Awards Project News

Winner in Marvin Architects Challenge

Both Simon Janes of Janes Architectural and the project’s original design architect, Hugh Petter of Adam Architecture, have been announced as winners in the 2013 Marvin Architect’s Challenge for Batts Hall, Warwickshire.

Batts Hall, Warwickshire

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Rear terrace
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batts hall

The Project

An award winning ‘Super Prime’ Country House with extensive leisure facilities and ancillary accommodation extending to around 19,000 ft2.

The Challenge

Janes Architectural were approached with regard to taking on the detailed design and assisting with the project management for a substantial new build country house located on a green belt site in Warwickshire. Planning consent for the property had been previously obtained by renowned classical architectural practice, ADAM Architecture, who had secured consent for a significant property based around a ‘butterfly’ format with an adjoining leisure wing and Annex.

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The client had a detailed brief with regard to the materials and building systems to be employed as well as the sustainability and energy efficiency of the building, with the long term intention of the property being able to operate ‘off grid’. With the building form and layout already set out and hand drawn plans available, Janes Architectural was required to liaise with the consultants already identified for the project and to source and introduce new consultants and specialist sub contractors, combining all information in order to produce the detailed design and specification which also involved several amendments and many refinements to the initial scheme. The building was to incorporate the following features and systems;

The Solution

Janes Architectural worked closely with the client, who wished to play an active role in the design and procurement team throughout the project. We assisted with assembling the team and the various specialist sub contractors having design input into the scheme. Detailed drawings, specifications and schedules were prepared for all aspects of the project from the superstructure and steel frame to the cinema room and wine cellar. We were responsible for the selection and detailed design of external and internal materials, all architectural features and lighting, with interior designers concluding with wall coverings and soft furnishings.The detailed design process and build programme proved to be particularly challenging in many ways with numerous technical and design issues to overcome. The challenges were met, managed and effective solutions accomplished to ensure that both technically and with regard to the finish and quality the new home superseded expectations.


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    Basement with reinforced concrete slab and ICF (insulated concrete formwork) walls using waterproof concrete.
  • Precast concrete plank floor structure.
  • Steel framed structure to leisure wing.
  • SIP’s (structural insulated panel) roof structure throughout.
  • Walls clad in natural stone and facing brickwork.
  • Roofs clad in clay and slate tiles, lead and single ply membranes.

Interior / accommodation / features

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  • ‘Wet-room’ bathrooms with natural stone & marble finishes.
  • Extensive limestone flooring.
  • Three storey self-supporting limestone helical staircase with stainless steel balusters and oak handrail, enclosed limestone stone spiral staircase and feature oak main staircase.
  • Frameless structural curved glass balustrade, doors and screens.
  • Bespoke designed joinery and fittings throughout.
  • Enclosed platform passenger lift.
  • Basement Wine Cellar, cinema room, games room, snooker room & playroom.
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    Relaxation / Gym area, underground squash court.
  • Swimming pool with extensive stone finishes, barrel vault ceiling, sauna and steam room.
  • Comprehensive plant rooms, linked by an underground passage.
  • Coffered and barrel vault ceilings with concealed LED strip lighting.
  • Extensive and fully fitted garage accommodation.
  • Separate self contained two bedroom annex.
  • Groundkeeper’s out buildings and stores.
  • Tennis Court.

Building Services

  • Space heating by ground source heat pump with under-floor heating.
  • Hot water heating by combined Solar thermal and ground source heat pump.
  • Mechanical heat-recovery ventilation throughout the property.
  • Air Source Swimming pool plant.
  • 50 kW photo-voltaic Solar array.
  • Rainwater harvesting system.
  • On site waste water treatment.
  • Back up generator.
  • ‘Lutron’ lighting control system.
  • Integrated Audio Visual system.
  • Advanced security and fire alarm system.

Batts Hall under construction

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Award Winning


Batts Hall selected as a Winner in the Marvin Architects Challenge.

