Dezeen Magazine

Exterior of The Secret Garden Flat by Nic Howett Architect

This week we revealed London's best new home renovation

This week on Dezeen, the annual Don't Move Improve! competition named Nic Howett Architects' The Secret Garden Flat as London's best new home improvement project for 2023.

The flat, which is located in the borough of Southwark, was praised by the judges for showing "how a very high standard of craftsmanship can be achieved with a low budget".

It was chosen from a shortlist of 15 renovations revealed in April by Don't Move Improve!, an annual competition held by New London Architecture (NLA).

"The Secret Garden is full of surprises," said judge Marie-Louise Schembri. "This beautiful home in a very busy and dense urban part of London feels like an oasis and has consolidated existing neighbourhood and family communities."

Neom designs presented at Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition
Neom designs presented at exhibition during Venice Architecture Biennale

We continued our coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale with a story on the Zero Gravity Urbanism exhibition, which showcased designs for the controversial Neom project in Saudi Arabia and featured masterplans by Danish studio BIG for its octagonal port city Oxagon.

A number of studios also shared insights into their work on The Line mega city – the most publicised of all Neom developments. Architect Peter Cook said its height is "a bit stupid" and questioned whether the project would be fully realised.

And Italian Studio Fuksas, which is also working on The Line, said it "does not touch the poetry of the desert" in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Patrik Schumacher
Venice is an "anti-architectural biennale" says Patrik Schumacher

In other Venice news, Zaha Hadid Architects principal Patrik Schumacher has said Venice Architecture Biennale "does not show any architecture".

In a post on Facebook titled Venice Biennale Blues, Schumacher called the event an "anti-architectural biennale" where the national pavilions "refuse to show the work of their architects".

"The Venice 'Architecture' Biennale is mislabelled and should stop laying claim to the title of architecture," he wrote.

Inflatable sculpture by Steve Messam
Steve Messam creates site-specific inflatable sculptures for Clerkenwell Design Week

Meanwhile, Clerkenwell Design Week launched in London this week. In celebration of the event, British artist Steve Messam created four inflatable sculptures designed to "reimagine the architecture" of their locations in Clerkenwell.

Among them was a six-metre-high inflatable made from a bright blue hand-sewn textile and characterised by its 27 spikes, which poke out from the archway of St John's Gate – a medieval gatehouse built in 1504.

Bugatti skyscraper in Dubai
Bugatti unveils design for first residential skyscraper

Car brand Bugatti entered the residential real estate market this week with its design for a 42-storey skyscraper that will let residents drive straight into their penthouses.

Set to be located in Dubai, the Bugatti Residences will be made with Dubai-developer Binghatti and will have a sinuous form wrapped in balconies on every level.

In other car news, we looked at how electric-vehicle technology is changing car design. Dezeen features editor Nat Barker spoke to experts and car designers, who said cars will start to look dramatically different as electric vehicles become the norm.

Umagoya by 2m26
Umagoya stable in Kyoto features traditional Japanese carpentry

Popular projects this week include a stable in Umagoya, Japan, built from traditional Japanese joinery in cypress and cedar, a stone-clad Nevada house and a New York store modelled on a collegiate locker room.

Our latest lookbooks featured airy terraces and balconies and marble-lined bathrooms.

This week on Dezeen

This week on Dezeen is our regular roundup of the week's top news stories. Subscribe to our newsletters to be sure you don't miss anything.