Characterful, diverse and ambitious

Characterful, diverse and ambitious

by Ellie Stathaki

Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor at Wallpaper* magazine explores this year's theme of 'Reimagine the Home' as we celebrate this year's Shortlist.

When looking at homes - to engage with professionally, to move into as private individuals, or just for fun (don’t we all browse property websites now and again?) - many of us seek, to a certain extent, a place that brings on a smile. Values such as comfort, safety, contentment and fun, play a role in the way we imagine, and reimagine, our personal spaces. And perhaps a move towards optimism and renewal in the housing realm is needed now more than ever, as a world of post-pandemic recovery, geopolitical conflict, and the cost of living crisis unfolds.

Such well-balanced, uplifting residential projects are often born from modest budgets and (or) a series of very practical considerations. This was clear in many of last year’s entries, and certainly the winner. The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect was a scheme that beautifully elevated a small, dark apartment into an unassuming and surprising, yet highly bespoke, full-of-positivity family home - thanks to its architect/owner’s design and self-building flair, can-do attitude, and smart, nature-sensitive decisions.

A considered, architect-led reimagining can not only help reinvent and bolster what ‘home’ means for its client. It can also foster imagination, innovation, purposefulness, wellness, and a tailored approach that hints to the potential of a richly characterful, diverse and ambitious residential landscape of tomorrow.

Ellie Stathaki Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor, Wallpaper* magazine