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Tigg + Coll gets green light for contest-winning barrier-free home

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Emerging practice Tigg + Coll Architects has won planning permission for a competition-winning, accessible family home for a filmmaker in Box Hill, Surrey

The project – dubbed Theo and Oskar’s New Home – was approved by local authority Surrey Council Council last month (26 May).

The London studio was chosen as the ‘unanimous’ winner ahead of Ciarcelluti Mathers Architects, Scott Whitby Studio and Clague Architects to win the Colander Associates-organised contest which received 28 entries last year.

The competition, open to architects and designers under 40, sought designs for a ‘light, spacious and barrier-free home’ for the clients’ two sons who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMH).

The £100,000 project is backed by the boys’ father Nick Taussig, who founded the award-winning film finance and production firm Salon. The scheme will transform the Taussigs’ two-bedroom 1930s bungalow into the ‘best possible barrier-free home’ for the children.

The brief stated that Taussig ‘will be filming the competition process, from conception through to the selection of the winning team, including sessions with the jury panel and interviews with shortlisted teams, as well as the subsequent building process.

‘It is the intention that the resultant documentary will play at film festivals, be broadcast on domestic television, and sold for foreign broadcast.’

Duchenne muscular dystrophy, named after French neurologist Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne, is a fatal inherited condition which causes gradual muscle weakness and is only detectable in early childhood. Five-year-old Theo and three-year-old Oskar were both diagnosed with the condition two years ago.

Practice director David Tigg said: ’The design and form of the building has had to carefully balance both the complex needs of the family but also the consideration of designing a large extension in a conservation area and the context of the existing building. The approach is contemporary interpretation of vernacular roof form and veranda to the main building elevation and then to allow this to break down at the rear of the house where expansive views, daylight orientation and a playful roof form were the key design drivers.

’We have developed a free spanning Diagrid Timber roof structure that will in effect act as a dynamic canopy to create flexible spaces as the boys needs change over time. The added benefit of this roof form is that it allowed us to create a large cantilever veranda to create sheltered play space for the family to use and where the boys can sit out and enjoy the garden when mobility is limited.

’What has been a very exciting and innovative design process to date has really been enhanced by the Input of Ballymore and their project management and procurement team. It has allowed us to explore a combination of prefabricated and bespoke design solutions that will deliver some amazing spaces for Theo, Oskar and the family as a whole to use and enjoy.’

Judges included Nick and Klara Taussig, Adam Khan of Adam Khan Architects, John McAslan of John McAslan & Partners, British Psychological Society associate fellow Suky Macpherson and the artist Tony Heaton.

The project is due to complete later this year.

The full shortlist

  • Ciarcelluti Mathers Architects, London
  • Clague Architects, Canterbury
  • Scott Whitby Studio, London
  • Tigg + Coll Architects, London
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