Tigg + Coll Architects

Following a national design competition, Tigg + Coll Architects were appointed to design a barrier-free home for the Taussig family and their two sons, Theo and Oskar, who suffer

from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The challenge was to re-model and extend the family’s 1930s bungalow in Box Hill in a way that would meet their current and future needs, and to consider how the children’s mobility will change over time.

Spacious rooms were created for the boys with large-scale glazing that can fully open up by sliding within walls, connecting the house to the garden. The timber diagrid cantilevered roof is a playful yet practical structural solution, which spans across the internal spaces and external terrace, forming a sheltered external play space under its tree-like canopy. The roof is a pragmatic response to a unique brief, enabling maximum flexibility, with any future medical support and equipment that may be required to be fixed directly to the exposed structure.

Both the design and delivery of the project was an innovative, collaborative process of consultants, contractors and suppliers willingly donating services, time and materials. The main contractor Ballymore offered access to their supply chain, which provided the opportunity to use construction technology not normally associated with one-off homes, such as pre-cast concrete sandwich panels, typically used in high-rise construction.

This particular home has quite literally changed the future of the brothers in helping create a barrier-free home that will enable them, and not disable them further.