The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a range of challenges to a range of professions. In London’s Notting Hill, the talented team at Adams+Collingwood Architects managed to work within the constantly shifting framework of COVID safety advice to deliver an outstanding renovation project on time and in budget, just in time for the owners to repatriate from Cyprus.

The Notting Hill renovation saw Adams+Collingwood work within the property’s existing footprint in order to convert it from a 1,600 sq ft residence to one of 1,800 sq ft. By carefully juggling the provisional sums, the team managed to keep the job to the contract budget, and not a penny more, despite the unique challenges that the pandemic posed.

“We’re used to working to tight deadlines and budgets, but having a nationwide lockdown thrown into the mix mid-project really tested our creativity. To delay wasn’t an option, as the owners had their move back from Cyprus planned, so we had to work resourcefully within the limits of the restrictions that were in place.”

Tamsin Bryant, Adams+Collingwood Architects


Adams+Collingwood redesigned the upper elements of the building to allow for a 15% increase in its useable net internal area. That meant rearranging the staircase and replacing the roof with a steeper mansard.  Doing so meant gaining full height over the majority of the second floor creating enough space for two generous double bedrooms, an en-suite and a family bathroom.

The new fold in the roof opened up the previously eaves-constrained top floor, while reconfiguring the stairs delivered enough space for an extra two metres in the living room and an en-suite for the first-floor bedroom.   COVID considerations applied to everything from materials to working patterns. All meetings with the clients were held via video call, as were site meetings to discuss project progress and developments.  To comply with social distancing requirements, the contractor introduced a rota for his team, so that they could work in shifts.

One of the main issues was the joinery, all of which was due to be made by an Italian company. When that company closed its doors for the Italian lockdown, Adams+Collingwood had to urgently tweak the design. Their changes allowed for a London-based carpenter to come on board instead, building the joinery on site in order to avoid any delays related to ordering and importing items from overseas.

“There was definitely an element of having to adjust as we went along – more so than you would usually expect from a project of this nature.  “But we didn’t let that daunt us – the focus throughout was on delivering the additional space that they needed without compromising either timescales or budget. Ultimately, it was a very efficient project, despite the COVID-related challenges.”

 Tamsin Bryant, Adams+Collingwood Architects




Through a combination of hard work, ingenuity and a proactive approach, Adams+Collingwood were delighted to be able to welcome the owners back to their new home on schedule in June 2020. The couple had originally bought the property in June 2019, meaning that the whole process of renovating and adding a new roof – including pre-app, planning, party wall agreements and construction – was completed in a single year.


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