The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Tutor Zachary Fluker Wins RIBA Regional Award

25 May 2023

Zachary Fluker’s practice ao-ft was awarded in the RIBA East London Regional Awards for Spruce House and Studio in Walthamstow, a new-build home and self-contained design studio in a north-east London conservation area.

Image: rear courtyard of Spruce House and Studio, with plants in the foreground and the back facade of the house in the background

The RIBA Regional Awards scour the UK for regionally significant architecture from around the country. Judged and presented in their local areas, the awards are part of the wider RIBA UK Awards, which also include the RIBA National Award and the Stirling Prize. Winners in the Regional categories are then considered for the National Award, as well as specific awards like the Sustainability Award.

Image: interior of Spruce House and Studio, with a living area and window overlooking the garden in the foreground and a kitchen area to the rear

This year an award was given in the competition's East London regional division to Zachary Fluker and his East London based practice ao-ft. Their winning project, Spruce House and Studio, is a new-build home and design studio for a private client in the Walthamstow Village Conservation Area. The project comprises two buildings on the former village high street, built in cross-laminated timber for its low carbon footprint, with a fully glazed front shielded by slatted timber shuttering. This architectural motif continues through the house, leading the eye toward the garden beyond, and the studio building at the rear, constructed in the same way. 

Commenting on ao-ft’s project, the RIBA regional jury said,

The success of the project is down to the clear dedication and skill of the two architects. Their attention to detail is evident throughout both buildings, up to and including the door stops. The strong architectural concept has been successfully carried through to create two coherent and beautiful buildings complete with elegant outdoor space.”

ao-ft was founded in 2017 by Zach and Liz Tatarintseva. Both architects graduated from the Architectural Association, and Zach has taught on The Bartlett’s Urban Design MArch (RC18) and Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1)'s UG2 unit for the last ten years.

More information

Read more about the winning project at RIBA Journal
Visit ao-ft’s website
Find out more about Urban Design MArch
Find out more about Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

Images: Rory Gardiner