Our client wished to live close to the city centre and create an innovative family home in the Edgbaston conservation area that responded to its context and could act as an escape from city life whilst showcasing the potential of contemporary design, and the lifestyle that it could offer.
Innovation is embedded within the design of the new house and the lifestyle it has enabled the client to lead. A careful understanding of the young families needs and the way they live has allowed us to create spaces that are simultaneously open plan and private, balancing the clients desire to create views through and out of the house, connecting it with the surrounding mature landscape whilst allowing the creation of smaller private spaces that provide opportunity for relaxation.
Careful consideration has been given to the progression from public to private space, with the building positioned on the site to create clearly defensible space and allow the existing mature trees to screen views into the house. Natural light is allowed to flood into the centre of the building through the double height entrance hall that acts as an ordering volume allowing flexible, unrestricted use of the living area and providing a visual and physical link between the ground and first floors.
The flexibility and quality of the living spaces created will allow the house to accommodate the family over the years as they grow, responding to their needs as their lifestyles change and enabling the building to be as appropriate to them in the future as it is now, whilst responding to the challenges of the city.
The methods of construction were chosen for its inherent quality, simplicity and robustness of detailing to ensure that the finished house was of a high standard. Externally insulated recycled blockwork construction was selected as it was both easy to construct and provided a high level of thermal mass within the house, helping to retain heat in winter and even out the peak temperatures in summer. Large areas of glazing have allowed natural daylight to flood the internal spaces, reducing the reliance on electrical lighting and further reducing the running costs. Materials were chosen for their sustainable, aesthetic and durable properties.