AYA 2022 Selections: Young Architect of the Year | Features


In July, BD announced all of the architects who were shortlisted for our prestigious annual Architect of the Year awards.

Now we’re shining the spotlight on each category in turn and posting a selection of the images that impressed the judges.

This year’s judges include: Maria CheungDirector and Head of Interior Design, Squire and Partners; Julian RobinsonDirector of Estates, LSE; Bernadette Cunninghamdirector, Thornsett; James McCoshpartner, van Heyningen & Harvard Architects; Michal Cohendirector and co-founder, Walters & Cohen Architects; Edmund Fowlesdirector and co-founder, Feilden Fowles; Manisha PatelSenior Partner, PRP and Raphael MarquesPrincipal, Penoyre & Prasad.

Today’s shortlist is Young Architect of the Year Award.

Boucher Bayley Architects

Butcher Bayley Architects submitted designs to Stukeley, Castor and Cambridge.

BBA’s ground floor extension to a Victorian property in the heart of a Cambridge conservation area responds to the strict constraints of the site with original thinking and innovative design ideas. The design opened up a series of small rooms in the existing house, providing a new open plan kitchen and dining area, with views of the garden.

The extension that formed part of this design was clad in pre-weathered copper, with large oak windows and doors custom made for the site. New ceiling lights are positioned to provide waves of natural light during the day. A window seat is the perfect place to relax.

design house

design house

Design Haus submitted three residential projects in Nottinghamshire.

North Road is the conversion and extension of an existing bungalow into a modern four bedroom house. This project brings together a range of different design ideas that required working within the parameters of the existing structure and site boundaries.

The new building was developed almost entirely using virtual reality technology. The client was able to walk through the space in real time, making suggestions and observations long before the project was submitted for planning. Moving walls, changing materials and creating new design moments was achievable in minutes.

Fisher Cheng

Fisher Cheng

Fisher Cheng presented a community center in Dagenham, a residential extension in Camden, a 28 social rental housing scheme in Enfield and a public realm improvement scheme in Enfield.

Leighton Grove involved a side infill extension and self-contained garden studio in a ground floor duplex apartment in a converted Victorian townhouse. The new ground floor extension has streamlined and widened a cramped layout, eliminating a bulky storage room to create an open plan kitchen and dining area.

The extension also unified the adjacent two-storey cinderblock extension through the use of stained larch cladding across the entire elevation. The new garden studio, the preeminent typology to have emerged thanks to the lockdown, was similarly clad to mirror the main building. The perspectives of the home and garden office look at each other, creating visual dialogues between the two and maintaining a sense of connection.



Freehaus presented several projects in London.

The ClementJames Center is an award-winning charity located in one of London’s most deprived areas. Freehaus has been tasked with delivering a new master plan, streamlining the existing Grade II listed context, in support of education and welfare programs to provide local people with the skills and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential.

Design interventions focus on the existing and highly valued community garden to ensure that it remains at the heart of the organization and that community value is maximized. The massing of the new two-storey learning annex is inspired by the expressive rooflines and forms of Victorian terraces that characterize the conservation area. The broken form of the annex softens the scale of the building and allows more possibilities for planting and outdoor spaces.

The proposed new Winter Garden maximizes the value of an underused circulation space between the listed church and the existing Victorian teaching block. The robust construction and details ensure that the center can host large events, in the setting of the outdoor garden, all year round. By addressing previously underutilized areas of the site, the building program will be delivered without loss of valuable external surface area. A colonnade connects all elements to the exterior, avoiding the need for expensive internal corridors and facilitating access to all parts of the center.

Maich Swift

Maich Swift

Maich Swift’s submission included projects in London, Wales and Scotland.

The Potempkin Theaters in Haggerston was the Architecture Foundation’s third annual commission for temporary event space on the roof of a canalside artist studio complex in east London. Self-built by the firm, it provided valuable building experience for architecture students and volunteers and hosted a series of grassroots events.

The timber-framed structure was clad in painted canvas lining, its colors matching the surrounding trees and canal. The composition and arrangement of the windows and stairs were a reimagining of Monsieur Hulot’s house in Jacques Tati’s 1958 film Mon Oncle. The other side of the structure was left open, revealing the interior and the finesse of the canvas facade. The setting had four different platform levels connected by a staircase and a ladder. The construction has been rigorously designed and uses inexpensive and readily available materials assembled with a high level of precision. Materials were natural and renewable or easily recyclable, including canvas, laminated veneer wood, spruce plywood, and linseed oil paint.

The bilateral aspect lent itself to engagement from both the canal side and the roof. The theater could be used in a variety of ways and provided flexibility for a wide range of public events, including lectures and discussions, a children’s circus, film screenings, and dance and opera performances.

Novak Hiles

Novak Hiles

Novak Hiles has submitted four housing projects across London.

Bracken House is the extension and renovation of an ‘arts and crafts’ suburban terraced house in South London. The rear elevation of the extension features a contemporary bent metal interplay with bespoke ceramic tiles arranged in a celebratory frieze at the head of the extension, presenting a dignified face towards the garden.

The bespoke exterior tiles were designed by the practice specifically for this project, incorporating contextual arts and crafts references such as eagle fern leaves in a repetitive contemporary geometry that provides relief and texture unlike the sharpness of bent metal. The tiles and associated casting die have been handcrafted in the UK and serve as a celebration of craftsmanship and small-scale manufacturing.

Exterior earth tones of ceramic tile and metal work in unison with bright interior tones to provide an uplifting and warm material palette. Overall, the finished project offers a contemporary and subtle ode to artistic and artisanal thought while transforming the existing home for the daily benefit of its residents.


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