Rectory House Apartments, Sutton Coldfield

Rectory Road

The Project

Demolition of a 1960’s house on a large corner plot, and construction of two buildings housing a total of ten apartments.

Rectory House Apartments, Rectory & St Martins Road, Sutton Coldfield.

Janes Architectural were approached by the client explore the possibility of taking down a single property and replacing with apartments as a business venture. Original ideas were scaled down and following an elongated process of several planning applications and appeals, consent was obtained for ten apartments in two blocks designed to be in scale and proportion with the surrounding housing.

Oakland House Apartments, Four Oaks

Oakland House Apartments, Four Oaks

The Project

Demolition of a heavily extended and modified property previously used as a residential care home for the elderly, and replacement with a single three storey apartment block containing seventeen units.

Oakland House Apartments, Lichfield Road, Four Oaks.

The Challenge

213 interior lobby- 7Janes Architectural were approached by an entrepreneurial client to explore the possibility of taking down the current building and replacing it with a single apartment block to house single aspect units facing both to the rear and the front. To achieve the requirements of the brief there was potential for the building to be large in scale and voluminous, so careful attention was required to ensure it could both house the units required, fit in with the street scene, and of course be a desirable place to live.

The Solution

Due to the size of the property to be demolished, which was significantly larger than the surrounding properties, and the mixed development along that particular stretch of road, we were able to negotiate designs for a single three storey apartment block with two story elements to each end where it met with the adjacent detached housing. The majority of the parking was agreed to be at the rear and was accessed via a covered drive with accommodation above so as to maximise the potential volume and number of units within the building.

213 interior atrium - 6Due to the relatively high density of units within the block we wanted to create a light and airy space within the circulation spaces. This was achieved with a full height central atrium with glazed roof, which doubled up as the stair core to access to upper levels.

The completed design was sold on to Barratt homes who saw the project through to completion and achieved a quick sale on all units.

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Hartopp Road, Four Oaks Park

Hartopp Road, Four Oaks Park

The Project

Demolition of a bungalow and construction of new house, having internal spaces of around 4000 ft2.

Hartopp road, Four Oaks Park.

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The Garth, Little Aston Park

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The Project

Demolition of a 1960’s house and construction of a Georgian style home with detached coach house, having internal spaces of around 6200 ft2.

The Garth, Little Aston Park conservation area.

The Challenge

248 progress - 3Janes Architectural were approached by the client who wished to take down his existing house, which had become tired and dated having given good service bringing up the children, who in turn had since matured and fled the nest. The intention was to build a larger property in a Georgian style with plenty of space for the family to return and stay along with their own children when they arrived!

The site was secluded, set behind other properties along the road and accessed by a long and wooded driveway. Although large, due to the orientation of the plot there were constraints to consider with regard to proximity to other properties and the many mature trees on and around the site.

The Solution

We pursued the client’s Georgian dream, starting off with a scheme against our advice that was a little too large for the site. This was duly refused and consent granted second time round for a similar design reduced in size with a little help from a firm of Planning Consultants.

248 interior hall - 1The revised design still incorporated all the rooms and features that the client had requested within a perfectly proportioned Georgian exterior. One of the main internal statements being a central helical staircase with a circular galleried landing with sitting area and balcony at first floor level.

The accommodation features a large kitchen, breakfast and sitting area, four further reception rooms with a well proportioned impressive drawing room, and snug lounge doubling up as a cinema room. The first floor houses five en suite bedrooms with a large studio / games room having its own bathroom in the attic. The coach house has parking for three cars together with a garden WC and store room with and internal staircase leading to a further studio / home office above.

248 exterior rear - 6Particular attention was given to the external materials and detailing to ensure that the appearance was true to the symmetry, regularity and proportions of the Ancient Roman derived ideals of the Georgian period.

