Marvin Architect's Challenge 2013: International Edition, Part 2
By Berit Griffin
June 19, 2013
If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you probably have grown to have a keen appreciation for the impeccable loveliness of grand English country houses. Today we’re bringing you Batts Hall in Warwickshire, England. Although you might be able to picture the Dowager Countess in the house, it’s not a period piece. It’s completely new.
Designed by Simon Janes of Janes Architectural, the design was inspired by the Arts & Crafts houses of the early 1900s, and a “butterfly format” was adopted for the principle living accommodation to provide organic formality and a comfortable relationship between the new house and the wider landscape. The format also maximizes daylight into the property and the beautiful views. This was particularly important with the property being located in a commanding and prominent position on top of a hill. With this in mind, careful selection of the windows was one of the key factors to be considered.
Janes’s principle challenge was to create a contemporary variation of a traditional Country house, maintaining the traditional charm which makes historic properties so desirable, but incorporating the latest building technologies, techniques and sustainability to provide a home which was not only highly energy efficient and practical to own and maintain, but also incorporated the luxury finishes and facilities expected in a property of this caliber. The long-term goal for this house is to have it operate off the grid.
The client’s direction was to provide a customized window system, pre-finished and with low maintenance requirements. The challenge was to find a suitable system that would meet these requirements whilst maintaining a traditional external appearance. Janes found many products that would appear to fit the bill having a painted timber interior and powder coated aluminium exterior, however most were quite simplistic and two dimensional in profile.He wanted the windows to operate and look as close to a traditional timber section as possible from the exterior, with the sub frame section being prominent and also having protruding and recessed elements to provide interest and detail to the fenestration. The Clad Ultimate Push Out Casement
fit the bill, and Marvin was also able to provide custom solutions to the various screens, frames and doors which were also required on the project. Other Marvin products used include bay
windows, Bi-fold Door
and the Ultimate Swinging French Door
In addition to the beautiful windows used in the home, Batts Hall has some other amazing features, including limestone flooring, an elevator, an indoor swimming pool with a sauna and steam room (and check out those beautiful bi-fold doors in the image below!), a tennis court, wine cellar, home theater and game room.
The architect considers the key accomplishment of the project to be the successful marriage of traditional craft skills with both sustainable technology and passive design.