2021 In Review

Let’s take a look back at 2021, including some of the projects we completed at Bradley Van Der Straeten in the last 12 months. We would also like to share with you some of the other projects that have been in development and that we look forward to constructing in the new year and celebrate some of the achievements of the year as a whole.

So how was the last year for our studio? Well, coming out of the stop-start of 2020, it was a busy one and one where we were lucky enough to be able to make up for lost time and work on lots of exciting new projects. We were also able to share two completed projects, both in Hackney, that we were proud of.

Completed Projects

Tonal Terrace arrived with a bang, after having a few months without anything new to share for a while it was very existing to start with this one. Awash with vibrant colours, beautifully lit spaces and oozing with character, the project was a celebration of the collaboration with our clients Zoe and Ben and a testament to leadership of the project by our talented associate Jessica.

The project was quickly followed by Hawthorn house, a project that was all about the garden. We were excited to work on this one at the offset as the client’s brief was so refreshing, placing garden centre stage. For the studio it was also a milestone as it was the first project to be lead from start to finish by Vladimir, who has set the bar high for himself! We love how this project fully explores the relationship between garden and home, treating them both as equals. We also enjoyed learning from the clients Gareth and Richard, and their expertise (all self-taught) when It comes to gardening. We look forward to re-visiting both Tonal Terrace and Hawthorn in the new year to see how the homes have improved the lives of the occupants.

When we talk about completed projects we refer to ones that we are able to share with you, but it doesn’t include the other homes that have been finished and are occupied but haven’t taken photographs of yet and that we look forward to sharing with you in the new year, they include; Lagom Hus in Stoke Newington (named for us by our Swedish client), Matilda, a transformation of a Listed home in Islington and an alpine style loft to a bungalow in Epsom (a phase 2 project for a previous client of ours, yes, clients come back for more!). There is also Venetian Pantry that thanks to a wonderful Instagram page by our clients is already very popular across London and a project we cant wait to photograph in the new year.

In Development

Last year was extremely busy developing designs for clients, all with exciting briefs and challenges that have stretched us a team. It’s been a real gear change for us this year and projects in development have a real focus on A, being very different to work we have done before and B, having a very strong environmental agenda from the outset.

Some of the highlights include; Church Way, a design for two new homes on an urban backlot in North London, a new build family home in South London designed to replace an existing garage block, a new-build live-work artist’s studio in North London, the merging of two large apartments in Belsize Park to create a luxury duplex family dwelling, work to convert our director Georges ex local authority house into an open-plan home, another new-build home in Shepperton that will be designed to the highest environmental standards and the transformation of a large home in Rickmansworth with the aim of extending and refurbishing using as much timber construction as possible.

As well as the projects in development on paper, we also have a project mid-construction that we have been sharing a little bit on our Instagram called The Judd. It is in Tottenham and is going to be an exciting and refreshing take on the standard side-return and loft extension to a Victorian Terrace. Our associate Stephen is lead on the project and doing an excellent job. The design is inspired by the clients love of the work of the artist Donald Judd, expect lots of play with colour and textured surfaces! We look forward to sharing it with you.

Other things we were up to

We have also enjoyed engaging with other aspects of our work this last year. We particularly enjoyed collaborating with CP Hart Bathrooms to design a bathroom for their flagship showroom in London. We were able to explore health and wellbeing themes that are central to our work and challenge the standard design format of a showroom space by creating a spiral sequence of spaces.

George’s venture, Another Architecture Podcast, has regularly featured in the top 10 design podcast charts in the UK and Australia and gained a large following over the year, as well as being shortlisted for Best Architecture Podcast at the Archiboo Awards.

We were also invited by Domestika, the world’s largest online learning platform, to produce a course in the art of hand-drawn single-point perspective drawings. A drawing you will be very familiar with if you follow our work but a pleasure to share with students. It was fascinating for us to think about how we work and how to explain and teach it to someone else.

This year also saw the launch of our monthly newsletter, which features new projects, revisits to older projects and resources that we think you will find useful and that are either based on our advice and tips for your project or are sharing the findings of research that we undertake within the team. Oh, and we won a Don’t Move Improve Award, yay!

All the work that we create and share with you is not possible without the work of the people we work with and who never get as much credit as the architect. This includes the builders, structural engineers, measured surveyors, planning consultants, cost consultants and mechanical engineers that we work with across all our projects.

As can be seen with the two key projects we shared with you this year (Tonal Terrace and Hawthorn House) our work is also not possible without the clients who choose to work with us. Our designs are one part of what makes those homes amazing. Thank you to our clients for keeping us busy, challenged and engaged, we love working with you!

So, on to a new year, one in which we aim to keep pushing our mantra that homes should be kind to their occupants, kind to the planet and beautiful spaces to live in.

Thank you for following us, George, Ewald, Jessica, Stephen and Vladimir.

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