Here is a little update on my Suffolk barn clients…
I have tried to capture a quick snapshot of all the hard work which has taken place over the last 4 weeks.
They had their Oakwrights frame delivered 4 weeks ago and are now in the closing stages of having this fully erected and thermally wrapped using the amazing Wrightwall Natural system…. in effect, a near watertight shell! Amazing to have such a large part of the build up and done in the space of a month.
You may remember this is the project we spent 7 years getting planning for so to say the clients are enjoying the speed of everything now is an understatement! And they managed to get rented accommodation right next to the plot which is perfect for day to day management.
concrete pump lorry
perimeter brickwork and sleeper walls going in ready for block and beam floor
block and beam floor
block and beam floor
final grouting done… we have a slab!
The Oakwrights frame and floor joists arrive
Oak frame going up
central frame going in
now we’re talking… proper way to build a house!
Topping out of the frame.. smiley clients and proud carpenters 🙂
frame ‘topped out’
now look… everyone is smiley 🙂
The main frame is really taking shape now and cart-lodge is up
Wright-Wall Natural encapsulation panels being craned into place
Check out the ‘wrapped’ building already. The horizontal battens provide fixing for plasterboard and also create a service void for electrics/plumbing
View looking down into hallway on left and ground floor vaulted master bedroom and en-suite to the right. Bedroom will be amazing!
Posi-joists installed. Note the web design allows easy routing of pipes and wires throughout
Encaspulation panels flying into place
arty night shot…
Hope you enjoyed the journey so far… lots more to come over the coming weeks.
I have been approached by our good friends at True North to see if I have any clients past, present or future who would like to be involved with series 3 which is currently in the planning stage.
The current series 2 started a couple of weeks ago and is hosted by the thoroughly decent Charlie Luxton.
A project i designed in Hertfordshire was the first programme of series 1 and i also have some clients down in Surrey who are being filmed at the moment.
If you would like to be featured pleased do let me know and i will have a chat with True North and make the necessary introductions. If you would like a completed project featured as the inspiration house, this would typically be fully completed, landscaped etc. If you would like your whole build project to be featured then i can make the necessary introductions at the very earliest stage possible even if you have only just secured your plot. From speaking to my other clients who have been featured, they did say its a great catalog and memento of their probably once in a lifetime project.
We had a great end to the week last week when this scheme was approved!
This was once again a very ambitious proposal and ‘word on the street’ according to various local sources was that we didn’t stand a chance. Well, you know me by now…. if i hear something like that i am definitely gonna give it a crack and prove them wrong….
I met these clients only at the end of last year so the process has been pretty swift to be fair. The site itself is elevated facing the village green of a sleepy Buckinghamshire village, it has a Grade II listed house directly opposite and is within the Aylesbury Vale District Council Conservation Area. Now, AVDC do have a reputation for being pretty tough but i think this is a little unfair in my opinion. What i think they do have is high standards when it comes to the design and integration of new dwellings into established environments. Something they would expect even more so within a Conservation Area.
We did a good pre-application process with AVDC and worked closely with the planning officer and conservation officer and between us, we collectively shaped the scheme to ensure the clients are happy with with it as well as the council. We had a few concerns from neighbours and also the parish council, but again, with good communication flowing between everyone and the design decisions being made here, we got it spot on for everyone.
What we did ultimately achieve with this project is a two storey dwelling as a replacement to a bungalow which most people considered impossible, especially in such a sensitive location. How we got it is down to a number of reasons but one of the key factors was the the fact that both the planning officer and conservation got what we were doing and what i stand for as a house designer. They concluded within their reports that the removal of the existing bungalow and the construction of this new dwelling would present an opportunity to enhance the conservation area.
This is the existing dwelling on the site.
And this is the replacement dwelling all approved and ready to go…!
Massive congratulations to our lovely clients,.. i know they are going to be very happy in their new family home.
What an absolutely fantastic way to finish the week off! We have just secured planning permission for more clients in Suffolk and this one is a real beaut!!
Its a contemporary spin on a classic render and timbered Suffolk barn for a replacement dwelling which sits facing a village green.
The job had its moments and we had to overcome the newts that ‘may or may not have been there’ in the various ponds and moat that surround the site and either way, we have designed the scheme with our ‘newt lover’ hat on so the little critters will be fine..
Happy days though… the clients are over the moon and quite rightly so…
This is the existing dwelling which will shortly be introduced to ‘Mr JCB’ 🙂
This is the site layout showing the existing dwelling in red and the approved replacement in blue
And the approved scheme design….
