Conygar, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Conversion of outbuildings forming part of a Grade II listed house into habitable accommodation.

‘Conygar’ Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

316 existing front‘Conygar’ is one of the original houses constructed on the Four Oaks Estate and was designed in 1907 by renowned architects of the time Crouch & Butler, It was recently given listed status in recognition of the Arts & Crafts design of the property and grounds.


316 Survey - 13The property has extensive outbuildings including a yard with glazed roof leading to a building containing various store rooms and a coach house, there had also been a 1960’s ‘snooker room’ extension to the side of the property and adjoining the glazed yard which was not in-keeping with the original design.

The new owner of the property having bought the main house interior up to date, wished to make use of the outbuildings which he had little use for, and to convert them into new habitable accommodation, including a large kitchen space to replace the original kitchen, which by modern standards was quite small.

The Solution

316 exterior - 4Carrying out works on Listed buildings can be onerous and restrictive with regards to what can and cannot be done, Janes Architectural involved the Authorities Conservation / Listed Buildings Officer from an early stage to establish what would be both possible and acceptable with regard to the proposed works.

We agreed for the internal walls of the store building to be removed, and the ‘infill’ glazed structure over the yard to be replaced with a contemporary aluminium framed glazed structure so as to show itself as a ‘new addition’ to the building. With regard to the 1960’s extension we agreed to alter it to make it more sympathetic to the original house with a ‘rough cast’ rendered finish, windows of the same style and proportion, and the addition of an octagonal glazed roof-light to the existing flat roof to provide more natural light into the space.

316 interior - 2With regard to the new spaces, the old snooker room became a hi-tech cinema room, the glazed yard became a wonderful new kitchen with doors out to the grounds, and the outbuildings became a new casual dining and lounge area open to the kitchen, making a large family space that the original house lacked. The original kitchen was retained as a utility / servery for the original dining room.

In summary the outbuildings and old extension were successfully converted into modern light and spacious open plan living accommodation without adversely affecting the integrity and appearance of the original house.

Clients View

316 exterior - 1“We enjoyed working with Janes Architectural on this project. We recognised that we were undertaking a major challenge to convert the existing space into a modern habitual space but most importantly keeping in character with the existing house. Simon worked closely with us to come up with a design that would meet our needs but would also be considered sympathetically by the Council. We are delighted that Simon helped us achieve that.

We now have a living space that compliments our existing house in a seamless way and that offers us a first class modern living space in keeping with the rest of the house. Simon was very professional throughout the project in his dealings with us. We would have no hesitation in recommending Janes Architectural to others looking to undertake similar projects.”

– Mr & Mrs P Singh

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Briarwood Manor, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Alterations and extensions to an impressive Arts & Crafts house original built in the early 1900’s located within the Four Oaks Park conservation area.

Briarwood Manor, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

289 survey - 6The client had recently acquired the property, which in areas had been subject to prior extension and alteration works that were not in keeping with the quality of the original house, and were also looking dated and tired. The kitchen in particular had been in-filled with reclaimed brickwork and a lowered ceiling to make a ‘cottage style’ affair that was rather dark and pokey. To the side of the kitchen was a garage and behind that a dilapidated part timber built extension housing various store rooms and a small utility. The house being set in expansive and well laid out grounds was also lacking connectivity with the garden particularly from the kitchen area.

289 progress drive - 11In addition at some time in the past a portion of the plot, which also contained the impressive stone vehicular entrance serving the original house had been sold off for development, and the house was currently accessed from the side via a road serving other properties and not from its own road frontage.

The Solution

289 as built orangery - 1Following a detailed survey, a scheme was produced to remove the old kitchen and expose the original walls and ceiling along with further structural alteration to maximise the available space. To provide improved views over the rear gardens and better access to it, a large octagonal ended Orangery was designed featuring a main sitting area and an adjoining TV room with work-space and storage. Along with this the old timber framed extension was taken down and replaced with a new utility, boiler house and garden toilet. Access was also provided to the garage roof space which was converted into a playroom / cinema room.

289 progress drive - 12With regard to the new vehicular access we secured consent to enlarge an original pedestrian gated access and designed a new gated sweeping driveway leading to a circular turning and parking area centred on the front door complete with central ‘Eaton’ style fountain. This also linked to the current side access that was retained as a service access point. As part of these works the rather overgrown frontage was re landscaped and set out with new planting and lighting to create a more fitting entrance and approach to this fine house.