In a very unfortunate set of circumstances the original client was unexpectedly taken ill during the construction and never fully realised his dream. The incomplete house remained vacant and was eventually sold to a new owner who made a great job of completing the property as intended and to a very high standard, the house is now being enjoyed by himself and his own family!

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Hartopp Court, Four Oaks Park

Hartopp Court, Four Oaks Park

The Project

Demolition of an original house which had been subject to prior conversion into a residential home for the elderly, and the construction of two new luxury homes for re-sale.

Hartopp Court, Four Oaks Park conservation area.

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Roman Way, Little Aston Park

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The Project:

Demolition of a derelict house and construction of new family home with leisure facilities having internal spaces of around 10,700 ft2.

‘Roman Way’, Little Aston Park conservation area.

The Challenge

320 Existing House - FrontThe original property was long and narrow in shape and was located on a corner plot within an established Conservation Area. The property had been seriously damaged by fire under previous ownership.

The brief was to deliver a substantial family residence with generous room sizes and incorporating Leisure facilities with the design based around the style and principles of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

The Solution

Due to the square shape of the corner plot and ample proportions the site was suitable for a multi aspect property, which would make the best use of outlook and the light available from a heavily wooded and shaded site.

320 perspectiveA ‘butterfly’ format was used to define the shape of the property, this was set at 45° within the square site, enabling the rear elevation to face the south corner which also maximised the apparent depth of the plot. The form also incorporated two further wings to the front and rear, providing elevations facing in eight differing directions. The leisure facilities and garaging were then located in an interconnecting enclosure adjoining the North East wing.

‘Butterfly’ format buildings create a challenge with the layout of interior spaces due to internal walls converging at 45° to a possible point. The solution adopted was to have a central cylindrical stair core housing an inner helical staircase from ground to first floor and then a further helical stair wrapping around the back of the inner one to access the accommodation on the second floor. The result was a dramatic hall and landing open to the full height of the building.

320 progress - 46The internal accommodation features a large central kitchen, breakfast and sitting area, 3 further spacious principle reception rooms, a gym / relaxation area with vaulted ceiling, a split level dedicated cinema room, and garaging for 3 vehicles with studio above. The upper floors house five bedrooms and dressing rooms and En suite bathrooms with two bedrooms having enclosed balconies accessed by sliding folding doors and also a self contained living space and kitchen on the second floor.

A principal feature of many original properties built during the Arts & Crafts era were the dominant chimney structures, these being considered an indication of wealth and affluence. The property has a symmetrical front elevation featuring two striking chimney stacks opposing each other on the wings to either side of the main entrance, essentially framing it and giving the property a commanding appearance from the front, were as the rear has a considerably softer appearance.

The overall result was a building of great character both internally and externally.

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Charnwood House, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Demolition of a 1960’s house and construction of a substantial new five bedroom family residence with indoor swimming pool having internal spaces of around 7,500 ft2.

Charnwood House, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

294 existing front - 6The client’s originally lived in separate properties adjacent to the plot. When their neighbour decided to sell up, they joined forces and took the opportunity to purchase the property with the intent to build a new home for them selves!

Janes Architectural were instructed to come up with a design solution more in keeping with the traditional property styles on the private estate but with interior spaces set out in a modern way with the kitchen being the hub of the home.


The Solution

294 completed rear - 51Inspiration was taken from the houses of renowned architect of the Arts & Crafts movement, Sir Edwin Lutyens, and with the exterior of the property in particular, every effort was taken to ensure the materials and detailing were true to the period. Internally specifications were more up to date with precast concrete floors, under-floor heating integrated audio, lighting and security systems etc.

The site had the benefit of a southerly facing rear aspect, the internal spaces were set out to maximise the benefit of this orientation with a raised terrace across the rear of the property connecting the principle rooms and the pool hall. This provided daylong sunlight (when available), and a wonderful relaxing and entertaining space overlooking the grounds.

