Hackney architects to star on silver screen tonight
PUBLISHED: 12:18 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:21 06 September 2017
Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects to appear alongside Alan Titchmarsh in Love Your Home and Garden
Two Hackney-based architects are set to appear on the small screen tonight as part of new series, Love Your Home and Garden on ITV. The spinoff of Love Your Garden will feature George Bradley and Ewald Van Der Straeten from Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects tonight (Wednesday 8 September).
Alongside Alan Titchmarsh and Katie Rushworth, the second episode will focus on the architects as they help to design the home of a south London family with a severely disabled son. Aryan, 11, suffers from cerebral palsy and his mother, Manisha, cares full time for him.
“They had a very small home with narrow corridors, and could never use their garden. They could never take him out into the garden because it was all stepped and pretty shabby,” explains Mr Bradley. In response, the architects opened up the small, semi-detached home to provide space for Aryan’s equipment and wheelchair. They replaced the old conservatory with a new side extension and incorporated new storage solutions.
In the garden, sliding doors were added to provide access to a terraced deck, with Katie Rushworth’s garden design including staggered beds in the sloped garden, and a design studio for Manisha. “The show is about completely opening up the house to give him a new lease of life to be able to do things he couldn’t do before,” explains Mr Bradley.
“We’re very experienced in working on houses and with families, but we’ve never done anything as emotionally charged as this,” says Mr Bradley. “A lot of the projects we do are where people have a lot of money and want to make their houses nicer. Something like this is not just making the house nicer, it’s also transforming their lives and the way they live.”
The two architects, and directors of the firm, established the practice in 2010 after meeting at Liverpool University and travelling together in a campervan. Their practice prides itself on its personal, client-focussed approach to design.
“It’s a very friendly company and it’s got that at the core of it,” says Mr Bradley. Now based in London Fields, the friends began their company at Mr Bradley’s home. “We lived in Stoke Newington and we didn’t have any projects to our name, so we renovated my house and used that as our leaping board for the practice. From there we built up from scratch in and around Hackney. It was the two of us working in a living room, and now we’ve grown to a team of eight people.”
This year, the pair refurbished the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre in Highgate, which is opening its doors this month for Open House London. The world’s largest purpose-designed music therapy centre was reinvented with a lively palette of materials that rejuvenate the former 19th century substation.
“That was a very institutionalised building before, it felt like a hospital ward, and actually music therapy is not like that at all. So we’ve made it a very warm and welcoming space and made it all about music again,” explains Mr Bradley.
The duo’s portfolio includes a wide range of north London projects, including a number of residential properties. In a quirky, barrel-vaulted, Grade II listed property in De Beauvoir, the architects converted two flats back into a family home on a slender budget, their transformation making way for a walk-in shower, three double bedrooms and a rear extension containing a kitchen.
At Hampstead’s Gondar Gardens, a Victorian mansion flat intervention was carried out in order to update the tired design. The kitchen and living room were merged together in an open-plan design featuring sliding doors and on-trend brass fittings and decor.
Love Your Home and Garden is a spinoff of the popular Love Your Garden show. ITV funds the transformation of the homes and gardens of deserving people who might not otherwise be able to afford the changes themselves. Filmed over three months, George and Ewald are pleased with their first on-camera appearance.
“That was our first ever time on camera and we had to do it with [Alan Titchmarsh] so it was quite fun.”
Love your Home and Garden is on ITV tonight, Wednesday 6 September, at 8pm. To find out more about the show, visit the website here.