Theo and Oskar's new home

Award winning film company Salon will create a documentary film of this competition and the subsequent building work.

The aim is to design a light, spacious and barrier-free home for the Taussig family and their two children, Theo and Oskar, who both suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy*.

Ballymore support Theo and Oskar’s House as planning permission granted!


Tigg + Coll, winners of the Colander run competition to find architects for Theo and Oskar’s House, will work with Ballymore to deliver a light, spacious and barrier-free home for the Taussig family and their two young sons, Theo and Oskar who both suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

For further information, please see the press release under DOWNLOADS in the sidebar. 

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David Tigg, Rachel Coll, Helen Sutton and Manuel Gonzalez Nogueira of Tigg + Coll Architecture, working with Ian Hamilton of Engenuti have won this special project to design a new home for Theo and Oskar.  Many congratulations to them all.

We wish them and the Taussig family all success with the project and look forward to seeing the transformed home in the not too distant future.

Nick Taussig said:

“I would like to thank, first, our jury, which comprised architects John McAslan and Adam Khan, chartered psychologist Suky Macpherson, and sculptor and lecturer Tony Heaton, who gave their time and expertise; second, Colander, for their generosity of spirit in running such a fabulous competition; and third, our finalists, all of whom did very well to make it to the final round. The strength of Tigg and Coll’s presentation, and their vision, pragmatism and understanding of Theo and Oskar’s current and future requirements, won over the jury unanimously. We look forward to working with them.”

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We are delighted to announce that four teams have been shortlisted to go through to the interview stage of this competition:

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

Our client, Nick Taussig said:

 "We’d like to thank all those gifted architects who submitted to the competition. We hope that this project, done for a modest and realistic budget, will afford Theo and Oskar a great home to meet their needs, and in turn inspire other families living with disability to do the same." 


We ask all competitors to note that the date of the interviews with shortlisted practices has been confirmed: Wednesday 7th December between 14.00 and 17.30.  The interviews will take place in central London.

It is the intention to shortlist three teams.  Those that are shortlisted will be contacted on Friday 25 November with further details about the arrangements for the day.  


We are delighted that Tony Heaton has agreed to join the Jury Panel for this competition. Tony is a disabled artist who also runs Shape Arts a charity which provides opportunities and support for disabled artists and cultural organisations, to build a more inclusive and representative cultural sector.


Many thanks to all the teams that expressed an interest in this competition.  We have received 28 submissions from across the UK, Europe and the USA.  

Judging will now take place on Tuesday 22 November when a shortlist of three teams will be selected to attend an interview with the Jury Panel.  

The shortlisted teams and the unsuccessful teams will all be advised of the result by Friday 25 November.  

The interviews are expected to take place before Christmas; those invited to attend an interview will be advised of the arrangements by Friday 25 November.

Purpose of the competition

In 2014 Theo (now 5) & Oskar (now 3) were diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  

At the time the family was living in a tall thin house in Epsom, the end wing of an old Victorian mansion, the very worst kind of accommodation for two disabled children.  So, in February of this year, they bought and moved to a rundown 2-bedroom 1930s bungalow with a half acre plot. 

In the heart of Box Hill, Surrey, their new home is a magical place with a wonderful garden that will nurture the boys' hearts and spirits in spite of their disease.  The plan now is to transform the house into a very special place for the children by creating the best possible barrier free home.

We are delighted to launch this competition to find a design team to help the Taussig family achieve this ambition.

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What you could win

The client, Nick Taussig, runs the independent feature film and documentary production company, Salon.  He will be creating a documentary film of both the competition and the subsequent building work.  The whole process, from conception through to completion will be filmed, resulting in a feature documentary.  It is intended that this will play at film festivals and be broadcast on domestic television.  Discussions are currently being held with a number of broadcasters.

The winner and shortlisted teams will benefit from this exposure and will have the opportunity to access a wide and varied audience, both in the UK and overseas. 

In addition to this unique publicity, a modest prize fund is offered to contribute to the costs incurred by the 3 teams attending interview: the winning team will receive £600, and the two runners up will each receive £200 towards costs.

It is the intention of the client to commission the winning team to implement its design; a local building team has already been identified to undertake the construction work.

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Who can take part in the competition

This is an open competition aimed at young and emerging talent.  Registered architects, designers and those from other related disciplines aged 40 years and under are invited to take part.   Team submissions are welcomed.

The design challenge

The majority of disabled homes are poor, very poor.  