294 completed pool - 18Internal accommodation comprises a large kitchen / breakfast / lounge area with fireplace, doors to the rear terrace and an internal corner window overlooking the swimming pool. There are three further, well proportioned, reception rooms all with feature oak bay windows and stone fireplaces. Along the North East boundary is the garaging, utility, plant and changing rooms for the swimming pool and spa, which in turn extends out into the rear garden. The pool hall has sliding folding doors with flush access to the terrace and a tall bay window providing seating space and overlooking the garden.

294 completed stair - 28A central oak staircase with mid landing and views over the rear grounds leads to five bedrooms, four having En suite facilities and a family bathroom, which also serves the second floor accommodation. On the second floor there is a large attic room with fireplace ideal for a playroom, teenagers lounge / games room or a further bedroom suite.

Clients View

“Having known Simon for may years and of his excellent reputation there was no contest for the works with other local architects. Simon listened to what we wanted from our new home, and his ideas were up to date and inspirational. The attention to detail was second to none and thanks to Janes Architectural we now live in an amazing home admired by many.”

– Verity Petty & David Hill

civic society awardDesign Award

To the delight of the clients, the house was joint winner of the Sutton Coldfield Civic Society Design Awards 2008 along with ‘Luttrell House’ also designed and delivered by Janes Architectural. The property set a trend for further ‘High End’ bespoke self-build development on the estate.


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Luttrell House, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Demolition of a dormer bungalow with detached garage and construction of a substantial new seven bedroom family residence with swimming pool having internal spaces of around 9,400 ft2.

Luttrell House, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

302 existing front - 9Having previously constructed a more modest property on the same estate also designed by Janes Architectural, the client was keen to build a larger property to a higher specification and in more ample grounds. An established plot was secured which housed a dormer bungalow built in the 1970’s, although of good order there was plenty of room for improvement and to provide a property more becoming of the site and its location.

The brief was to deliver a substantial family residence with generous room sizes and incorporating an indoor swimming pool with associated facilities, with the design based around the style and principles of the Arts & Crafts Movement so as to be in-keeping with the style of properties historically constructed on the estate.

The Solution

302 exterior rear - 02An asymmetric design was adopted with principle rooms set out to make the best use of outlook and natural light as well as position in relation to each other. In order to maximise the benefit from the South West side of the plot, the ground floor spaces were set out around a triangular foot print with the ‘long edge’ facing North East side boundary and the ‘point’ towards the South West. Introducing multiple steps into the façade enabled rooms to have South West side facing windows as well as those facing to the rear and front to make best use of natural light throughout the day.

302 interior pool - 3In order to provide connectivity with the garden and to maximise sunlight into the space the swimming pool enclosure was located in a wing extending rearwards into the rear garden. Internal spaces were organised so that this did not compromise or restrict light into and outlook from adjacent rooms, the adjoining drawing room having windows both overlooking the grounds and into the pool hall.

High quality materials were used for the external envelope, handmade bricks and roof tiles, natural stone, European oak doors and window sub frames with bronze casement windows along with extensive use of tie creasing details to complete the Arts & Crafts appearance.

302 exterior rear - 01Internally the accommodation features a large Kitchen & Breakfast area, four further reception rooms and grand central hall with a majestic oak staircase and full galleried landing with reading area, a contemporary shaped swimming pool with spa pool, sauna and changing facilities. On the upper floors there are seven bedrooms, five having en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms and the master suite with a balcony. For the motor enthusiast there is a four car garage with workspace, and a gymnasium / studio above.

BBC Filming location

In 2011 Luttrell house was found by a film location scout and subsequently chosen by the director of the BBC’s popular crime drama series ‘Line of Duty’ as a filming location. Various scenes for the series were filmed in and around the property. Watch the YouTube video clip of episode 2 to see more of the house and some of the action!

Design Award

civic society award

To the delight of the client, the property was joint winner of the Sutton Coldfield Civic Society Design Awards 2008 along with ‘Charnwood House’ also designed and delivered by Janes Architectural.

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