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Culross House, Four Oaks Park

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The Project:

Alterations and extensions to an impressive Arts & Crafts house original built in the early 1900’s.

Culross House, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

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To the North side of the existing house there was a small double garage only really suitable for one vehicle with a workshop behind and a small courtyard to the front, the garage was separated from the main house by a further small courtyard. The client wished to create garaging for up to four vehicles, provide a snooker room and also a self-contained annex. The extension was to blend seamlessly with the existing house and the raised terrace to the rear of the property.


The Solution

299 exterior rear - 3A scheme was produced to take down the existing garage and workshop and to build a new four-car garage (2 wide x 2 deep) along the same line but extending forward using the old courtyard space. To the rear of the garage we located a lobby and staircase providing access to a self-contained annex within the roof void, and behind that a large orangery to house the snooker table and with elevated views over the grounds. In order to connect the new accommodation with the house, the internal yard was covered with a glazed roof and wall so as not to inhibit natural light into the existing window openings, and a new ‘trades’ entrance formed where the old boiler house had been located.


299 exterior deck - 4Externally there were significant works to form a stepped terrace with the lower section housing a sunken spa pool, the walls were formed in concrete block-work and then clad in a reproduction dry stone walling solution to provide a near match the original walling to the rear of the property, and terrace clad in reclaimed york stone flags.

Roof tiles and bricks from the demolished buildings were salvaged and re used on the principle exposed elevations, with further bricks being made to match the originals. The works were carefully designed and detailed so as to provide the required seamless integration with the original property.

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Knowles Drive, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Major alterations and extensions to an existing detached Georgian Styled house including a fresh new appearance.

Knowles Drive, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

The clients decided that they would extend and refurbish their existing 1970’s Neo Georgian style property that was starting to look externally dated and tired.

The existing property was typical of the era with a very low pitch concrete tiled roof, single glazed windows with fixed shutters, and fibreglass imitation columns. Having previously been extended and altered the accommodation comprised a kitchen diner with narrow conservatory, drawing room, family room, utility and small double garage. With four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor in the original format.

With some of the rooms already having been fitted out to a high standard the brief was to incorporate these areas into the new extended design rather than have to fully re-fit all areas. Externally the property was to be kept in its current style but given a refreshed look more true to the Georgian ideals and using high quality materials.

The Solution

301 exterior - 4The old narrow conservatory was replaced with a spacious orangery to provide a garden room living space within the combined kitchen / dining area, the garage and utility were re-built to a larger size also providing a structure to build an extended first floor upon. The old internal staircase was taken out the hall and landing enlarged to accept a new feature curved mahogany staircase leading to an open porch area and a large galleried landing with reading area above. At first floor level a new master suite with dressing area and en suite bathroom was built over the garage and utility, and the remaining bedrooms were altered to suit the new layout with a further en suite bathroom provided.

To the exterior the low pitched roof was removed and replaced with a higher pitched roof clad in hand finished clay tiles, the wide a shallow windows were replaced with tall and narrow high specification sash windows with a narrow glazing bar more in-keeping with Georgian proportions. To provide detail, stone quoins were added to the external corners with stone sills and heads to the window openings along with part re rendering to bring the new and original parts together and complete the look.

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Bracebridge Road, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Major alterations and extensions to an existing detached bungalow involving near complete demolition.

Bracebridge Road, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

259 exg front - 1The clients acquired the bungalow with the intention of carrying out its extension and modernisation, the property being sited on a pleasant plot with an attractive mature south-facing garden. The existing property was of simplistic design with three bedrooms, two bathrooms a lounge / dining room, small kitchen, study, utility and a large hardwood conservatory. The existing footprint was already to the full available site width and sited quite close to the front boundary with no scope extending forward.

259 progress - 1The brief was to utilise the whole of the ground floor for the garage kitchen and reception rooms and to house four decent sized bedrooms with three bathrooms within new space to be created at first floor level. The conservatory was to be retained and refurbished as it was of sound construction. The simple rendered appearance with neo Georgian windows and a concrete tiled low pitched roof was to be replaced with that of an early 1900’s Arts & Crafts cottage with traditional hand made materials and detailing.

To top it off the clients had taken the whole project on as a self managed self-build project!