So,.. I had to squeeze a little job in today for some clients we met up at the recent Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC.
They have recently secured planning permission for a new build in Essex. Nothing to do with me up until I met them at the show with Tim Crump and Dave Grey of Oakwrights.
Whilst the clients had got planning, they were not sure about the design and felt that something was missing. We had a good chat about things at the show and i directed them to various areas which needed adjustment or further exploration was needed as to find exactly what was missing.
THE APPROVED FRONT ELEVATION
THE APPROVED REAR ELEVATION
MY PROPOSED REWORK OF THE REAR ELEVATION
I have basically kept the profile and shape of the building as is approved so as to avoid the need to go back to planning but have then referenced some of the local Essex vernacular. The result, in my opinion, is so much better and and has a really cool Essex country house feel to it…. I love it anyway,… lets see what my clients say later.
So i got reminiscing about my 30 years in this industry the other day with my parents and as always, i could rely on my old mum to say “i have got some photos, wait a minute”.. so off she goes and comes back first of all with this beauty!
Now, this picture i think would have been from around 1984-85 and finds me in the Potton drawing office as a fresh faced skinny thing with an equally skinny tie (probably leather but not the piano one!… Google these if you dont know what i mean) It really did make me realise that i have probably sat at a drawing board nearly every day ever since which is a lot of days and a lot of drawings… and yes, the haircut is very 80s’ hence the “mullet alert” but trust me, it was the fashion back then 🙂
This second picture transports us forwards into the early 90’s and everything has gone all sci-fi and the magazine piece talks about the brave new dawn of design and computers. Yes, that is me. I have gone all corporate and that fresh faced kid from the mid 80’s is still in there somewhere but the hair is sharp and the shirt even sharper…! Check out the retro 2 screen set up, monster tablet and keyboard. If you look in between the two monitors, these were hard plastic menus that you slotted into the tablet for each of the various commands. At the time this seemed amazing but now it just seems completely stone age. Great fun to find these though.
Finding these two pictures has come at a good time actually as interestingly i have had quite a few discussions with clients lately who love my drawing style and wondered what design package i use…? I told them that the design package is my hands, a ruler, pens, pencils and tracing paper and of course a drawing board. Most of them were gobsmacked and it made me realise how much i love doing what i do but more so how much i enjoy sharing it with others.
Ironically, the magazine article eloquently suggests that ‘The use of CAD is clearly the way forward. Many of the systems now available are cheap, powerful and simple to use. Only the drawing board manufacturers should be worried’ Well, i would counter that and say that as far as i am concerned with my clients, my ‘design package’ is the way forwards and when it comes to concept, design and planning work, you cannot beat the honesty and soul that a hand drawing produces and i am happy to be ‘long in the game’ (minus the mullet!) … 🙂
Had a great response in today from St Edmunsbury council in Suffolk for a barn style replacement dwelling project which sits on a lovely village green.
When we did the preapp, i advised my clients to get proper surveys done on the existing dwelling so we can produce architectural comparison drawings of old versus new but also things like bats, trees, on the ground ecology etc, all of which paid off as the preapp response acknowledges the level of detail we had put in and therefore gives the whole project credibility from day one.
In overall summary, the preapp response indicates the councils support in principle which means we can proceed to the next phase which is the full planning application.
Nice little result for a Friday!
So i was out an about with my work experience placement James today at client meetings and i said we would go and visit one of my recent Cambridgeshire completions. As chance had it, the main man Tim Crump was there with his professional photographer to do a full shoot on the place. These clients are a particular favourite of mine and as always, its great to spend time with Tim because you cannot fail to feed off of his enthusiasm for what we do.
What is evident from this project and many others we are involved with is that it appears that when you hit your 70’s, you don’t roll over and think about playing bingo and making maximum use of your free bus pass,.. absolutely not,…. you build yourself a house!
And this profile of client are an absolute pleasure to work with as they have a huge amount of ideas for their new house based on years of experience and have a “lets get it done” attitude.
I am pictured here (on the right) with Tim and our clients and to meet them in their new Oakwrights home on such a beautiful day was the best thing i could ever hope for at the end of a project.
Been some time since i had the chance to sit down and write about some of the recently finished projects that are coming through from clients.
This one was received yesterday from some great clients in Suffolk and i have to say i absolutely love it!
My plan with this house was to produce a cottage style building but with a contemporary and quirky edge and the clients have done it spot on…
It is another joint venture with the wonderful people at Oakwrights…. always a pleasure 🙂