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WSA tutor wins Architects’ Journal Small Projects award

31 March 2017

WSA tutor wins award

Kate Darby, a tutor at the Welsh School of Architecture, and David Connor have won the AJ Small Projects award 2017 for Croft Lodge Studio, a painstakingly preserved 300 year old listed cottage in Leominster, Herefordshire.

Croft Lodge Studio, which comprises a working studio with living room, sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom, was chosen from a 20-strong shortlist selected from nearly 200 entries. The jury described the 115m² scheme as ‘beautifully executed’, ‘unpretentious’, and praised the design for not ‘romanticising the ruin’. Croft Lodge Studio was recently also shortlisted for a RIBA West Midlands regional award.

Kate Darby currently leads a design unit in the 2nd year of our MArch programme and is the founder of Kate Darby Architects. Looking back on the project, she said: ‘What is special is the extreme length we went to preserve everything. Initially there was the prejudice to clear it up, but we realised the value of the project was in that extreme approach.’ She added: ‘It was an approach to how you might create something new in an old context. If you go there it is like going back in time – we wanted to do something new and represent the era we come from but in a way that acknowledges a value in continuity.’

The AJ Small Projects award celebrates innovative projects built on a budget of less than £250,000 and is now is in its 22nd year. Chaired by AJ editor-in-chief Christine Murray, the jury comprised the winner of the 2008 prize Meredith Bowles, founder of Mole Architects; Kate Goodwin, head of architecture at the Royal Academy; John Boxall, partner at construction consultant Jackson Coles; and Katie Prestidge, marketing communications manager at Marley Eternit.

Image credit: James Morris

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