This competition provides an opportunity for designers to think creatively about the home, and specifically the needs of this family and how their existing house, a run-down 1930’s bungalow, can be adapted to respond to and exceed their family needs now and also in the future.

In particular the new works to the house should create a light and spacious living environment which:

  • Maximises Theo and Oskar’s ability to move around freely
  • Makes them feel connected to the outside world, in particular the beautiful and rather magical garden just outside
  • Provides Theo and Oskar with bedrooms that open onto the garden
  • Optimises the building’s potential by demolition of the garage
  • Is mindful of the future needs of the family and of accommodating a carer
  • Achieves this for a budget of £100k

£100,000 has been earmarked for the construction budget and a further 20% has been allocated for professional fees, and any other specialist input.

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Competition format

This is a single stage competition.  

Teams are invited to submit a short expression of interest which will be reviewed by the Jury Panel.  Three teams will be invited to attend an interview and discuss why they are the right people to take on this project.  Following the interviews a winner will be selected.  All competitors will be advised of the result in writing and in advance of any press release. 

It is the client's intention to appoint the winner to design and deliver the project, however the client reserves the right not to proceed should circumstances require.

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Jury Panel

The Jury will comprise six people:

Nick and Klara Taussig - Oskar and Theo's parents: the client

John McAslan - Architectural advisor, Director of John McAslan & Partners

Adam Khan - Architectural Advisor, Director of Adam Kahn Architects

Suky Macpherson - Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Richard Long RA - Artist

Tony Heaton - Artist

Submission requirements

Competitors should not attempt to visit the property – please base your submission on the information that is supplied in this brief.  Any queries should be sent to Louise Harrison at Colander Associates ( and not to the client.  

Your expression of interest should clearly indicates why you would like to be considered for this project and why you think you are the right team to undertake this important commission.  Your submission should contain:

  • An introductory piece addressing the key issues in the brief and explaining your interest in this project and the particular skills and expertise you feel you could bring to it.  This should be on a maximum of 4 sides of A4 paper (or the equivalent) and can be expressed in whatever format you wish – written; drawn; photographic etc.
  • Short C.V.’s of your team – this may be of an individual or of a number of people where a team submission is being made.  This should be on a maximum of 2 sides of A4.
  • A case study showcasing a past project which you feel best illustrates your suitability for this project.  This should be on a maximum of 2 sides of A4. 

In total, your expression of interest should be a maximum of 8 sides of A4.  Please ensure that any writing is at a minimum font size of 10.  In addition to two hard copies you, are asked to provide a digital copy of your submission.

Your submission should be sent, carriage paid, to:

Theo and Oskar's New Home
Hill House
Fox Hill
London SE19 2XA  
T:  +44 (0)20 8771 6445  

Overseas competitors should note that for Customs purposes no commercial value should be assigned to the design submission.  If a commercial value is given, this may result in your submission being delayed and/or returned to you unopened, as Colander Associates will not be liable for any Customs charges otherwise incurred. 

The ownership of Copyright of your submission will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patent Act 1988.  Competitors are advised to retain copies of their submission. 

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  • Competition launch – Monday 3 October 2016
  • Deadline for queries from competitors – Friday 14 October
  • Answers to questions – Friday 21 October
  • Submission deadline – midday Monday 7 November
  • Jury reviews submissions and selects the shortlist - 22 November
  • Interviews with shortlisted teams – tba - before Christmas
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Further information

* DMD is an inherited (genetic) condition which affects the muscles, causing muscle weakness. It is a fatal condition which starts in early childhood and may be noticed when a child has difficulty standing up, climbing or running. The muscle weakness is not noticeable at birth, even though the child is born with the gene which causes it. The weakness develops gradually. It usually shows up in early childhood. Symptoms are mild at first but increase as the child becomes older. About 1 in 3,500 boys in the UK are born with DMD. The name Duchenne comes from the doctor who first studied this condition.

Competitors may wish to visit the following links for further information about Duchenne muscular dystrophy.



Given the intention to create a documentary of this process, competitors should be aware that filming will take place at all stages of the competition process: the judging, interviews with shortlisted teams and the final selection and announcement of the winner.

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Colander has taken all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information included on this webpage is accurate, however, while the information shown here is believed to be correct at the time of issue, neither Colander nor its client make any warranty or representation (express or implied) with respect to such information; nor will they accept any liability for its accuracy, adequacy or completeness.