Tigg + Coll Architects are one of the most innovative design firms in London, so it was always going to be interesting to see what they would do when let loose on their own personal property. Evidentally a challenging project, Tigg + Coll Architects reveal, “when we purchased the property in 2009, no one had lived there for approximately 20 years. As a result, we had to renovate from scratch and completely restructure the property, including creating new access to the roof above (via a 2.5m long pneumatic glass roof light), which took approximately a year from start to finish. Although we wanted to give the property a clean contemporary edge, it was also important to us to make sure we framed this transformation against a backdrop of original features."
A stunning example is when they first stripped out the 1970s gas fires and found original Victorian cast iron fireplaces behind, that were amazingly still intact. Alongside the fireplaces, the architect duo decided to completely embrace the original and keep the existing timber baslustrades and sash windows. They even upcycled of some of the old furniture that they ‘inherited’ when they bought the property, in addition to samples of the original wall paper and framed them - features which undoubtedly form an important part of the entire refurbishment, to make the property what it is today.
While proving that minimal doesn’t have to be boring, the architects subtly but very cleverly made use of shapes. The angular sloping walls of this top floor flat contrasted with the round shapes used elsewhere in the form of statement lights, mirrors and clocks while elsewhere sharp, linear designs defined the furnishings and fixtures.
Despite the kitchen’s smart white units and Calacatta marble splash backs (which was cut specifically from a single slab to get the best colour variation), the thing that really stands out in this room – and perhaps one of the most memorable things about this flat – is the ingenious use of blackboard paint. The weekly shopping list could be written directly on the wall while items were labelled with arrows.
The pièce de résistance of this flat, though, was the demised roof terrace. Once again, Tigg + Coll made clever use of shapes with linear seating areas and angular planters contrasting with round chimney pots and a circular brazier. “The roof is fantastic on both hot and cold days,” they said, “In the summer to unwind, and in the winter because of the clear views across London.” Strong colours played a part too with brightly coloured planters, dark tables and oiled decking set against the white washed chimney stacks and stucco fronted houses in the distance.
Tigg + Coll further detail that the property's phenomenal location close to Notting Hill, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park initially attracted them to the site, "it's always nice to have a royal park on your doorstep, while we love that the area is constantly evolving with new restaurants, bars and shops always appearing – it keeps the area very fresh and interesting."
In terms of the property itself, Tigg + Coll reveal, “as architects running a design practice close to Portobello Road, we looked for a dilapidated property that we could put our own stamp on. Given we like to try new ideas all the time, we couldn't think of a better place than our own home.” We couldn't agree more.