She’s a rainbow

Architectural mouldings – timber or stone cut to a profile of subtle steps and curves – serve a specific purpose. They allow us to get diferent colours from one material using light and hard and soft shadows. 
Actually, this isn’t the Rainbow. That’s in Digbeth. This is the Hare and Hounds, right here in King’s Heath. Cheers!

What’s up at the shop?

It’s been a busy summer here at 1 Kings Heath Wharf, so busy in fact, that I am booked up for the rest of the year. If you have a project in mind and you really can’t wait, go to the RIBA website and find another architect. If you are thinking of a spring or summer build for 2016, let me know and I will put your name on the list. I will come out to you closer to the time.  Although you might be disappointed at the waiting time, it’s not fair on my existing customers to put their work to one side while we talk about your scheme. The shop runs on reference, so the service has to come first. 

It’s not just me either, my approved inspector is starting to turn work away and my local builders are busy busy. In fact I held back some of my tenders from August to September: you (usually) only get one go and I wanted to avoid any “no thank you” prices. It wasn’t so long ago that we were all scratching around for work, now we don’t have enough people to push a wheelbarrow.  


Update 22 October 2015 – three of my schemes now have good competitive prices, a big relief for my very patient clients. I also have a nice scheme in Kings Heath ready to go to tender and three contractors ready to bid. Good luck guys and don’t forget to read the spec!

Site progress Maurice Road

Due to planning restrictions, we have made a single storey extension half the width of the existing house, but we have been able to go out by six metres. This gives us enough space for a kitchen, small dining area and a little den for the kids to play in where they can be seen. We have a large garden facing window for view and two Velux roof lights give us good daylight penetration all the way back into the house. 

The old kitchen, which was really rather small, will become a utility room taking the washer, dryer and a good amount if storage out of the new kitchen. We will also have space for a tiny ground floor wc. 

This part of the build will be complete by the end of next week, the utility room by the end of the week after. 


This is Curzon Street Station

Ever wondered what it’s like inside Curzon Street, Central Birmingham’s all so abandoned railway terminus? So iconic that they must surely knock it down, the grand old London Midland Railway is hosting a fine art graduate show this week. So you can poke around her old corners before Thursday the 18th of June, twelve until six. Enjoy. 


Seen in Kings Heath

This beautifully composed facade, with three matching gables, is near the railway tracks on the end of a row of terraces. The workshops stretch all the way to the back of the plot and there is access to a good sized yard. I love the way the ground floor windows match so well with the first floor even though they so different. Symmetry and the repetiton of the square glazed lights give the centre panel – which is really an industrially flavoured shopfront – the ceremony of a classical composition. 

We have a breakthrough

The bifold doors will go here. The external ground will be lowered by about 600mm and the new insulated floor slab will be about a foot higher than the sand. A nice project. 

On another matter, I was able to help the builder (we help each other really) to resolve issues for the drainage, structure and the spatial arrangement.  I attend site partly because I am a nosey person, but also because my role as the architect is monitor the progress of the works and assist with the technical design. So I am there assure the quality of the work. I like that too.