Studio in Stables, Belsize Park, London NW3

Award: Don’t Move, Improve, highly commended, office extension/refurbishment

A Victorian coach and horses stables, stripped of its later domestic additions, is returned to a working environment of a different kind: Sanya Polescuk Architect’s own studio. This award winning project was an exercise in thorough reclaim, rigorous and energy efficient retrofit! When converting this unusual mews house in Belsize Park’s Conservation Area into a modern, light-filled and sustainable workspace, the practice retained the original features of the former Victorian coach and horses stables, whilst meeting the challenge of increasing the thermal efficiency of a late 19th-century building. After removing the domestic additions of recent years, a single open, horseshoe-shaped space was created with independent access from the mews. By reclaiming originally used materials, or choosing those with recyclable properties, the office has succeeded in sustainably overlaying the signs of the building’s previous use with its new identity.