-wide competition Don't Move, Improve! – which celebrates the humble art of home improvement – has just announced its 2020 winners, with architects Proctor & Shaw scooping the top gong

32 Laurier Road
Urban Oasis of the Year: 32 Laurier Road, Camden
(Image credit: Richard Keep Architects)

South London home Soffitt House by Clapham architects Proctor & Shaw has been named the overall winner during a much-awaited event in London, announcing the gongs for this year's Don't Move, Improve! competition. 

Organised by the NLA and judged by a panel of experts including architect Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu and London Festival of Architecture director Tamsie Thompson, the competition – now in its tenth year – is a staple in the annual architecture calendar in the UK capital. The winners, which span from loft and rear extensions to creative redesigns and internal rearrangements on the domestic scale, tackle important aspects of home design, such as craftsmanship, character and size. 

Soffitt House

Soffitt House by Proctor & Shaw is named overall winner.

(Image credit: Radu Palicica)

Apart from the overall winner, the list this year included 32 Laurier Road, Camden by Richard Keep Architects for Urban Oasis of the Year; Apartment Block, Islington by Coffey Architects for the Materiality and Craftsmanship Prize; Disappearing Bathroom House, Waltham Forest by Manyu Architects for Best Project Under 75K; Three Rooms Under a New Roof, Hackney by Ullmayer Sylvester Architects Ltd for the Environmental Leadership Prize; Vestry Road, Southwark by Oliver Leech Architects for Compact Design of the Year; and The White Rabbit House, Islington by Gundry + Ducker for the Unique Character Prize.

A go-to event to celebrate the humble art of home improvement, this is a competition full of ingenious solutions, fit for adding a bit of luxury to our everyday spaces. ‘Soffit House is a wonderful example of how the space and light in a terraced house can be enhanced by good design,' stated the judging panel. ‘The judges enjoyed how this simple addition transformed the sense of space and connected the areas of the house with each other and the garden. A beautifully understated and generous home!' 

Coffey Architects

Material and Craftmanship Prize: Apartment Block, Islington by Coffey Architects.

(Image credit: Tim Soar)

white rabbit house

Unique Character Prize: White Rabbit House, Islington by Gundry + Ducker.

(Image credit: Andrew Meredith)

Disappearing Bathroom House

Best Project Under 75k: Disappearing Bathroom House, Waltham Forest by Manyu Architects

(Image credit: Manyu Architects)

Three Rooms Under a New Roof

Environmental Leadership Prize: Three Rooms Under a New Roof, Hackney by Ullmayer Sylvester Architects Ltd.

(Image credit: Allan Sylvester)

vestry road

Compact Design of the Year: Vestry Road, Southwark by Oliver Leech Architects.

(Image credit: Ståle Eriksen)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).