I am writing to let you know that my architecture practice is now closed since the 31st of August 2020. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some really great people and the satisfaction of helping to deliver some great projects. I have been very happy in my work. I particularly want to thank the wonderful builders I have been lucky enough to work with, who have surpassed my expectations for quality and workmanship and got me out of a few scrapes as well. A special thanks to my engineer. Thanks David, what would I do without you?
I am now solely work in Germany as an employee in a small practice but I look back on my adventure as a sole trader architect with a lot of happy memories. Sending you my best wishes and thank you for five wonderful years.
Paul Snell RIBA
The upstairs is now complete and we have a big bright room with nice high level views over the garden. When we design a loft, we try to make it the best room in the house. This one is also approved by the cat.
Start on site for a new scheme in Stirchley. So far we have trenches approved by the building inspector and this luxurious kitchen facility for the builders! Don’t worry, for the homeowner we build the new extension first without disturbing the existing interior. We will knock it through once we have the roof on.
Just the photos for now.
Thanks to The Moseley Building Company. Gerry I will never forget your words “that’s quite a good idea actually”.
It’s been so long since I have seen it, I had forgotten just how beautiful the frost is. It’s perfect right now, with fresh crispy leaves on the ground and a full range of colours still in the trees. Get out there now and enjoy it people. Highbury park, the most beautiful park in Kings Heath.
We have the start on site today for one of my smallest projects ever. As is so often the case, this is a something from almost nothing scheme. We are taking out a really tiny kitchen, extending by just enough to get in a bigger kitchen and knocking through to the kitchen dining room. Small, but perfectly formed. Enjoy the picture, wheelbarrow fans!
Nice review of the Nest smart thermostat here from the Guardian. The smart thermostat learns your heating requirements, your schedule, how long your very own Castle Black takes to warm up and if you go out for the weekend without so much as a note on the fridge door, it knows. According to the review you could save about twenty percent on your heating energy consumption. What it does not address is whether it will still be possible to secretly adjust it without your partner knowing…
And all the girls say I’m pretty fly for a white and black sixteenth century construction technique.
Blakesley Hall is a classic late Tudor crib in Yardley, showing mad skillz in oak framing construction. According to my guide, the building was made up in frames on the ground which were then tilted up and pegged into each other. Which must have been tricky, considering how irregular the elements are. Once the big oak frames are up, wattle (woven split timber laths) are woven into the gaps and covered with horsehair plaster which is then painted white and the timbers stained black, making the striking and beautiful patterns on the outside.
Look carefully at the patterns. They are not random, but the happy congregation of artist and engineer. On the ground floor the beams are packed close together. This is partly a demonstration of wealth, but also responds to the additional load. The floors are fixed into the uprights and project by about eighteen inches or so. Because the timbers are joined by cutting a slot (the mortice) in the receiving piece and a precise projecting tongue (the tenon)on the end of the joining piece, we can’t have the joints in line – we have to break the pattern so that the mortices don’t weaken the pieces and the tenons don’t interfere with each other. The ground floor wall tenons fix into the floor beams of the first floor. The floor plate (the horizontal beam at the base of the timber wall) is joined onto the ends of the floor beams and the next wall is built off it. The uprights can’t line up – when they do, at the corners, we need extra reinforcement. Above the ground floor, where the posts are so close together, we have bracing – herringbone (mirrored diagonals) at the first floor and split semi circles at the attic storey. Nice.
Uno dos tres cuatro cinco cinco seis