The Solution

259 interior stairs - 11A scheme was produced to re work the ground floor accommodation to provide a new breakfast kitchen area opening up to the conservatory via sliding folding doors, the existing living room was retained but with new minster style open fireplace and chimney also providing an open fire for a log burner within the kitchen. The three bedrooms were knocked out and the space utilised for a dining room, cloakroom, drawing room and larger open hall to house a new helical oak staircase to access the first floor accommodation.

The existing low pitched trussed roof was removed and replaced with a traditional cut timber roof to a higher pitch with a new gable to the front and rear facing dormer windows to create further bedroom space. Four characterful bedrooms were sited within the new roof along with 3 bathrooms and an impressive galleried landing.

259 exterior detail - 22Externally the Arts & Crafts look was achieved with a mix on hand made clay roof tiles, tile hung gables, a painted rough cast rendered wall covering with contrasting red sandstone detailing, oak doors and window sub frames with steel casement windows.

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The front elevation features a two-storey oak framed bay window supporting an over-sailing gable roof, and to the opposing rear gable there is a wide cantilevered bay on gallows brackets.

As can be seen from the photos, during the early stages of the build once the roof had been removed and the internal walls which were no longer required, the conservatory was one of the few elements of the structure left standing. A ‘what have I done’ moment for the client! As the property was re assembled worries were allayed and with careful selection of materials and attention to detail the new home came together wonderfully.

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Hartopp Road, Four Oaks Park

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The Project

Extension, internal re-modeling and external face-lift of an existing 1960’s detached house.

Hartopp Road, Four Oaks Park Conservation Area.

The Challenge

312 Exg front - 3The clients acquired the property with the intention of carrying out its extension and modernisation. The house had limited, dated and compromised accommodation comprising four bedrooms, one having en suite and a separate bathroom and WC. On the ground floor the drawing and dining rooms were of good proportion, but the kitchen was small with many adjoining cupboards and store rooms taking up potentially useful space. There was also a prior two storey extension to the side to create a small study with the en suite bathroom above.

312 interior kitchen 0006The brief was to create a large family kitchen adjoining both the dining room and a new utility room, enlarge the study to make home office space for two. Provide five bedrooms on the first floor, three with en suite bathrooms, a separate family bathroom and a games / cinema room in the loft. In addition the dated and plain 1960’s appearance was to be replaced with an early 1900’s traditional look with new windows and external materials throughout.

The Solution

312 interior orangery 0009A scheme was produced comprising small extensions to each side and to the front gable, a new orangery garden room to provide light and airy living space adjoining the kitchen and overlooking the garden, also the reworking of the roof structure to enhance the appearance and to create the additional loft space required.

Externally the new roof was re clad in plain clay tiles with new soffit and fascia, the majority of the residual existing brickwork was clad in traditional rough cast render, a new brick was used for the front and rear extensions to provide contrast, and new white painted timber framed windows were specified with brick and tile detailing to the openings. The replacement front gable was given a ‘statement’ brickwork splayed bay window at first floor level supported by stone columns to either side of the new recessed front door. The driveway and rear terrace was also re planned to provide additional turning / parking space and better connection of the house with the rear grounds.

312 exterior rear 0003The internal accommodation was extensively re worked in layout to provide all of the required accommodation and the property was completely re-wired, plumbed, plastered, fitted out and finished to provide a completely ‘New Home’ feel.

The clients were delighted with the result and increase in value added to the property!

Clients View

“In 2004 we purchased 35 Hartopp Road. It was a house that was in need of a drastic overhaul. We were keen to get an architect who had flair, a sense of creativity, and the ability to translate our ideas and concepts into something that looked stunning both inside and outside, in short, a unique and personalised property.

312 interior stairs 0005Trudy Yates of Trudy Interior Design recommended Simon to us as a result of her work, which took her into a number of his creations both on the Four Oaks Estate and Little Aston Park. We had to wait a couple of years due to the high demands for Simon’s service but it was well worth the wait.

Simon’s personal attention to detail was first class and his ability to put us at the heart of the process and guide us positively and confidently through each stage, made us feel that we were part of a real partnership.

The final product was a stunning, bespoke, elegant and stylishly home with an arts and craft feel to it. We are thrilled with the outcome and the additional value that has been added to what was a sad dilapidated property.

We can recommend Simon’s work without reservation. He is a first rate architect who relishes the challenge of interpreting a client’s brief and requirements and creating something which will be memorable and special for them.”

– Ken & Lorna Morris

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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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