A Tufnell Park homeowner who had to sleep in his shed after a flash-flood destroyed his flat now has a “bigger, brighter and drier” home.

Christoph Halstenberg, who bought his basement flat during the pandemic, said that even though it was “quite run down” he fell in love with its garden straight away.

He hoped that he could eventually extend his home despite the lengthy planning process.

But in late-summer 2021, flash-flooding left the flat “smelly” and with warping floorboards.

Christoph said: “It was one of those late summer afternoons when all of a sudden there was a thunderstorm that was pouring down.

“A few hours later in the evening I noticed that the floorboards made a strange squishy noise.

“There was water everywhere. I looked under the bed and there was a massive two by two metre puddle.”

After spending the night in his garden shed, he moved out the next day.

But with disaster came opportunity – after meeting the director of architecture studio Polysmiths, Charles Wu, through a mutual friend, Christoph decided to completely renovate his flat.

Using innovative techniques, the architect introduced more daylight to the interior, made the home more resistant to flooding and maximised the garden space.

Times Series: The designs were produced by architecture studio Polysmiths

Methods included using limewash throughout the home to ensure the walls were waterproof but breathable, and laying channel drains around a new extension to the home.

Christoph, who moved back into the flat this summer with his partner, told Ham and High that as a keen gardener he is particularly pleased with the way the outside space has been maximised.

He said: “Charles had the idea to not have a patio outside the extension and to bring the garden all the way into the windows. I loved that from the very first moment.

“Even in winter now I can sit in my living room, and it feels like I’m almost outside because I can see the garden right outside the windows.”

Times Series: The designs were produced by architecture studio Polysmiths

The work has ensured that Christoph can enjoy the indoor and outside spaces of his flat, without fearing that flash-flooding will strike again.

He said: “The place is really amazing, it’s bigger, it’s brighter – it’s dry. It’s a nice home now.”