TCA have recently won a very interesting competition to design a new home for Theo and Oskar.
The brief for the competition was to design a barrier-free family home, including for two children, Theo and Oskar, who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Having recently moved into a new home with a large rear garden in Surrey, the proposal for the competition was to create a “magical place with a wonderful garden that will nurture the boys’ hearts and spirits”
TCA responded to the brief by understanding how the condition will affect the children over time, including their mobility and how they interact with their environment. Alongside this the boundary between inside and outside was blurred by introducing large scale, openable glazing, which would link the inside with the rear garden. Internally the series of spaces are broken down and adaptable by the clever use of sliding screens and folding partitions. This pragmatic approach, coupled with the more prosaic response to the beautiful garden creates a more open, interconnected design.
Adaptability is key for any house with a young family, as needs and requirements evolve. The house must be responsive to the boys condition, and provide opportunities for them to go about their everyday activities and play without restrictions. We are aware that this must be executed throughout the design down to the smallest details such as joinery, storage and ironmongery.
We believe that we could create a spacious, light-filled home for the family within budget by using low-cost materials and employing a construction method such as cross-laminated timber and timber cassettes. This would allow for a quick build, large internal spans and can also be left unfinished internally, which would add warmth to the spaces and have cost efficiencies.
After making the shortlist, TCA presented our scheme in front of the jury of Nick and Klara Taussig, John McAslan, Adam Khan, Suky MacPherson and Tony Heaton.
Adam Kahn who chaired the interviews said:
“This small project is a microcosm of the whole deal of being an architect – opening up possibility, leading and inspiring through a clear vision, engaging wholeheartedly with real people and all founded in rigorous practicality. It’s not easy. Great to see so many practices enthusiastically embracing the challenge”
As part of the competition process, a documentary film will be made, following the course of the competition entry and the subsequent building work.
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