01 Oct 2013

Modern interpretation

28

Batts Hall is a super prime country house located on a green belt site in Warwickshire that takes inspiration from Arts and Crafts architecture. The inspirational self build reflects tradition at the same time as boasting sustainable and energy efficient qualities.

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The Warwickshire site originally held a neglected late 19th century house, but the owners were keen to create a home that was less intrusive to the landscape and that took full advantage of the stunning panoramic views. The structure was demolished and replaced by this modern take on the traditional Arts and Crafts architectural concept.

Planning consent for the family’s dream property was obtained by renowned classical architectural practice ADAM Architecture, and Janes Architecture were later approached to take on the detailed design and to assist with the project management for this self build.

The family had a highly detailed brief for the materials and building systems as well as the sustainability and energy efficiency of the building, with the long-term intention for the property to be entirely self sufficient. The owners played an active role in the design and team procurement throughout the project. Janes Architectural assisted with assembling the team and various specialist sub contractors and were responsible for the selection and detailed design of external and internal materials, all architectural features and lighting. Interior designers were employed to conclude the home’s aesthetics.

Batts Hall’s grandeur is exposed through its many luxurious additions. The home has an adjoining leisure wing and separate self-contained two-bedroom annex. A 12 x 5.5m2 swimming pool, accompanied by sauna and steam room, an all weather tennis court, underground squash court, basement wine cellar, separate cinema, games and snooker rooms, comprehensive plant rooms – linked to the house by an underground passage - and enclosed platform passenger lift make this property the definition of 21st century decadence.

The next level

The interior boasts extensive limestone flooring, with bespoke joinery and fittings throughout – there are certainly no half measures taken in this stunning home. Due to the size of the floor plan and the split level, the property incorporates three complementing staircases: a three storey self-supporting limestone helical staircase with stainless steel balusters and oak handrail, enclosed limestone spiral staircase and feature oak main staircase. The additional stairs provide interesting shortcuts within the home, not forgetting the lift!

Considered the heart of any home, the kitchen is situated at the building’s centre, along with the orangery and front door, with other key rooms arranged around this space in order of priority and use. This practical symmetry creates a layered effect throughout.

Batts Hall creates informal and varied elevations, with each facade articulated to reflect the use of the internal spaces. This produces a range of semi exposed terrace spaces externally, providing pockets of shade and shelter as well as an interesting and non-monolithic external appearance. The walls are clad in natural stone and facing brickwork and the roof in clay and slate tiles, lead and single ply membranes. There is a structural insulated panel roof structure throughout and precast concrete plank flooring.

The vision was to provide a modern take on a traditional casement window with protruding mullions and transoms. An extensive research and selection process was carried out in order to find a window solution that met the homeowners technical requirements, as well as emboding the aesthetic quality and detailing required.

Surpassing expectations

Many modern window systems are very flush and two dimensional, particularly in their external appearance, however the Marvin system had both the opening and fixed lights recessed within the frame and provided a very fitting solution for the property. Besides the general Edwardian style windows used throughout, Marvin were able to find solutions for the other variants required, creating a consistent and seamless appearance to the fenestration.

But the underlying question is, how does all of this support a sustainable lifestyle? The home is heated by a ground source heat pump with under-floor heating and hot water is created by combined Solar thermal and ground source heat pump. There is a rainwater harvesting system, on site waste water treatment and a 50 kw photo-voltaic Solar array.

The design embodies the principle of changefulness – a feature of many Arts and Crafts houses – giving a sense that the building may have grown over time. This helps the building settle gently into its setting, whilst the interior makes the most of the exceptional surrounding views. The whole property oozes luxury and the final result has surpassed all expectations.

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