New London Architecture

Submissions open: Don't Move, Improve!

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Don't Move, Improve! encourages great design in everyday life, celebrating the newest and most innovative home improvement projects from across London. The annual competition showcases the diversity and character of homes being re-designed in London.
Reimaging awkward layouts to create vibrant new living spaces, as well as beautiful detailing and craftsmanship; the projects featured in Don’t Move, Improve! demonstrate exceptional innovation, cost-effectiveness and creativity that greatly adds to the neighborhoods of London and to the quality of life of the residents. 
With an annual exhibition, magazine and regular advice sessions with architects, engineers and designers the programme aims to celebrate London’s best domestic-scale designs and encourage homeowners to embark on their own home improvement project.

Read more about Don't Move, Improve! as a programme


  • Winning and shortlisted projects featured in an exhibition at NLA’s central London gallery at The Building Centre, WC1, with approximately 2,500 visitors weekly.
  • Winning and shortlisted projects featured in the Don’t Move, Improve! magazine, available to purchase at NLA, the RIBA bookshop, Amazon, and via the NLA website.
  • Winners announced at the Awards Reception in the company of 300+ leading professionals
  • Shortlisted practices are invited to participate in a regular series of Design Surgeries, including free ‘speed-dating’ consultations, talks and advice.
  • All featured practices have contact details showcased in prominent directory feature in magazine
  • Overall winning practice awarded 12-month membership of NLA
  • Winning practices invited to participate in NLA’s associated events programme
  • Year-round press opportunities in London-wise and national publications, assisted by NLA


Judging criteria
The competition is open to practices and homeowners who have carried out extensions on top of, underneath and on the side or back of buildings, and/or interior insertions, conversions, and garden studios since 1 September 2018.
The judges are looking for projects that demonstrate:
  • Exceptional innovation, creativity and originality
  • High quality design that improves livability of space and quality of life
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Environmental consideration for the materials, efficiency and longevity of the building
  • Contextual design that adds to London’s character and the life of the surrounding neighborhood

Shortlisted and winning projects will be selected by an eminent jury of experts and journalists from across the industry, led by NLA Curator-in-chief Peter Murray.

Payment is taken via the online form:
Submission cost: £99+VAT
NLA Members: £79+VAT

Please note:
1. Submitted projects must have achieved practical completion between 1 September 2018 and 1 September 2020 – any projects completed before 1 September 2018 will not be eligible.
2. The project must be located within any of the 33 London Boroughs.
3. There is no limit to the number of entries from any one organisation.
4. All entries must complete the online entry form no later than 17:00 on Tuesday 8th December.
6. The submitter must give details of all consultants and team members working on the project, and must have sought the written permission of the project client.
7. Entrants agree that NLA are granted non- exclusive reproduction rights to all entries for any NLA advertising, promotion, exhibition, print publications, internet and press materials. Entrants must have permission from the photographer for the reproduction of all imagery for use relating to these purposes.
8. The decisions of the judges are final and correspondence will not be entered into by NLA with any unsuccessful entrants.

Special Prizes

In addition to the Overall Winner, the following special prizes will be awarded:

Unique Character Prize
Awarded to the design that shows true originality and creates its own individual personality or style

Urban Oasis of the Year
Recognising innovative urban gardens, this prize celebrates the best outside oasis whether that be a courtyard, a rooftop, or a beautiful balcony space.

Compact Design of the Year
Awarded to the project that demonstrates ingenuity and creativity in a design with tight space constraints

Best Project under £100K
Recognising great value, this prize is given to the best transformation under £100,000

Environmental Leadership Prize
Awarded to the project that exhibits thought leadership for environmental considerations such as long-life design, sustainable materials and energy efficiency.

WFH Design of the Year
Celebrating spaces that can adapt and cater for changing functions and unique needs of the user, particularly home working, hobby and maker-spaces.

Materiality & Craftsmanship Prize
Recognising designs that takes particular attention to detail and care when considering materials and finishes. This prize is awarded to a projects that demonstrates innovative material choices and construction techniques.  

Submit here

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Deadline: 8 Dec 2020

 Questions about submissions can be sent to

About Don't Move, Improve!

Read more about the annual content, key dates and the origins of the programme here
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